New Year’s Resolutions

By: Chaunte McClure

The mere anticipation of a new year always yields the desire to start fresh, set goals, make improvements, and leave old habits behind. Many of us spend hours on New Years Eve, or the days leading up to it, cleaning our homes from the baseboards to the crown moldings and washing every single piece of laundry because according to tradition, the house must be clean when the new year arrives. Traditionally, we also (most likely) waste time deciding on our New Year’s resolutions. Not that I’m trying to be negative, but you know how it usually goes. When the newness of the year wears off, so do those resolutions.

Why do we get so excited about making a change for a new year when every day is an opportunity for us to break bad habits, shed unwanted pounds, use social media less, eat healthier, exercise, or fulfill any of the other multitudes of (broken) promises we make to ourselves?

But I’m not writing to bash anyone. I always strive to encourage and inspire and I’ll remain true to my effort here. Trust me, I know all too well how difficult it can be to make self-improvements.

It’s 2015 and the year is only one week old. How are you holding up to those promises?

new year

Wait. Back up and read that quote again. Have you stepped out of your comfort zone? If so, don’t make a u-turn. If not, it’s time to make a move.

Biggest Step

Where we are, whether professionally, physically, relationally, or emotionally, can make us feel safe because it’s what we know. It’s what we’re used to and we can become complacent.

comfort zone

All of us can stand to grow in an area of our lives. The most difficult part for me is getting started. Remember, the longer you delay, the longer it will take to get results. (Let me repeat that to myself.)

Never-do-tomorrow-what

I’d love for you to share your resolutions and how you’re progressing. Let’s hear them. I didn’t make any resolutions but I did set a goal. I’m sure you’ll hear more about it in a later post.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

By: Katie Austin

It’s hard to believe that 2013 is behind us and that the door to 2014 is open, inviting us in to new memories and opportunities. Like last year, I decided to move away from making resolutions and instead list the areas in my life that I wanted to change or focus on. I feel that, for me, resolutions are easier to break. So instead, I am committing to making small changes throughout the year.

 “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.” —Brad Paisley

What an amazing quote and so true! What will I write this year? When I look back on 2014, what will I see and remember most?

To begin, you have to figure out what it is that you want to change and then make a checklist. Keep it simple and achievable. Below is what I came up for 2014. What will be on your list?

  1. Spend more time with family and friends. Eliminate business and make time. You never know when it will be your last chance to create a new memory.
  2. Replace something in your diet each week with a healthy option.  I have to confess to my Every Woman Blog family that I started my Dash Diet in July, but stopped soon after. I lost interest as I found the extreme change to my diet to be too much at one time. Instead, I think that small changes in my diet over time will be easier to cope with, creating a greater chance that this girl will keep up the healthy Lifechange for good.  For example, I love coffee, but need to cut back since I can drink it all. day. long. For myself (and those around me, haha!), I am going to replace one cup of coffee each day with a bottle of water. In time, my goal is to have no more than 2 cups of coffee each day and to increase my water intake. I also replaced my morning cheese grits with a packet of oatmeal. Small changes over time – that is the key. I also use My Fitness Pal to help track what I am eating, as well as to access quick caloric information to help myself make better food choices.
  3. Walk more, sit less. All day long, I sit at my desk. Then, when I get home from work, I am tired, so I just want to sit on the couch or in front of my computer. My goal is to get up and move every two hours (except when sleeping, of course) and to walk one or two days a week. Even if the walk is just 20 minutes, it is time moving and in the long run I will feel more energetic.
  4. Get organized.  I use a monthly calendar to physically write down events, information and tasks with upcoming due dates. I love it! I keep everything in one place and the act of writing an activity down makes me think about the tasks and see where it does or doesn’t fit. This method works for me and is helping me better organize multiple areas of my life.
  5. Do something new.  I think this item needs to be on my list every year! There are things I want to try and places I want to go, but I just haven’t made the time. This is the year to start. I’ll even write about it in an upcoming article 🙂

“The journey is the reward.” —Steve Jobs

Now that you know what you want to accomplish in the New Year, write yourself a letter and seal it, noting not to open until January 1, 2015. The letter should contain the small changes you hope to make and should be written as if you were talking to yourself at the end of the year, as if you had a crystal ball and could see yourself a year later. Place the sealed letter in a visible area as a reminder of your commitment to yourself. You know what is in the envelope, but at the end of the year you will revisit what was important to you at the beginning of 2014 and it will help you to decide what your focus will be in 2015.

KatieWhat are some of the things you want to accomplish this year? Share them here and let’s see how many items we can come up with, motivating each of us to reach a healthier, happier version of ourselves 🙂

I wish each of you a great start to the New Year and look forward to another year with my Every Woman Blog family!

Katie Austin