5 Habits To Develop in 2017 for a Healthier, Happier YOU

Hi Friends! How are you doing? Are we surviving the beginning of the year?
It’s ironic I’m sharing this post today on health as Calvin has been sick all weekend. Luckily this is only the 2nd time he’s been sick…ever, but this means we aren’t used to seeing him like this and we want our lil’ Calvin back. We went to the doctor and he just has the really bad cold that’s going around…so guess who else has it now? Yours truly. Isn’t this true to life though – you’re feelin’ good, feelin’ good, and then a detour comes along, which can throw a wrench in the entire week. January…you’re winning, but not for long…
I shared this instagram post last week about my new year goal. It’s not something I WANT to do – it’s something I NEED to do in order to keep my sanity. Or did I lose it along time ago? My goal this year is to put my physical and mental health first. I seem to have put myself on the back burner for too long at the end of 2016 and honestly it’s really taken a toll on every aspect of my life. I know I will write more about this in the future because I’m realizing just how important making time to take of yourself truly is – and how easy it is to not. Having kid(s) means having to deliberately set aside time for yourself – one of the biggest things I’ve had to overcome as a new mom. So, in 2017, I’m making this a priority.
There are 5 things I started committing to consistently and I already am starting to feel a bit more grounded & on track for the year. They all seem like common sense but are super easy to slack on or forget in the midst of such busy, busy weeks!
|Keep Fresh Groceries in the House|
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Anyone who knows me well knows that I really dislike grocery shopping – one my least favorite activities, but so important! It’s kind of like going to the gym…once I’m there, I don’t mind doing it! Shopping on the outside parameter of the store and having fresh, natural ingredients in stock at home guarantees you’ll have something healthy to grab or make at any time. It’s the best decision for your health and your wallet. Now that Calvin is starting to eat “real” foods it’s really stretching us to make sure we have a surplus of good food ready. It’s one thing if we slack on our healthy eating momentarily, but we cannot for Calvin. Honestly, in the busyness of 2016, we ate worse than we should have, and slacked in this area big time. Craig usually goes to the grocery but I am going to try and take on this responsibility more often and make it a weekly (quick) trip.
What are some common items on my grocery list?
Organic, lean meets (chicken, ground turkey, turkey burgers) – we probably only eat red meat once a month
Carrots, raspberries, bananas, peppers, lettuce, avocado
Bagged salads – easy to grab for lunch (choose ones with oil based dressings)
Natural lunch meets and cheese from the deli section
Brown rice, oatmeal
Steam fresh vegetables – so easy for dinner sides!
Red Onion (one of my favorite ingredients for cooking), Cilantro
Cheese sticks/Eggs/Yogurt – vanilla greek or the 100 cal greek chobani mix-ins (so good)
Salsa, hummus, guacamole
Organic Beech-nut baby foods and pouches – I try to buy organic or natural while I can still control what he’s eating!
Whole wheat tortillas & english muffins (with PB is one of my favorites)
Calvin’s current favorites? bananas, cheese, raspberries

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What am I missing? Any recommendations?
|Keep a (visual) Calendar|
img_1864^not the fanciest, but it works!
Get a monthly dry erase calendar and put it somewhere you look every day. Mine is on the countertop in the kitchen and I use it to write down appointments, events and most importantly, plan workouts. This is much like writing your goals – if you jot them down, you are more likely to commit and see  it through. It’s not the end of the world if I miss a workout as I will just adjust the schedule, but this is helping to keep me accountable.
It also helps on the days that you just DON’T want to get moving. You can look back and see how far you’ve come that month and use it as motivation to keep going. Check off the days as you go. Put up pictures of what inspires you, or write out a new favorite quote for that month. Get creative, and keep it in front of you! The quote that is helping me this month: “You cannot pour from an empty cup.” I have to do these things for myself and keep up with them in order to provide for and be the best me for the others in my life.
Get mine here.
|Make Coffee at Home|
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I think we are all guilty of going through phases where we buy coffee every day, aka me on maternity leave and then for a few months after…. this is another habit that is bad for the waist line and your bank account. If you drink coffee every day, make it at home! I have a 30+ minute commute so I like to take that time to enjoy my coffee. Since I only need one cup, I have the single serving Keurig. Get a to-go mug that you love, take 2 minutes to pop in a k-cup (hello Starbucks from home) and buy natural ingredients for fixing. My personal favorites are natural creamer & either Organic Honey or Organic Blue Agave as a sweetener (in very small doses because these are still added sugars) Say this with me: I WILL STOP USING ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS. There are already enough hidden sweeteners in the foods we eat, don’t add them into your daily coffee where you can actually control the ingredients.
|Drink More Water|
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GUYS. I also don’t like drinking water. What’s wrong with me? Sometimes I feel like my thirst button doesn’t work. This year I am MAKING myself drink more water. For my energy levels, my skin, my hydration and overall well-being. I noticed I was starting to get headaches every day around 3 pm and often felt nauseous. And no, I’m not pregnant again – it was because I wasn’t drinking enough water. I have also been trying to get in the habit of drinking a large glass in the morning before I eat or drink anything else and then at least 50 ounces throughout the day. I have noticed a huge difference in sustained energy.
Using a cup that holds 20+ ounces and has a straw makes me drink the most. I’m loving these type of cups: Plastic Mason Jar Tumbler.
|Be Present|

Sometimes I get anxious that I haven’t been present enough mentally during this time in my life. As an extreme multi-tasker, it doesn’t always allow me to focus on ONE thing and take it all in. Having a baby, a full time job, a blog, a fiance…the list goes on and on of different areas that need my attention each day. I want to try to minimize the things I’m trying to do at once and BE PRESENT. I want to make a conscious effort to focus on one thing at a time – and remember that right after work, it’s strictly Calvin time where we can play and enjoy each other’s company uninterrupted. When I’m exercising, I’m taking those 20 minutes to give it 100%. When I’m writing, I’m not trying to answer work emails and vice versa. When I’m talking to Craig, I’m not browsing instagram. I definitely need to dive into this one a bit more – let me know if you have any tips for growing in this habit.

Okay friends, what am I missing? What are your goals for 2017? Any of these overlap with yours? I need to know 🙂 Catch up with you all soon!!

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5 Easy Ways to Set Yourself up For Success in 2017

The holidays have come and gone in what feels like a huge blur – it was an awesome time with family, time off work, and seeing the bright lights of the season through my babies’ eyes for the first time. This time of the year is stressful yet fulfilling, chaotic yet relaxing – and usually positioned as the biggest climax of the fiscal year.
And then…
JANUARY.
I don’t know about you all but I feel like January is the least exciting, roughest month of the year. We are back from holiday “break” and responsibilities of life start to set in big time. In the midwest, it’s always when it starts to get brutally cold, gray, and there’s really not much going on.
It’s also a time where expectations are high…aren’t we supposed to have huge resolutions and lose like 10 lbs in this month? It’s seriously overwhelming and such an anxiety ridden start to the new year you are supposed to OWN.

I have gathered here 5 small steps you can take to make it all seem less daunting – and allow you to kill it in the new year.
1.) Write down your goals
I have wrote about this topic when I hit 1 year of blogging and how it helped me, but I need to reiterate it again. Take 5 minutes, grab a journal and write down 5-10 small things you want to accomplish this year. It can be within your career, your family, your side hustle, your blogging/social media goal, your health. Just get it on paper, and make them specific! For example: don’t write “I want my blog to grow.” Write, “I WILL increase my following by 500 on X platform and post at least 2 times/week.” I’m no analyst, but pretty sure it’s scientifically proven that you’re more willing to stick to goals when you get them physically written down. By doing this, you are also putting into the universe that you want opportunities to come your way.

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2.) Get moving!
Going to the gym after eating your body weight in Christmas cookies, candy and holiday ham is THE. WORST. Like on the level of vom – but you HAVE to get moving! The hardest part is getting dressed and going. Start small and work your way up. Just do a few minutes, if necessary. I went for the first time this week after about a week off and just did some cardio & abs to get myself moving again. Once the junk is out of your system you can increase intensity and set your gym goal for 2017 in which you will write down with the rest of your goals. See where I’m going with this?
3.) Determine the next big event to look forward to
This is so key for me. I am a big advocate of having things to look forward to. Not that I don’t look forward to every day with my babes but after Christmas, Hanukah, NYE is over, find another big event in the NEAR future to look forward to or prepare for. For example, my birthday is 2/4 and Calvin’s 1st birthday is 2/18 – 2 events that I will look forward to and get excited about!

4.) Find something that inspires you
What inspires you or keeps you going? It is a book, a podcast, a friend, a child? For me, taking action is what inspires me to keep going. I want to grow my blog because it is my favorite thing I do for ME – if I don’t write for a few days, have an idea brewing, or post something, I honestly get anxious (what am I doing with my life?) and antsy. That’s how I know I should keep going. Maybe action is uncomfortable for you but you get inspiration by reading from your favorite author or listening to a podcast on your commute – keep doing those things.

5.) Buy or do one small thing that makes you happy
Alright – materialistic Kayla is coming out. I’m not saying you have to go get a $150 massage or buy a new Michael Kors purse – but go do something small or buy something small that will make you happy. I know we just got holiday gifts but let’s be honest – the holidays are all about the kids now. Go buy something you maybe didn’t get and enjoy it. For example, a new coffee/tea mug, a pair of warm gloves or a comfy blanket for relaxing at home. Maybe you should go get that hair trim or color that you’ve been putting off due to little time. Tell your significant other that getting out for an hour or two would help you and go do what you want. It’s the little things, ya’ll.


What are we wearin’?
Calvin
Navy Vest (similar)
Vest (similar)
Boys romper
Brown Boots (similar)
Beanie (similar)
Kayla
My navy sherpa coat is originally from GAP and is completely sold out! I’m so sad – I searched the internet high and low for some similar options.
Coat (similar)
Coat (similar)
Coat (similar)
Coat (similar)
Boots
Plaid shirt
Beanie (similar)

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We are in Cincinnati until Sunday and will spend New Year’s Day heading back to NJ. What are your plans? Have an amazing New Year with the ones you love! Talk soon, Friends!
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