Sticking with your commitment to healthy habits

Sticking with your commitment to healthy habits

With the start of the New Year there’s a large increase in healthy eating, which usually means more people are working on healthy habits. As a family, this is a goal we’ve been working on for some time though we still have a long way to go. Looking back over the past year, I can say that I’m really surprised at how far we’ve come.

The whole journey started after our 2nd child was born in November of 2013. We weren’t happy with our health, our energy levels or our eating habits.  With a toddler in the house that was regularly fed a very balanced diet, we were forced to realize that our own diets weren’t quite so balanced or nutritious. As our inquisitive toddler was sure to see the dichotomy here, we made a commitment to improve our own eating and exercise habits in order to set the best example possible.

Over the next few months, we made small and gradual changes that we pushed ourselves to make into healthy habits. We exercised more, took time to cook healthy meals, invested our time in learning more about how to improve our eating habits, made small changes in our home and schedules to accommodate our new goals and so on. It’s actually difficult to pinpoint what each step was because they were small and the process felt gradual and is still evolving to this day. I can vividly remember looking at a few of the sites I regularly use today (for recipes and advice) thinking, that’s way too hardcore for us. Fast forward to a few months later, and those same websites are my current staples.

Beyond food, we’ve been exercising more and took steps to make that a priority. Sure, there are days and weeks when we slip up or life gets in the way. I took almost a month off in December due to all the family gatherings and our crazy schedule. Could I have made time for it? Yes!! Did I feel as good as I have for most of last year? Nope! Lesson learned. It can be really difficult to keep something going (even when you know the results are worth it) when it requires extra work on your part. Getting up at 5:30 am is HARD! Especially when the sky is pitch black, your bed is cozy and warm, the baby was up during the night and you know you have a million other things to do later that day. Despite my laziness, I can honestly say that starting back up was no picnic at first, but now I’m back in gear and loving the benefits once again. It’s worth the extra effort to keep those healthy habits going, even on the worst days!

It’s pretty amazing how much our lives have changed in the past year. We’ve gone from having a new house, a toddler new baby and a sluggish and unhealthy lifestyle to having a toddler and a pre-schooler, much healthier habits, a new love for cooking as a family and a huge increase in energy. All those things have made us more productive in our daily lives too. We’ve taken time to pursue personal and family goals and plan for our future. It can be so frustrating at times because you feel like you’re making all of these positive changes but not really seeing any results. I’m here to tell you, the results are coming! Even now, they’re not big changes but I can definitely see how far we’ve come and can only imagine on how those changes will start to affect our lives exponentially.  It’s a work in progress and will be for some time to come. but we’re moving in the right direction.

**Be sure to contact me directly if I can answer any questions or help you pursue your goals this year.**

Starting the new year with savings…

We are constantly struggling with balancing our finances, trying to save money for our next big project. (Currently, ours is eventually buying a house…eep!)

We’ve figured out that making big, sweeping changes often doesn’t work. We don’t anticipate potential complications or we give up because the change is just too difficult (aka extreme couponing or avoiding clothing purchases). So we’ve been striving to make small, manageable changes that are easily to evolve as time goes on and our requirements change.

A few things that have worked:
1. Starting an ING savings plan that automatically deducts a fixed amount of $ from our checking account each week, automatic savings! You don’t miss it when you didn’t even realize you had the cash to begin with.

2. Cutting out coffee shops and brewing at home. The savings add up amazingly fast.

3. Get rid of pricey Cable TV packages. You literally save $50 or more a month…minimum!

To expand on #3, most cable providers charge upwards of $130 for internet and TV service. Throw in a phone and you’re closer to $160 and that’s with the most basic of TV packages. If you’re not addicted to sports, live TV and news shows…there’s another option! (Sports fans can also take advantage of this, never fear).

Can your cable company and only keep the internet service. That brings your bill down to roughly $50-60 on average (and if you sign up for a contract you can probably negotiate it down a bit more). If you have an internet ready TV, just pick the apps you use and away you go. Hulu plus is only $7.99 per month and has most major network TV shows readily available only one day after they air. Netflix has several affordable options if you want to expand your selection, especially for older TV series and movies.

For those without an internet ready TV (or those who want an easier to navigate menu and a few more viewing options) purchase an Apple TV for $99 (one time fee to purchase the box). You can hook this up to your TV and stream movies, Huluplus, Netflix, sports, youTube and much, much more.  Essentially anything you can get via iTunes, you can now view on your television.

For a grand total of roughly $70 per month (in most cases, at least half of your current bill) you get a huge selection for your viewing pleasure. Not a bad deal!

At the end of the day, you also feel a bit better for sticking it to those crazy cable companies.

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