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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Perhaps the most popular New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, get in better shape, or gain overall better health. I am no different this year. My resolution is to do my best to maintain my family’s health and well being.

The good news is that it doesn’t matter when you are reading this. It’s never too early or too late to start a resolution. It only matters that you come up with a plan and stick to it. This quote I just came across sums it nicely:

“A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.” – Tom Stoppard

Now, I am going to share with you my ideas and plan to do that for myself, and my family.

Plan Ahead

The best way to start would be with a good plan. It wouldn’t make any sense to start a healthy diet, when the cupboards are filled with junk food. That would be sabotage.

With the holidays just wrapping up, I need to rid the house of all the goodies we enjoyed leading up to now. It’s time to take my resolution seriously…and truth be told, it’s all getting stale anyway.

After making room for other items, I will fill the void with healthier options, such as pretzels, veggies, and maybe some popcorn. There is nothing wrong with a little popcorn once in a while, as long as it’s not ladled with butter and salt. The point is to have options on hand.

Choose a Reward

I believe in rewarding ourselves when we accomplish our goals, even though the goal in itself is typically a reward. Of course if your goal is to get in better shape, or lose weight, the reward probably shouldn’t be food.

However, it could be related to food, especially if it’s something to help you prepare healthy meals. For example, I have my eye on an all clad cookware set. Not that this set will automatically make my food healthier, but it sure can make cooking more enjoyable!

Whatever you choose for a reward, place a picture of it in places that it will remind you of how much you would like it. It wouldn’t hurt to hang it in a couple places, such as the snack cupboard and the bathroom mirror.

Eat Right

I don’t like to use the word diet. For one reason, it’s a negative word. But also, my kids don’t need to be on a diet…and my goal is for the entire family to eat healthy, not just me.

Eating right takes a little planning. If you ‘wing’ your meals, it’s basically a recipe for disaster. Without a good plan and healthy ingredients in the house, the foods we are trying to avoid are going to creep back into our diet before we know it.

By planning a weekly menu, it allows you the opportunity to shop ahead so you can have the ingredients in the house. It also helps to know what you are going to make each day. When I do this, I search the Internet for new ideas on meals that are healthy, with a variety of ingredients. The key for me to stick to healthy eating is diversity.

Also, don’t deprive yourself completely of the things you love the most. If you love chocolate, you can plan a little of it in your menu…in moderation. Just remember the words ‘plan’ and ‘moderation’. If I know I am going to be having chocolate for dessert on Wednesday, I hold off on Tuesday when the craving hits.


Eating right is a great start, but it should be accompanied by exercise. This holds true regardless if you want to lose weight or not. A little cardio and strength training is vital to a healthy lifestyle, including the children’s.

Here are some ideas to get the entire family involved:

  • Nature walks
  • Biking
  • Playing kickball in the yard
  • Swimming

These are some ideas that the kids can join in and burn some energy as well. The bottom line is, put the remote down for a while and move.

Even in the winter when staying in is necessary, get some video games for the kids that are interactive such as kinnectimals. My son is always hopping around with that one. Or, play Twister as a family.

In Closing

It doesn’t matter when you start your resolution, just that you stick with it. Come up with a plan, and put it in writing to reflect on when you are finding temptation too strong. On that plan, write down what your reward is going to be, as well as hanging a photo of it somewhere. For example, I am going to hang a photo of my future all clad stainless cookware set on the refrigerator.

Good luck!


Melissa Cameron is a freelance writer from Texas. She loves searching the Internet for new ideas and deals to share with others. Melissa is married with two young children.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents making resolutions, any time of year.

Image courtesy of mt 23 via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.