We could all benefit from a little betterment this new year, but it’s easy for good intentions to get lost in our heads or overrun by the daily grind and never amount to real change. We’ve pared some of the most popular resolutions down to a few simple changes you can certainly make to become a healthier, happier you.
1. Feed yourself and your family with wholesome, tasty goodness.
Just the thought of sifting through zillions of recipes on the Web is enough to send many of us into a tailspin. No need to build an entirely new repertoire. Choose one meal and just one dish is all you need for a good, fresh start.
Start here with this helpful round up of new healthy, delicious recipes from What’s Gaby Cooking. Choose one to try this week, and keep another in the back of your head for next (or another) week.
2. Make more time for yourself.
You’d love to jump on this bandwagon and actually carve out a bit of time for yourself, but not sure just how to find that extra hour in the day? Schedule it. If it’s on the calendar, it’s just as mandatory as getting your child to his well visit at the pediatrician.
Leave your kids’ bedtime routine in someone else’s hands one night a week and escape to a rejuvenating yoga class. Get a friend to join you, and it’s all the better. It’s really as simple as logging onto UrbanSitter and booking a sitter for that all-important me time. You’ll be a better woman and a better parent for it.
3. Build a lifestyle for your family that keeps you all moving each and every day.
Don’t think of exercise as logging time at the gym. Sure, you likely need to hit the gym or tie on your running shoes a few times a week to stay healthy and fit, but building an active lifestyle for your family is about changing the way you live to keep your bodies moving throughout the day. You’ll be amazed at how simple tweaks to your routines can really make a difference in everyone’s mood and well being.
Not sure where to start? Schedule a family hike as part of your weekend or make a habit of taking a family walk after dinner a couple times a week; bring your bikes and a baby seat on vacation with you; walk whenever possible, even if it takes longer; take a Mommy and Me swim class or take the whole family to free-swim at a local indoor pool; how about enroll your kids in tennis lessons and make matches a family thing.
4. Learn something new, something just for you.
Whether you are a stay-at-home parent, a working parent or you fall somewhere in between, you likely have a pretty defined image of yourself. Realize that you are a work in progress and that image of You can be expanded, tweaked or totally reworked at any time. Learning something new expands your mind and helps create the balance all parents crave.
You don’t have to take a class, necessarily, to engage your brain and learn. Instead, forego the time you spend on Facebook or in front of the TV and suddenly you have time to dive into a literary classic you always wished you’d read, teach yourself to knit, or brush up on that second language you haven’t used since college.
5. Have more fun with your kids.
Why let kids have all the fun? Playing dolls or building yet another Lego creation might not be too enticing, especially when you have dinner to cook, email to check and the laundry is threatening to overtake the house. Instead, become a more fun mom or dad by seizing the moments in between to share a laugh, surprise your kids or to just let loose. Try these:
- Tickle your toddler’s tiny toes.
- Make up silly songs to sing your preschooler while you get him dressed. Anything that rhymes is fun.
- Don’t rush bath time. Pour a few extra capfuls of bubbles into the tub, give both of you bubble beards, and let your kiddos run around the bathroom in the buff before wrangling them into PJs and rushing them off to brush their teeth.
- Search the web for a few jokes to tell your grade-schoolers at dinner. They will think you are the funniest comic on the block, regardless of how awful the joke.
- Does your life at home have a soundtrack? Maybe it should. Turn up the music and dance, dance, dance.
- Let them stay up a bit later for family movie night. The only requirement is your undivided attention.