Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year, New Me Series!

Welcome 2010! We've rung in the new year and you know what that means: RESOLUTIONS.

We come up with them every year. The new year is perfect timing for new beginnings. A fresh start to become a better person - inside and out.

I've been inspired to share my list of improvements/alterations for this year (and hopefully beyond!):

1. Trade the "fat" jeans for "skinny" jeans.

It's been a number of years since I've had a real exercise program, and I'm starting to feel the effects. I feel sluggish and need coffee to get motivated most days. I'm sick more often with colds. I look in the mirror and am unhappy with the bulges I see, even though my loving husband tries to convince me I am beautiful as is. I am having trouble accepting my new "curvy" post-baby shape because, deep down inside, I know I've been lazy. I expected breastfeeding to instantly slim me simply because I lost my pregnancy weight so quickly. I think I could embrace my body if I put some effort into my health and fitness. I have about 10-15 more lbs. I'd like to shed to get to my desired weight. So, one of my goals this year is to tailor a workout plan to my new lifestyle as a mommy. We just bought a new exercise bike so I will be using that during Nate's naptime, but also hope to add jogging, weight training (crunches, lunges, curls, etc.), step aerobics, and yoga to the schedule.

2. Make healthy food a habit.

We're on the go a lot, running errands during mornings and early afternoons, which means we often turn to fast food or processed food that can quickly be zapped in the microwave. I want to make more of an effort to eat in for breakfast and lunch and choose a diet that doesn't rely on foods that contain numerous preservatives and artificial ingredients. For example, I can make my own honey mustard to use on a sandwich in lieu of mayonnaise. Or keep fresh fruit and veggie chunks in a Tupperware container for a convenient snack instead of chips. Sure, we all need to indulge now and again and it would be unrealistic to say I'll not eat one cookie or slice of pie this year. My goal is to make better food choices overall so those inevitable slip-ups won't break me.

3. Get creative in the kitchen.

Along with #2, I'd like to become more experimental when it comes to cooking and baking. My husband has always been the chef in our family but I've grown tired of having Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, Caesar salads and Grilled Steaks all the time. So, in the past year, I've taken matters into my own hands. I've accumulated some cookbooks and have made dishes that would make Martha herself proud (Goat Cheese Pasta, anyone?). But I want to continue to practice and perfect the art of cooking by making at least one new recipe per week. Yes, that's 52 recipes this year - or more. Maybe I'll eventually feel comfortable enough to invent my own culinary masterpiece.

4. Green means Go.

I've been trying to make more environmentally-conscious decisions since becoming a mom but there is still lots we can do as a family to reduce our carbon footprint on the Earth. So, another goal of mine is to further research our choices from toys to cleaning products to bath supplies to ensure we are avoiding harsh, toxic chemicals, wherever we can within budget and reason.

5. Patience is prudent.

It has never been one of my strengths, but having a toddler has been the ultimate test in patience. I am not a very strict parent by any means but I can only say "no no" so many times before my nerves start to wear and my teeth start to crack. I want - and need - to make more of an effort to remember that Nate's testing of boundaries, otherwise known as the start of the "terrible twos", is perfectly normal for his developmental stage and he will outgrow this. My goal is to implement a behavior modification plan (with input from the hubby, of course) to curb those inevitable tantrums. But above all, I must remain patient, understanding and caring. Same goes for potty training, which will probably begin this summer. My mantra shall be: this too shall pass.

6. Reprise my role of tour guide as we explore this place called the World.

No, we're not taking a backpacking trip to Europe or anything. But it is up to me to teach and show Nate the world beyond the walls of our living room. I want to limit our time in front of the television to 2-3 hours and take time each day for activities that allow us to explore the world in new ways. If it's sunny or clear outside, we can take a nature walk, identify and collect things we find along the way. Go for a relaxing stroll and get some exercise at the playground or pool. In the case of inclement weather, we can do kid-friendly crafts, bake together or listen to music as we play with toys. Most of all, no matter what we do, I want to hear my son laugh more often. He can be so serious but there's nothing more infectious than his giggle.

7. Get in the spirit. As in the Holy Spirit.

Our family used to be very involved in our church but after we moved last year, we stopped attending every Sunday. I've really missed the fellowship and prayer and I can feel the void this has left. So my goal in the next few months is to find a new church at our new locale and become members once again in the spiritual community. The family that prays together stays together, right?

8. Immaculate Conception. Or not.

That's right...we're officially trying for Baby #2 in 2010. Don't worry, I won't get all TMI on you. But you may hear some talk involving cycles and pee sticks and how I'll be preparing my body to carry life once again, God willing. Working out, eating better, going green... will all contribute toward achieving this goal.

Like the show, eight is enough. But with that in mind, I want to announce I am kicking off 2010 with a weekly series called New Year, New Me. I will be making strides in all of the areas above and will be sharing my/our progress with all of you. This idea is still in its infancy and will most likely evolve over time. But for now, I plan to update you every Friday on my journey to become better.

"New Year, New Me" is a little misleading because it's not really all about me. I encourage all of you to get involved too! Because resolutions only tend to last for a short while, I'm going to depend on all of you to hold me accountable. If you'd like to join me on my mission as a buddy or just be my personal cheerleader from the sidelines, leave me a comment so I can make sure I follow you too.

There may be some reviews and contests associated with the NYNM series but I haven't ironed out all the details yet. Stay tuned because I think this will be a fun new segment! What do you think? What are your resolutions?


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