A large number of women, post-natal especially, think a great deal about their to-do list. There's laundry to keep up with, brain stimulation to maintain, and eventually you're going to have to sneak a meal in there. With the amount of things to get done in a day, it's a wonder that you get a shower in most days. In fact, some days, you just don't. When the new year begins to creep up and the guilt of clutter and comfort food is at it's peak, the very thought of adding chopped veggies and squats to your already packed routine can be downright depressing. So how can we as parents make reasonable, attainable, and largely personal resolutions for ourselves this year? Here's some advice:
If your aim is to eat better-whether that means weight-loss, clean eating, or just putting hand to mouth (I am notorious for skipping lunch)-start small. Eating is both the easiest and the hardest place to make change. Each meal can feel like an opportunity to succeed or fail at your goal. You have probably heard it said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, so set yourself up to stay consistent.
- Shop smart: avoid the centre aisles so that your cart gets filled with the right ingredients (whole grains, low fat dairy, lean proteins and produce, produce, produce!)
- Pre-washed, pre-chopped: if you're worried about your dedication to the prep work, buy it ready to eat. We love salad kits, sliced veggies, and portioned yogurts. Grab and go.
- Water, water, water: we all know that H2O is a body's best friend, so buy yourself a quality reusable container, stock the garage with a case of bottles, buy a filtered pitcher for the fridge... whatever you have to do to squeeze it in.
If you've brought home a haul of presents or are wondering where to put your now non-seasonal decorations, home organization is probably on your agenda for January. There are thousands of pins and check lists that can help to guide your process (and by all means get them, a visual is a great goal tool), but they will largely tell you these main tips for getting the job done right.
- Work in chunks: whether you set aside a few hours, or just enough time to complete one task, don't pretend your whole home will sparkle by the end of the day. Picking a manageable goal will help you see steady progress and therefore stay motivated.
- Tricks of the trade: vacuum-able space saver bags are great for bedding and clothes, heavy totes (Rubbermaid, etc) keep books and toys clean in basements and garages, magazine racks and tension rods help declutter those lower cabinet messes.
- It gets worse before it gets better: designate a room, or an area of a room, to pile all things that are going to be trashed, donated, or relocated, then make sure it's dealt with before you move on.
Perhaps the most common, and oft-failed goal is fitness. It's not hard to see why - if you've got 30 extra minutes in the day (a laughable rarity to begin with), the last thing you want to do is sweat to exhaustion. Be honest, you're no going to go from plus size to bikini model by March, so don't try to hold yourself to a regiment you can't maintain. Do what you can do, and do it often. Build on your success and watch the results follow.
- Say good morning: highly successful athletes often get their work out in before the day begins. You might not run a mile before breakfast, but you could do a small routine of stretches and strength before you hit the showers (whenever in the day that happens).
- Take a commercial break: if you can find a little time for some TV, you also have some time for quick exercise bursts. See how many crunches, push ups, or jumping jacks you can do. Challenge yourself to plank for an entire ad, then make it two.
- Bring baby: From Zumba to yoga to aquafit, many group classes use babies as fun and weight training! If you're trying to keep it frugal, take a brisk walk while pushing your stroller or baby-wear when you grocery shop. There are so many ways to get junior involved.
Over the course of the month, we at WIYDB will be featuring in detail more about these and more common goals. We'll show you core training tips for postpartum, ways to make money from home, and so much more, all with a little one to consider. Resolutions can be inspiring, but also daunting and discouraging. Let us help you manage what you can, and let go of the rest!
Got an idea for a topic, or a time and money saving tip? We want to hear about it!