Are you making New Year’s resolutions for health or finance? According to an article in the Star Tribune (12/30), here are the top 10 New Year’s resolutions:
1. Lose weight.
2. Get organized.
3. Spend less, save more.
4. Enjoy life to the fullest.
5. Stay fit and healthy.
6. Learn something.
7. Quit smoking.
8. Help others in their dreams.
9. Fall in love
10. Spend more time with one’s family.
Are any of those yours? I can say some are mine!
However, did you know that 88% of all resolutions end in failure? One reason I think is that the resolutions are pretty vague. In order to make a change, you need to be as specific as possible.
Also, you may notice that several have to do with health. Everyone wants to be healthier and more fit. But how to get there? Here are six specific resolutions that I’m making for myself that are for better health. Plus, they can help save you money! Read on…
1. Drink more water.
People set drinking more water as a New Year’s resolutions for health all the time. Many of us don’t stay as hydrated as we should, and it results in headaches, dizziness, fatigue, heart irregularities and more. Sometimes when I drink coffee I notice myself having some of these symptoms, as caffeine is also a diuretic, so I drink as much water as I can with it.
My dad ended up in the ER this past spring due to an irregular heartbeat. He found out it was because he was dehydrated. He had just had a virus that reduced his appetite, but he also wasn’t drinking enough fluid (much of our water intake comes from food as well). Unfortunately, my dad ended up with a $3,000 bill as a result of that ER visit, as my parents didn’t have health insurance.
A friend from my church passed out in her home earlier this year. She was alone with her 2-year-old son and called her mother over for help. It turned out she was dehydrated. She regularly drank bottled water but had just run out.
It can be hard to notice when you’re dehydrated because thirst isn’t always obvious. I know I’m dehydrated when I force myself to gulp down some water, and then notice I start craving more.
To help you stay hydrated:
- Keep a filled, reusable water bottle with you at all times and drink all day long.
- Buy a water filtration pitcher to have purified drinking water available at all times.
- Drink water with meals. Add lemon or a little juice for flavor.
2. Clear your home of toxins and scents.
I love air fresheners (such as Glade plugins), but I’ve noticed myself becoming more sensitive to them and I get headaches. Not surprisingly, since all air fresheners are simply chemicals that are created to smell nice. So it would make sense to set a New Year’s resolution for health regarding this!
My mom has had an oversensitivity to scents for years and always notices how scents are everywhere. Lotions, candles, dish soaps…all of these things have fragrances that can overwhelm the body. My mom also has an underactive thyroid which can get thrown out of whack when hit hard with toxins…
A few years ago my parents had a dryer that was failing and filled the house with a strong burning odor. Shortly after, my mom ended up in the hospital because of her body’s reaction to it. She had collapsing episodes that the doctors first thought were a psychiatric disorder, but turned out to be her thyroid being damaged. It was a scary experience for all of us.
You may be fortunate enough not to have a thyroid issue, but we are all affected by chemicals around us, whether in scents or products. When I’m clipping coupons I get sensitive to the chemicals in the papers and have to open a window. Some are more sensitive than others, but if you have headaches or other “odd” symptoms, you may want to try to eliminate from your home anything with scents or chemicals. It’s hard to do, I know! But it’s something to be aware of for better health.
3. Plan your meals and cook them from scratch.
What a great New Year’s resolution for health (and finances!) My grandmother has prepared most of her foods from scratch throughout her lifetime, and she’s a healthy 90-years-old today. I love her homemade soups and goulash. Plus, they don’t cost much to make.
I love to cook, especially casseroles, muffins, waffles, soups, and treats like cookies! I don’t always have time to cook I want to from scratch, but when I do I cook in bulk and save the leftovers. They go in our downstairs freezer and when I need a meal, I pull out the food to thaw and voila!
I usually plan meals about a few days in advance. I take meat out of the freezer to thaw so that when I need it it’s ready to go for a slow cooker meal, casserole (like my favorite Tator Tot hotdish!), or something quick like chicken burritos or grilled salmon.
Planning meals in advance and cooking as much as possible using ingredients you control yourself is the most frugal and healthful way to feed your family.
There are many meal planner worksheets available on the web. Organizedhome.com has a good weekly menu plan you can download for free.
4. Join a local mom’s group (or become more active in one).
I joined 2 local mom’s groups this past year and it’s been great. I get emails all the time with invites to everything from playdates to meal swaps to water park events. I haven’t been as active as I’d like (that’s one of my New Year’s resolutions for health!) but I look forward to joining up and meeting other moms, and enjoying seeing my kids meet other kids from our area. It’s a great way to have fun, relax, and make new friends. Also, if you participate in meal swaps, clothing swaps or the like, that can help save you money!
5. Pray or meditate.
Who doesn’t need more mental relaxation. We all do, but who has time to sit in a lotus position and say “Ommmm…” every day?
I used to do that sort of thing, or rather, try that sort of thing…but life got too crazy, especially after having kids! Plus I don’t need the kids crawling all over me, asking “What the heck are you doing, mom?”
Prayer or meditation can happen anytime. As a Christian, prayer is something I do whenever it feels right. A brief “thank you, God” can bring such calm over me and remind me to appreciate the good things I have among all the chaos.
But whatever your beliefs may be, closing your eyes, taking a deep breath, counting to 5 while exhaling and repeating whenever you get a chance (except while driving!) can help you maintain your sanity when the kids are making you pick up after them for the 50th time in the same day, fighting with each other endlessly, or refusing to go to bed when they should (yeah, that’s every night for me!).
Spiritual health is just as important as physical health, so why not set a New Year’s resolution for health in this aspect?
6. Prevent injury.
I wrote about my torn ACL in my right knee in an earlier post, and how it’s been such an impairment for me these past couple of years. Now I try to fit in physical therapy exercises for my knee every day to reduce my risk of injury from it.
I also have had physical therapy exercises for my neck and shoulders since about ten years ago, when chronic pain around the back of my neck started.
When looking back, I wish I had been more body-wise sooner. I wish I never carried a heavy backpack in school growing up. I also wish I started doing exercises a long time ago to improve posture and strengthen all my muscles to reduce my chances of injury and pain. Now I’m paying the price.
Not many moms have the time to do all the exercising they should (I sure as heck don’t), but if you do any, I highly recommend doing strengthening exercises for the neck and back a little bit each day, as they are common areas of injury and pain. (Check out youtube, search the Internet or borrow books from the library to learn about exercises that can benefit you.) I also regularly get massages which helps, too!
Happy New Year!