This past December I was contacted by the folks at ZonePerfect to see if I wanted to participate in their 2014 Blog Forward Challenge by ZonePerfect. Over the course of 2014 I would be given three resolution-themed challenges, where I would be asked to write up blog posts sharing my new resolutions and how I am working to stick to them in 2014. Throughout the program, ZonePerfect would send along inspirational content for me to share with readers, as well as help me stay on track with my 2014 New Year Resolutions. In addition to content, I would also be send samples of ZonePerfect products to try. I love a challenge, and thought that this would be a fun program to participate. Last year, through monthly blog posts, I shared how I was successfully losing the excess baby weight I had been carrying around from the girls births in 2010 and 2011, which was one of my 2013 New year's Resolutions. And, when the clock struck midnight on Dec. 31st, I made my new resolutions for 2014.
What were your new year's resolutions? Have you been successful thus far in keeping them. I have found that if I choose 3-5 top resolutions that they are easier to work at keeping throughout the year. My resolutions were 2014 included:
1) Turning off mobile devices from 5PM - 9PM, so that I can spend more time with family and be disconnected from all the social media pages, game sites, etc. that I find myself looking at the phone for. My husband even made the same resolution, as he found himself sitting down after dinner playing with his cell phone, while the girls used their iPads.
2) Continue to maintain the weight loss, and maybe lose 5-10 more pounds in the new year. This will be achieved by maintaining an exercise schedule, reaching for healthy on-the-go snacks like ZonePerfect bars when I find myself getting hungry or craving sweets, and drinking plenty of water.
3) Cut back on the number of times we dine out, so that we can have homemade meals around the table. I found that when we ate out, our food selection was limited to fast foods which were greasy and unhealthy in excess, and my weight loss/maintaining weight goals were thrown out the window, and I would have to work extra hard the following week to exercise and burn the calories and fat.
4) Sign up for one family activity on the weekends, and complete. Last year, my husband and I found ourselves getting burned out from being up most nights with the girls, that when the weekend came, either we would stay home, or I would take Savannah to a reading class, crafting event at the local craft store, or shopping. We weren't using our time on the weekends to bond and spend it together being protective.
5) A personal resolution I made for myself was to make a point to do 1 thing for myself daily, and to take at least 30 minutes for "me time" to recharge my batteries. Spending an entire day, 7 days a week with two active toddlers can really wear you out. I found myself going through the motions and not taking time for me to regroup and recharge. So, for 2014, I told my husband that after dinner, he would spend time with the girls while I either took a long shower, went upstairs to watch television, read a book or just sit quietly. But, that I needed "me time" while he spent quality time with the girls.
We take for granted so many things. And, before you know it, you blink and things are changing, your kids are growing up, etc. Since my cancer diagnose I have made a point to cherish each day as a gift and to make a point to spend as much quality time with my family as I can. But, like most of you, our crazy schedules oftentimes leave us asking for more time in the day to spend with family, complete additional work or personal tasks, or time to breath. So, when it comes to making and keeping resolutions, we usually give up when we start to see ourselves struggling to achieve the goals we set for ourselves, or reword our goals so that they are easier to achieve. I will not lie, the above resolutions have been a struggle to keep. And, some days I find myself wanting to reach for junk food when I am in rush, skipped meals due to running around, or are just feeling burnt out. And, when it comes to having the family disconnect from all mobile devices, I see even the girls struggling with this, as they get hooked on all the games, apps, videos, etc. available at their fingertips.
But, thanks to this Blog Forward Challenge by ZonePerfect, I am working extra hard to achieve the resolutions I have set for myself and my family in 2014. If you are finding yourself struggling with keeping your resolutions no matter what they are...weight loss, eating healthy, spending more time with family, etc., here are some great helpful hits shared by the folks at ZonePerfect that are helping my family and I keep our resolutions.
I printed the above information and have them taped to the refrigerator and my office cork board, so that when I find myself wanting to reach for an unhealthy snack, want to skip exercising, or get too involved with my work when I should be spending quality time with the girls, I can look at these useful tips, and remind myself what is really important to me, and get back on track.
In addition to sharing my 2014 resolutions, I was also asked as part of the 2014 Blog Forward Challenge by ZonePerfect to write a letter to my future self encouraging me to get back on track or celebrating my progress. If you have ever tried to write a letter, especially to yourself, then you know how hard it is. I took up journaling when I was undergoing cancer treatment in 2008, and found writing down my thoughts to be therapeutic, and really help me beat my cancer, especially on days I felt like giving up. A fellow patient shared a letter she had written to herself that she planned to read when she reached her 5 years out of treatment milestone. This would be the time that doctors would say she was in remission. At first I thought this was silly, but after reading her personal note to herself, I found myself writing my own letter, which I shared with my family last July, when I reached my 5 yr. out of cancer milestone and told I was cancer free and in remission. So, when the folks at ZonePerfect asked me to write a letter to myself, I knew that while it would be difficult to write, this letter would help me when I found myself wanting to give up on my resolutions. I could pull this letter out on those days and find inspiration through my words to get back up and continue on. If I was able to beat cancer and lose the weight last year, I could achieve my 2014 resolutions. Here is the letter I have in my office drawer, that I wrote to myself about keeping my resolutions.
Well if you are reading this letter, then you are probably finding yourself struggling to keep your resolutions...probably your weight loss goals. Don't reach for that bag of chips you have stashed in the pantry, or for a soda. Instead, fill your body with plenty of water, a healthy snack like fruit or even a ZonePerfect bar, and find a quiet space (if you can) to take a few minutes to breath and regroup. You have come so far since the clock striked midnight on 12/31/13, and you are well on your way to achieving your 2014 resolutions. Just remember how great you felt last New Year's Eve when you went out to dinner with your husband, followed by dancing, all while wearing that beautiful cocktail dress you had picked out in your pre-baby size. You felt like a million bucks, and had an amazing time. Well, this great feeling can be had again when you see your resolutions through to the end of 2014.
Not only will you be proud of yourself for your accomplishments, but your family will reap the benefits too...more quality time spent together, healthy eating habits, not having to buy clothes in a larger size just to feel comfortable, etc. Remember life is precious and we are all living on borrowed time. So, don't waste it by filling up on junk food, adding inches to your waist which may cause additional health conditions, missing out on quality time with girls while they are still young, or not taking time for yourself to regroup and recharge your batteries.
You can do this. Stop, take a few minutes to breath and remember why you made these resolutions in the first place. SAY THESE WORDS -- YOU CAN DO IT!
I wonder what the next challenge in the 2014 Blog Forward Challenge by ZonePerfect will be? Stay tuned.
Disclosure: I was selected to participate in the 2014 Blog Forward Challenge by ZonePerfect. Although I have entered the program and received complimentary product and ZonePerfect promotional items, I are free to comment about ZonePerfect in a positive, neutral or negative fashion. All views I share are mine and mine alone.