by Carlos Cavazos Brito
Once the wrapping paper's in recycling bin, your thoughts might turn to the new year -- wondering what's to come and, more specifically, what changes you want to make.
Sadly, wanting to make changes and actually making those shifts in your lifestyle seem worlds apart. We've gathered together a list of top resolutions and then looked at techniques that can help you build new habits and come back with bragging rights!
10. Stick to Our Budget
We're going to save money and cut costs this year! If we just watch ourselves, we can put a college fund away and have preschool paid for by the time she's two! BUT, that Xbox is on sale...and the baby needs a new pair of shoes.
We suggest: Realism. Be sure your budget allows for the unexpected (yes, cars break, refrigerators quit, your child loses shoes), some fun, some frivolous items and savings. How about programing automatic savings so that the money is safely out of easy reach? You'll succeed without needing to follow up, month after month.
9. Family Pictures will be Perfect
• You want: Organized outfits, booked with an amazing photographer, amazing location with perfect weather!
• You end up with: Wal-Mart and a naked baby for $7 a sheet because they could fit you in on December 24th and you didn't get the laundry done. You vow to get them sent to family this year. Your child's life will not be documented exclusively on social media!
We suggest: Find a cue that reminds you to take a picture. One mom I know has taken monthly photos of her son with a bear. Over the years, that bear has certainly shrunk!
8. Make Memories
This year we're going to have a family vacation that everyone will remember! We'll hit the theme park, take tons of pictures... The kids will love it!
We suggest: Instead, focus on the little things and make a memory: your child's foundest memory might originate in a bunch of bubbles or a sock basketball game. Make your goal to enjoy the time together. Especially if you have smaller kids, your best plans might fizzle.
7. Start a Blog, Baby Book or Scrapbook
I'll think, plan and reflect in this web log. I'll read and gather the facts so I can share technology and ideas. I'll get good stuff back -- comments, questions and maybe offers! I'll write every day and it will be awesome!
We suggest: Writing a blog is like tending a baby. The baby must be fed regularly to grow and thrive. Try and see if you can throw a little entertainment in, your baby (and your audience) respond with interest. If you love to journal, a blog might be the perfect outlet. Otherwise you may want to consider another route to document your baby's childhood.
6. Get Organized -- Get Real!
I've had it! Never again will I buy another pair of scissors simply because they've sunk to a lower level or be late because the car keys disappeared again. I'm going to sort, reduce, organize and get it together this month!
We remind: You're a parent. You have a baby or toddler. Small children absolutely ruin the best plans for organization. Every parent vows to get all thing in one place at one time. Few actually manage.
We suggest: Make organizing a fun game for your children. They can help and they'll be learning skills that you'll love in just a few years.
5. A Baby Won't Stop Me from Socializing
I will, I will use this stroller every day and go to the park and make play dates and keep my figure lean and the baby happy and occupied and... as soon as I get organized I will have time.
We recommend: Find a mommy friend who can walk with you, work out with you or shop with you. How about a mommy and me class?
4. Stop Wasting Time on Media
No more online games. I'll only check my birth board in the morning before the kids are up. I'm done with this time sink!
We recommend: The online world is a part of every aspect of modern life, from shopping, to reconnecting with old friends and stalking exes. Having time to check in can help you feel connected with an external support system. That said - practice moderation. Don't keep telling your kids 'just a minute' and miss all those little moments to connect with them. Trust me, in a blink you will have all the time you want for online fraternizing... and then some.
3. Go Green
Everyone wants to do their part, right? It's good to start with the babies seeing as how they are the largest consumers. Cloth diapers? Check! All recycled furniture/clothing/toys? Check! BPA free everything? Check! My household, my parenting, my life will be green.
We recommend: Which things do you use the most? Disposable diapers and that all new material bouncy seat from Taiwan... Instead of tossing the seat out, take a look at our healthy home makeover. Then choose and make one or two changes. As those become second nature, add another.
2. The Whole Family Is Going to Eat Healthy
I will shop for the week, bake on Sunday, and freeze our meals! Yay! Even baby's included in my resolution. I'll make all my own baby food. Cheap! Easy!
We recommend:The truth is most of us end up eating Hot Pockets and Mac & Cheese through the week... Instead, focus on one or two simple mealtime changes that will result in better long-term health. How about using more whole grain products or eliminating sodas?
1. Lose the Baby Fat
I will lose 25 pounds. I will fit into my high school jeans. I will...we've all heard it and usually from ourselves.
We suggest: Resolving to be healthy is one thing, but setting hard and fast weight loss goals sets you up for failure. It's more reasonable to commit to a regular workout routine, not a number on a scale or a pair of pants that haven't been in style for years.
Have you had a bad day, not accomplished what you planned, or yelled at someone? No worries; tomorrow can be a new beginning. Take a lesson from your child. Kids greet every day as a fresh opportunity to live and learn.
As a parent, you can do the same. What can you recommend?
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