Fresh Beginning

My Healthy Journey: Beginning Fresh

I don’t normally make resolutions for New Years. But this year, in the spirit of My Healthy Journey, I’m beginning fresh with goals that I both think I can succeed with and that would make me really happy for 2015.

  • Try yoga. It’s good exercise, and can help my back, which I have some problems with. Plus the meditation and stress relief would be great. Starting small with podcasts and free videos counts! I want to get comfortable doing it before I consider being seen by innocent people passing by.
  • Cook at home. I’ve gotten much better about this the last six months, but I want to keep it up, so it is definitely a big goal for 2015.
  • Finish writing my book. I have been working on a novel since my junior year of college, and I’m about half way done with it. Now that I have a job where I have a set schedule and free time, I’m determined to finish it in 2015. (This is one that is such a personal goal that I know it’s hard to see in your own life. But think about something you’re passionate about that you want to do or finish this year. Finish knitting a blanket? Learn to build furniture? There’s so many possibilities for you to make this sort of goal your own!)
  • Read more. In college, I got to read fiction all the time. I still take in news all the time, but I don’t get around to books enough. This year, I need to read more!
  • Spend less time on my phone and computer when I’m not working. All I do at work is look at screens, websites, and social media. When I leave work, I still spend about an hour of my time reading my own social media feeds each day. I really want to cut this back, and replace it with things like the books above.
  • Be active with my dog. I can swear this won’t happen until it’s warmer out, (because I am cold when it’s 70 degrees in my house.) But once we change seasons again, I really want to get out there with my dog. She would love it, and it will help me get off the couch and keep us both healthy.
  • Save money from every paycheck. While working at Starbucks, I started saving my tips, about $40 a week, and after 9 months, I had the down payment for my car. I never really noticed not spending that money, but it added up really fast! I want to continue this good habit.
  • Mark one thing off my bucket list. I saw this idea online, and I think it’s a great one. I can’t promise you which thing it will be, but this year, I will go somewhere or do something I’ve always wanted to.
  • Use my food tracking to eat healthier. I want to build it into a habit that helps me make healthier choices based on what I’m actually doing.
  • Treat myself! I spend a lot of time running around, working, being stressed out, and then trying to recover by cuddling with my dog in my bed. But this year, I want to make a special effort to boost my mood with special things, even if it’s just making an effort to get my favorite coffee once in a while.  For example, in January, I have plans for how I’m going to make my bed super cozy (all courtesy of this Buzzfeed article,) that I am really looking forward to, so I can improve my dog cuddling time.

See my other post Resolutions You Can Actually Do to get some fun and useful ideas for your own resolutions.

Choosing New Years Resolutions

Resolutions You Can Actually Do

While I was thinking about my own resolutions, I of course did some Googling. Here are some great resolution ideas for you that can both better your life and are actually doable. Don’t try them all at once, but they are good ideas to start making small changes in your life!

  • Try 52 new foods this year. Once a week, cook at home and make a food you’ve never tried before. It will help you start cooking at home, and it will feel like an adventure!
  • Rather than writing down your resolutions, try using pictures to inspire you instead. Our brains respond more powerfully to images than text. Try a resolutions cork board in your house or a Pinterest board online. (Check out our Pinterest for all kinds of healthy ideas.)
  • Stop looking for a soul mate. Studies show that having things in common or compatibility aren’t what actually makes good relationships. Two people who really want to give it a shot are more likely to make it than two who like the same things.
  • Change the info you take in. There’s been lots of debate about how technology can help or hurt us mentally. But maybe it’s better to worry about what you’re taking in off all your devices. All of the info in the world is at your fingertips online, so spend some time reading about something other than celebrities.
  • Make things yourself. “The Ikea Effect” says we get more satisfaction from things we worked harder for, even if it’s just cooking a meal.
  • Don’t try too hard to save money. While you do save  by cutting out your morning latte, if that drink adds to your mood each day, your happiness may be worth the small cost.
  • Befriend your friends’ friends. Creating social networks in real life by connecting to your friends’ other friends has shown to be satisfying for everyone involved.
  • Make a change to your workspace. Studies show green in your workspace can help you concentrate, and that standing while you work can be better for your health.
  • And don’t forget to love yourself! And have a Happy New Year!

Calvin & Hobbes Resolutions Comic

Read more stats, facts, and ideas about these resolutions from this The Guardian article.

Save

Baking Christmas Cookies

Healthy Christmas Cookies

This week in food, we gave you delicious and healthy recipes for Christmas cookies to make for your holiday celebrations.

First up was a classic Gingerbread Cookie that clocks in at just 91 calories.

Gingerbread Cookie

 

Chewy Molasses Cookies are a spicy holiday classic you can leave out for Santa.

Chewy Molasses Cookies

 

These Chocolate and Peppermint Cookies have all the flavors of the holiday season.

Chocolate and Peppermint Cookies

 

These Raspberry Linzer Windowpane Cookies are delicious at just 79 calories each.

Raspberry Linzer Windowpane Cookies

 

Try these easy Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies for a gluten-free option.

Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies

 

These organic Coconut Butter Cookies are also gluten-free and no-bake.

Organic Coconut Butter Cookies/Bark Recipe

 

Mexican Chocolate Cookies have a surprise kick, and are just 80 calories each.

Mexican Chocolate Cookies

Save

Season of Giving Presents

Season of Giving

While it’s getting down to the wire to give to a Christmas charity, it’s never too late for giving. Donate to one of these organizations that works year-round.

UNICEF strives to help children around the world all the time. Learn more about them and give this holiday season!

It’s not too late to adopt your kids a pet for Christmas! Help an animal or just give at the American Humane Society.

Adopt an animal with the World Wildlife Fund and teach your kids about protecting them around the world.

Make-A-Wish International helps give joy to sick kids around the world all-year. Donate today!

Direct Relief helps people around the world, particularly in emergencies, like Ebola. Deliver a world of good!

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital works to treat and cure the diseases that hurt our kids most. Help them operate.

The United Nations Foundation has campaigns to help people around the world. This holiday season, choose a good cause.

Holiday Safety

Holiday Safety

This week on social media, we gave you helpful holiday safety tips for staying safe this season.

Make sure you carefully inspect holiday lights each year and throw out old or damaged lights that could cause fires.

Holiday Lights

Fresh trees are best for avoiding fires. Fake trees should say they’re fire resistant.

Christmas Trees

 

Always turn your holiday lights off when you leave the house and go to bed.

Outdoor Holiday Lights

 

Never connect more than one extension cord together. Use one long cord. Connecting extension cords increases the risk of fires.

Tangled Cords

 

Never keep open flames near your trees, garland, wreaths, or fabric decorations.

Candles and the Holidays

 

Don’t burn wrapping paper in the fireplace. They can ignite and burn suddenly and intensely, causing worse fires.

Holiday Fireplace

 

Be careful with fire salts that change your fire’s color. Keep out of the reach of children, they can contain heavy metals.

A Fire During the Holidays

Save

Christmas Breakfast and Coffee

Healthy Christmas Breakfast

While most of your holiday food is pretty standard, seize the unique opportunity for family Christmas breakfast with these recipes.

First up, is a cozy Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal that you can make ahead in your slow cooker.

Pumpkin Spice Slow Cooker Oatmeal + A Double Giveaway!

 

These Cranberry Chocolate Biscotti are a great breakfast treat with coffee, and make good gifts.

Cranberry Dark Chocolate Biscotti
Image and Recipe via Pinch of Yum

 

These Savory Breakfast Pizzas are quick to make, and sure to be a family hit.

Savory Breakfast Pizzas
Image and Recipe via 7970 Miles

 

These Linzer Muffins are perfect for the holidays and will be good made in advance or the morning of.’

Linzer Muffins

 

This Berry, Banana, Quinoa, and Steel Cut Oats Bake can be made in advance and is healthier than coffee cakes.

Berry Banana Steel Cut Oats and Quinoa Breakfast Bake

 

This Asparagus Quiche has a secretly healthy crust, and your family will never know.

Asparagus Quiche
Image and Recipe via Tasty Kitchen

 

These Whole Wheat Apple Pancakes look fancy and tasty, but are healthy!

Old Fashioned Whole Wheat Apple Pancakes

Save

UA-45064957-1