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New Year New You!

So, the age old question....what are your resolutions for the new year? Odds are most people select one or some of the following:

1.) Lose weight/exercise

2.) Get more rest

3.) Reduce their alcohol consumption/quit smoking

4.) Spend more time with family

5.) Stop over-committing and running raged

6.) Go to church regularly

7.) Volunteer

8.) Eat healthier, cook at home, reduce going out to eat so much

9.) Save money for retirement

10.) Travel more

These are great goals and they can make you a better person IF you don't stress yourself out trying to be a better you. Example, if you want to lose weight, make it realistic. Don't expect to lose 40 pounds in 3 months (or honestly, in 6 months). Maybe instead say, " I want to be in a smaller pair of jeans this time next year and I'm going to do that by XXXX." Then, if you surpass that and are two sizes down by next year then you've rocked it!

I love setting goals for myself but typically don't even write them down. I've just never been that type of person. But a few of my "unwritten" goals for the beginning of the roaring 20's are:

1.) Set a good example for my boys by being a better Christian mom and friend to others.

2.) Make it a priority to have dinner and game night with our friends at least once a month.

3.) Give myself the gift of exercise and healthy eating so I can feel better about myself and keeping myself healthy for my boys.

4.) Go on an actual date with my husband here and there.

5.) Expand my cooking knowledge and reduce eating out!

6.) Learn how to make Meme's red velvet cake that actually rises! LOL. Thanksgiving 2017, three tries and a red velvet dump cake as a result. NUF.SAID.

7.) Continue to expand the Queen of Bags initiative through my pageantry.

8.) Compete in at least one pageant this year when my title runs up. (more news to come on this one soon. Eek!)

9.) Being a more eco-friendly person by reducing my waste and educating my children on how to be less wasteful.

10.) Get creative and crafty and find a few fun projects to up-cycle versus buying new.

So how do I plan on accomplishing these things without overwhelming myself? First off, I know it's okay not to accomplish all of them but I know for sure that I can because they are all "open-ended" goals.

Example, setting a good example. This is ongoing and I will have to work on this as long as I live. I am thankful to have great role-models as parents and parents in law but also through my church family. I also started a great new devotional called, "The Better Mom Devotional by Ruth Schwenk that my Mama gave me for Christmas. Taking the time for God and letting Him into my life is a great way to start or end the day. Another thing that helps me be a better mom and set a good example is by going to prayer group on Wednesday night. This is my mid-week pick me up that puts me back on track to get me through the rest of the week.

You can find that devotional here:

We talked about setting exercising goals above, but just remember, you don't have to set the goal of going to the gym every day for an hour at a time. I like to squeeze in things here and there to trick myself! In the mornings I do 200 squats while I curl my hair. It gives me some toning while I'm just standing there so why not. I also do hand weights at night while I'm watching TV. Judson and Tucker both have their little 1 pound weights and they think it's hilarious to do the exercises with me. LOL.

Eric gave me an apple watch for Christmas and it is so cool! One of the best friend, Kristin, is synced up to me so when she works out I know it and when I work out she knows it. It sets accountability for both of us and I'll be honest with you, if I see she's burnt more calories than me, it motivates me to go do something! She also makes fun of me for me 6 and 8 minute "workouts" when I do squats and hand weights but it's calories burnt right?! I'm putting a picture of me and Kristin on here because I miss her oh so much but thankful I get to chat with her almost daily and now our watches make us talk even more!

Another important one on my list that I am already doing but can consistently work on is reducing my waste. The town I live in recently was dropped by our recycling vendor due to them stopping their program. It stinks and our city is working to find a new vendor but in the meantime I need to do what I can to reduce my waste so I'm helping in ways I can control. A few ways to reduce your waste this year are below.

1.) Get a reusable water bottle. Stop buying bottled water in bulk and use your filtered fridge water. If you don't have one of these on your fridge, get a Brita filter on your sink or a Brita pitcher and fill it up. There are so many cute water bottles out there. My boys love their fun Super hero ones and they last a long time.

This is one of my favorite brands:

2.) Buy reusable straws and use reusable plates versus disposable. You can also find composting straws, plates, napkins, utensils, and cups if you are having an event or party. Amazon has a lot of options out there so check them out! My husband despises paper straws and a lot of places use them now (especially in Florida) so either do like him and opt for no straw or carry your own reusable straw like I do! These are some of my favorites and I found mine at Wal-Mart.

3.) Stop using the plastic bags and start using your own bags. I admit sometimes I forget my bags or I underestimate my shopping trip and have to get plastic bags here and there and if you do, it's okay, just remember to take them back to the recycle bin at the store. Wal-Mart always has a bag recycle so anything I get from any store I take there to let them recycle.

4.) Reduce your baggies by using tupperwares and reusable cloth or rubber baggies. One of the hardest things with my kids going to school now is that I am asked to put everything in disposable bags and use disposable utensils. One way to reduce your waste would be to give them composting utensils.

Lastly, I want to volunteer and give back as much as I can without overloading myself and shutting down. I try to make things that are fun and that my entire family can do. They don't have to be huge events, or something that I planned myself, but just showing up and being there for others is a huge help. Give back time at your church and do something with the kids. I love doing this and it's also a way for me to know how to talk to my own children about the Lord. Take your family to the park and clean it up while you're there. Take a trash bag and pick up some of the litter. It doesn't take much time but you've also set a good example and made a positive impact on somewhere you love. Ladies, save those mascara wands and send them to Wands for Wildlife. You can help save a life just be recycle your old wands. I mean how cool is that ladies! Below is a helpful link for this!

There are so many ways you can uphold your New Year New You Resolutions but don't give yourself a hard time if you slip a little. We tend to put so much pressure on ourselves that when we do slip we think we've failed. Don't ever give up on being a better you, no matter if it's January, July, or December 31. It's never too late to be fabulous! Happy New Year!!!!

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