New Year’s Resolutions With a Purpose

new year's resolutions list

We’re all guilty of it – setting resolutions for the New Year that we surely intend to accomplish. Buuuut, things get in the way like babies, kids’ activities, work deadlines or potty training. By the time NYE rolls around again, we’re hoping our glass of bubbly clouds feelings of defeat and disappointment. Cheers to a New Year (of unaccomplished goals)!

Maybe we should just skip the New Year’s resolutions? Instead we could coddle our bruised egos a little more and avoid the self-loathing all together. Sounds nice, but while this easy way out might make for a free spirited NYE 2015, it’s hardly the best path for personal growth.

Even if you’re not a self-help junkie, setting New Year’s resolutions is a great teaching opportunity for your kiddos. I want to teach my son the importance of setting goals to motivate, encourage and provide direction to him throughout life. As a budding two year old, his direction is limited to “up, mama” but soon enough he’ll be a lil’ man who’ll benefit from designing a life he loves.

Instead of skipping New Year’s resolutions this year, take a few minutes to transform your goals into ones that you’ll actually achieve.

Start by linking your resolutions to a deeper sense of purpose. Goals linked to a purpose provide us meaningful clarity about why we want to achieve a specific goal. We’re more likely to achieve a goal when we can envision, imagine, and connect with how life will be after our goal(s) are reached.

she designed a life she loved

We often set goals such as:

I want to exercise.
I want to get that big promotion.
I want to lose 10 lbs.
I want to eat healthier.
I want to quit coffee.
I want to complete a triathlon.
I want to grow my business.

While these goals may be exactly “what” we want to achieve, we’re missing the “why.” 

The “why” is the key ingredient, the real motivation, that drives us to take steps everyday towards that goal. The “why” picks us back up after a setback and keeps us marching forward.

A perfect example is the unspoken goal “to be the best mom I can be for my kiddos.” Everyday, you get up, smile, give hugs, share love, teach, take care of, feed, listen. You take steps and make strides daily towards this unspoken goal of being a great mom. Even on the toughest, most chaotic days, you keep going. Your purpose is clear. He’s right in front of you. Every step you take towards this goal makes his life bigger, better and more beautiful.

Take another goal you have for this year and make it count like motherhood.

Why do you want to exercise more? What will be different about your life? How will exercise create a better life for you? Can you imagine this life?

Without a clear purpose to our goals, the dishes, the dog and the deadlines will trump your commitment to yourself. You have the power to go deep, to find that clarity that will take you through the toughest days and the biggest setbacks. You, mama, have the power to achieve your New Years resolutions with a clear PURPOSE driving you to New Years Eve 2015.

Tell me in the comments, what are your New Year’s Resolutions and why do you want to achieve them? Be brave and say them out loud!

Healthy Holiday Kid-Friendly Treats

christmas cocoa

This year, we’re having a holiday party and I’m soooo excited, I can hardly wait! Growing up it was a tradition for extended family and friends to attend my nana’s annual Christmas Eve party. It’s hard to put words to the emotions that are tied to that experience for me, but it never quite felt like Christmas until after my nana’s party. Her house was filled with gorgeous holiday decorations, celebratory food and holiday cheer that are etched in my memory right alongside her hearty laugh and contagious smile. I miss my nana deeply around the holidays and hope that I can recreate the christmas spirit for my son the way she did for me.

My dilemma for our holiday party has to do with sweet treats. For most of us, it isn’t a kick-ass holiday party without sweet treats (and yummy drinks) to fill our bellies! But as a kid, too much sugar, gluten and butter made me feel nauseous, tired and even crabby.

It’s no surprise because that’s what sugar does to little bodies (or any body for that matter)!

angry child with santa outfit

I doubt any kids want to feel junky during the most wonderful time of the year. That’s why for this year’s holiday party, I’ve searched for a few yummy, holiday treats that are kid-friendly and junky-feeling free. I’ve scoured my favorites sites for some oldie but goodies and new treats too. Every recipe listed here is gluten and dairy free, but you’ll also find them to be refined sugar free and low sugar too. Plus, since I have a few nut-free kiddos joining us, I’ve included nut-free treats too. Enjoy!

Gluten-free and dairy-free

Real Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies by Danielle Walker, author, Against All Grain – you can’t go wrong with chocolate chip cookies and these are so unbelievably yummy that I had to share.

Soft Pumpkin Cookies by Adrienne from Whole New Mom blog – you can use sweetener of your choice like maple syrup and skip the stevia

White Chocolate Chai Cookies by Kelly Brozyna, author and blogger, The Spunky Coconut – these look amazing for kids and adults alike

Snickerdoodles by Elana Amsterdam, author and blogger, Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry – my husband flipped for these cookies too!

Nut-free

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bites by Danielle Shea Tan, nutrition coach and blogger, Healthy Mamas for Happy Families – these may not look pretty, but they sure do taste delicious!

Pumpkin Bread by Danielle Walker, author, Against All Grain – turn this  yummy bread into mini muffins and they’re perfect for small hands!

Peppermint Marshmallow Crunch Cookies by Danielle Walker, author Against All Grain – these are melt in your mouth good.

Tell me in the comments, what are your favorite healthy holiday treats? How do you make them kid-friendly?

 

Preparing for Healthy Holiday

Happy Holidays. That’s a command – not a statement.

“I love it when the holidays hit and I’m so stressed out from purchasing gifts, cleaning, decorating and cooking!” Said no mom. Ever.

Stress holiday womanThe holidays are supposed to be wondrous. Families gather, delicious food is shared and bountiful blessings are bestowed on those who seek the true meaning in gathering and gift-giving. But all too often the stress of visiting with, ahem, less-than-perfect family members, financial obligations and errands has you wishing some of the holiday magic could send you elsewhere. Like to the nearest spa.

So here’s what I’m proposing for this upcoming season: Put yourself at the top of your list. Nourish your body properly, rest well and take care of your emotional health during this season and you’ll experience more fa la la’s than arrghs!

If you’re stressed, cortisol increases, which means so does your appetite . . . and your desire for sugar, salt and fat. Ugh. However, keep your cortisol calm and you’ll keep the crazies in check. Sound like a plan?

keep calm and love holidays

 

Here’s how:

  1. Make way for workouts: Schedule these in and don’t flake. Cardio workouts relax tense muscles and release endorphins perfect for stopping stress. Even just 10-15 minutes a day can do wonders for your stress level (and your metabolism)
  2. Meander to meditation: Whether you take a yoga class or sit still in your living room, you’re going to stop, think and breathe in a way that can radically reduce stress.
  3. Bust out a healthy breakfast: Choose something with healthy protein, lots of fiber and good carbs, such as steel-cut oatmeal, eggs or a smoothie. Bonus points if you buddy-up to blueberries.
  4. Suss out the sugar in your day: Be mindful of what you’re snacking on. Choose things like nuts and berries, crispy kale chips and apples with peanut butter, instead of “chocolate covered” something. Check that morning latte too, it could be the downfall of your entire day!

One final note. The more relaxed you appear, the better time your family will have. And that’s the whole point of the holiday season. Enjoy. Revel. Love. Repeat.

What steps are you taking this holiday season to stay relaxed and healthy? Tell me in the comments what are your biggest challenges, what’s worked for you in the past. Mama, I want to support you!