It’s the New Year, and while you might be eager to make a bunch of resolutions and swear THIS is the year you’ll never be late to anything, don’t trick yourself into thinking you have to make a ton of huge life changes in your family. Remember “The Little Engine That Could”? This is no different! Try focusing on the little things you can do each day instead of trying to completely change everything. Healthy little habits add up over time, so even small adjustments to your everyday routine can make a big difference.
Get Enough Sleep
Create a rhythm with your sleeping patterns. Aim for around 7-8 hours a night and use your phone to set an alarm at a certain time each night to remind you to go to bed. Consistency helps give you more energy, leaving you less likely to cave into those food cravings throughout the day. Setting a curfew for the kids can help too.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Eat breakfast every day to kick-start your metabolism and fuel your busy morning. Small portions count, like a handful of grapes and some nuts, a banana or a low-sugar squeezable yogurt. Don’t have time in the morning to make something? Make a jar of overnight oats before bed so you can grab and go no matter what your morning may have in store for you.
Eat More Often
Aim for three smaller main meals and one to two snacks each day. Eating smaller meals throughout the day can help stabilize your blood sugar and ensure you have the energy to last the whole day. If you tend to get busy and forget to eat, try writing out your schedule for the day and figure out when you will eat your meals.
During the workday (especially if you work from home), walk or stand while you take your calls. And if the kids want to watch TV after school, tell them they can … as long as they stand up the whole time!
Make meal prep a family activity. It helps save time by getting the kids involved in the prep work, plus the meals you prepare at home will likely be healthier than takeout. And if the kids are involved in planning the meals and get to pick some of them, they’ll be more likely to eat them.
Be a Fit Family
Turn working out into a family bonding activity. Get everyone involved in your normal routine or find new activities that everyone can enjoy. The kid’s antics will likely add some much-needed entertainment to help you power through a tough workout.
Being constantly plugged in can really mess with our sleep cycles. Keep a family docking station for phones, laptops and tablets in the kitchen, and decide what time everyone needs to power down. For example, make a rule that screens must be turned off by 9 p.m. This will help everyone fall asleep more quickly and can actually improve the quality of sleep.
Get Some Fresh Air
Go for weekend hikes or do something else outside. Schedule one fresh-air day per week for the next four weeks. It might just become something you stick to for the whole year. Or take weekly bike rides and add up the miles your family rides. Decide on a family goal and once you meet it, do something fun to celebrate.
It can be overwhelming trying to change everything at once in the New Year, so consider starting small. Take it one step at a time to get closer to your goals. Get the whole family involved, because after all, you’re all in this together!