New Year Resolutions to Make (That don’t Involve Dieting)

Once again the time has arrived; January, where we all make a list of resolutions or goals that we want to accomplish in the upcoming year.  Some of these we will keep, some of these we will break in a matter of days.

While I have not polled my friends, based on many conversations and Facebook statuses, it seems a common theme of most resolutions seems to be diet and weight loss related.  These are also the goals that are broken the quickest.  In this battle of the waistline that I have fought for the last several years, I have learned many things.  The most important of those lessons is that winning the war for your health is a mind game.

Practicing mindfulness in many areas of your life is a sure way to make improvements!  When you have your mind in the right place, the weight loss and good health often seem to follow, so today, I’m offering fifteen suggestions (in no particular order) to make your New Year’s resolutions that don’t involve dieting, but will improve your health!


*Organize your schedule.  Buy a real day planner.  Color code your family and write it all down.  Don’t allow yourself to over-schedule your time and let busyness consume you.  Be mindful of your time and what you are doing with it.  Take a few minutes each Sunday night to look at your week and adjust what you can to make your week as stress free as possible!

college girl planner

Two of my three girls keep color-coded planners as well

*Say “NO” more often.  It’s definitely OK.  We tell our kids no on a regular basis; now learn to say it for ourselves.  Don’t add more to your plate than you can handle or you will find yourself gasping for air wondering where your days, weeks and months have disappeared.  If you are already in charge of multiple projects, try delegating so that you aren’t in charge of every detail.  Save your sanity and say no to more.

*Unplug after supper.  If you are spending your evening answering email and text messaging, it’s time to step back.  Leave your job in the office and savor your moments at home.  Set a pretty table and linger to talk with your family longer after dinner, read a magazine, cuddle with your spouse; there are so many better ways to spend an evening at home.  There have been numerous studies that say unplugging helps you calm down and even sleep better.

*Speaking of sleep, go to bed early.  Our sleep is when our body and mind recover from the day.  We need rest.  You can always record that late night show to watch on the weekend or even catch it onDemand.  Rest is so much more important than a show.  Make your room a sanctuary from the world (no TV, etc… ), dress up your bed with fabulous sheets and covers, and dive in to rest at night!


*Take care of yourself.   Seriously, if you don’t take care of yourself, who is going to do it for you?  Enjoy downtime and don’t fret if you are not busy.


Go to the gym, take a walk, indulge in a hot bath, read a book, eat more fruits and veggies and less Chick Fil A, get a hair cut…  Little things go a long way to taking care of yourself.


*Go Outside.  Yep, take a walk around the neighborhood.   Head off to a dog park and play with your furry child.  Plant a flower garden. Visit a local state park and walk.  Try following a couch to 5K plan.  Stroll through a farmers market.  Just get out more and sit less.


*Explore where you live.  I know we all don’t have a Central Park, Williamsburg or Stone Mountain …. OK I live 15 minutes from Stone Mountain, but there are plenty of options for exploring.  Visit a state park and walk the trails or rent a canoe for the afternoon on the lake.  Investigate a little local history and walk or drive around looking for historical locations.  Take a day or weekend trip with the family to a touristy destination in your state.  There is a big ole world out there, and it begins in your backyard!


*Turn the TV off.  Open your mind to reading, enjoying a new genre of music, visiting with your family, or even preparing a gourmet dinner every once in a while.  With so much negative and trashy stuff on TV these days, turning it off only enriches your mind! Turning it off also adds a considerable amount of time to your day! Just so you know, I’m not saying never watch TV.  We all need our Chip and Joanna fix, the excitement of a Georgia Bulldog football game, and to enjoy the cheese of the Hallmark channel regularly, but don’t let it consume you!



*Let go of toxic people.  There is always that one person who is never at fault for the things they constantly complain about in their lives.  The one who spends more time being jealous of you than being happy for you. The one who demands all the attention no matter the occasion and is mad at you when they don’t receive it.  And the one who is always at the center of drama “yet never knows why.”  I’m not saying never speak to them and to just drop them, but there are far better people to have in your circle of friends, I promise.


*Eat out less and cook more!  Not only does this benefit your checkbook, you know exactly what you are eating!  Who wants a ton of additives and artificial ingredients as well as other people’s DNA going into their food, when you can easily control every aspect of what your are dining on.  You can meal prep on your off day or fix a little extra with supper the night before.  And there is nothing wrong with a yummy sandwich on whole wheat bread and crisp veggies for lunch at work.  You’ll feel better eating real food, and you might find yourself tightening your belt a little as well.


*Drink more water.  Replacing common beverages like cokes, juices, and booze with water can have a significant impact on your health and wellness.  Staying hydrated with water can also improve your physical appearance and keep you feeling full.  When your body is dehydrated, you often think you are hungry, when you really aren’t.  If you are bored with plain old water, dress it up with fresh fruit and a little mint!


* Find a new hobby.  Learn a new lettering technique, to cook French cuisine, a new language, try weight lifting or barre,  or paint and rearrange your own house.  Extend yourself!


*Give back.  There are days I feel so locked up in myself its hard to remember there are people who need us.  Read to the elderly at a nursing home, become a mentor, volunteer in a soup kitchen, work an after-school program… this list goes on and on of ways you can help others.  You will encourage someone else by giving back, and you will feel better not focused on just yourself.

*Forgive someone.  This is not for them, but for yourself.  Holding onto grudges or feuds has a negative impact on your health both mentally and even physically as stress and anxiety develops over the issues.  Sometimes you just have to say I forgive you, apologize for whatever you may have done as well, and let it go.  What the other person does with the forgiveness and apology is on them.

*Finally, practice gratitude each and every day.  We all have bad days, but even on the worst of days, there are little things that are still good.  Practicing gratitude improves your mood and attitude.  Try to keep a list throughout the day (write it in that day planner you’ve invested in) so that you are focused on the good things in your life no matter how big or small.


Nothing like ending the day with a little peace of mind.

Happy New Year my friends, and I wish you much success with your resolutions!!



It’s A Shiny New Year!

I’m not sure when or how, but the holidays came and went in the blink of an eye and here we are, through the first week of a shiny new year!  I love a new year, don’t you?  It’s such a beautiful time when we have the hope of leaving a conflicted time behind us and begin anew with a beautiful, clean slate.

Resolutions have never been something I’ve made in the past (who really keeps them?), but for some reason I felt a little more compelled to do so this year.

You see, I seem to have found myself at a little crossroads of sorts filled with inner turmoil and conflict as 2015 rolled into 2016.  It’s time to make some changes and focus on improving myself.  For some unknown reason I am my own greatest enemy and I keep sabotaging myself because of self-esteem issues and trying to please everyone else.  These emotions I am experiencing are affecting my little family as well, and I do not want that at all!

With a season of change looming on the horizon, we kicked our New Year off in the best way possible with a little family get-away to the Florida Keys.  This was the first time in twenty-one years we turned off football and parties; leaving our traditions behind to start our year off on the right track!  It’s inspired me to definitely focus less on the world and more on my family, our spiritual lives and our well-being.

New Years Eve Sunset cruise on the Jolly II Rover sailing from the port at Key West.

New Years Eve Sunset cruise on the Jolly II Rover sailing from the port at Key West.

This isn’t going to be a “new year, new me” post, but more of a “new year let’s get our act together” post!

“The wife and mother in a family often ‘sets the tone’ in the home. The ‘tone’ God wants her to set is one of joy, optimism, and a delight in the Lord and in her family.”

~ Martha Peace

So here are a few of my resolutions to fill this clean slate that is 2016:

*Let go and let God.  I spend so much time trying to control every aspect of my life that I am losing my relationship with God.  It’s time to give Him all of my life, let Him take control and become number one in my life again.  As a wife and momma I have the ability to make our home in a way that either brings my family closer to God or tears them away.  I for sure don’t want to do the later by neglecting God in my own life.

“Unless the LORD builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain…”

~Psalm 127:1

*Create balance and harmony between work and home.  I let my job stress me out so much that it is truly affecting the atmosphere of our home.  It’s not good for my husband, my children, nor myself.

I'm in the process of creating my own space for keeping our family organized as well as a place that I can slip away to regroup and refocus.

I’m in the process of creating my own space for keeping our family organized as well as a place that I can slip away to regroup and refocus.

When it comes to developing character strength, inner security and unique personal and interpersonal talents and skills in a child, no institution can or ever will compare with, or effectively substitute for, the home’s potential for positive influence.
~Stephen Covey

*Start saying “no”.   There are many sides to this “NO”…. “No” to working when I’m not scheduled (after Elizabeth Arden gift with purchase ends… I do have a customer base to be available for and goals to meet as a part of my job).  “No” to over-extending myself trying to play perfect mom.  “No” to people pleasing, and “NO” to feeling serious mom-guilt when circumstances beyond my control affect little things in my life.

It's time to stop and smell the flowers instead of trying to "Keep up with the Jones'" No pun indended.

It’s time to stop and smell the flowers instead of trying to “Keep up with the Jones'”
No pun intended.

*Get back on track with my health and fitness goals.  I have maintained my weight for over a year now, but it is not the goal I set for myself a couple of years ago.  It’s time to quit being lazy while maintaining, and hit those goals!  Besides, if I am not happy with myself nor am I as healthy as I should be how can I take care of my family?  They look to me as an example and I need to be that example 24-7 in all aspects of life!

This is how I've changed in the last couple of years; it is time to continue my journey. When I have my physical in June I want the nurse to tell me I am no longer in the obese catagory when she calculates my BMI.

This is how I’ve changed in the last couple of years; it is time to continue my journey. When I have my physical in June I want the nurse to tell me I am no longer in the obese category when she calculates my BMI.

*Tackle my to-do list and make progress!  I have dabbled in so many projects that are only half complete over the last several months that it’s really embarrassing to have nothing to show for it.  It is time to clean, sand, paint, decorate, and organize our house and truly make it a home!

desk project

*Incorporate more simple goodness into my home and in my own life in an effort to create a blessed and cherished atmosphere for us all.  Detoxing from technology (phones, kindles, etc…) is at the top of this list, closely followed by decluttering, less television and more games, books and outdoor activities.

I also plan to sit down and take in every page of this beautiful and inspiring book (Modern Mix) by my friend Eddie Ross!

I also plan to sit down and take in every page of this beautiful and inspiring book (Modern Mix) by my friend Eddie Ross!

Strength of character may be learned at work, but beauty of character is learned at home.
~Henry Drummond

*Open up our home more to friends and loved-ones, making everyone welcome, wanted and cherished.  I miss having friends over to play cards, watch the “big game” or dine with us.  There is no reason that we stopped, except excuses.  Our doors are open, our table is set and it’s time to focus on building personal relationships with others, not a text or Facebook relationship. When people leave our home, I want them to feel appreciated and wanted in our life.

table setting

There are also some smaller tasks to focus on this year, but these are the ones that have sat on my heart most heavily and the resolutions I fully intend to keep. When 2016 ends, I want to look back and truthfully say this was the year I kept all my resolutions and made a positive change in my life!  I also want my children to know setting goals to improve themselves in all aspects of life is most important and not something they should take lightly.  At the end of the day I want to be an example they can be proud to emulate in their own adult lives.  Setting and keeping positive goals that benefit us all is a great way to help with that!

The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.


Did you make resolutions this year?  I would love to hear about them!


happy new year 2015 wishes in oriya

Here it is, already January 5 and I am finally sitting down to post on my blog for the first time this year.  Several times I have opened my laptop with the intentions of posting, but all that came to mind was a blank page.  I wanted to share something useful; something that my dear readers may not find elsewhere and might actually use.

Looking back at 2014 was not an option (even though it was a slow year on the blog, it was still a VERY good year), as I find looking back takes the focus off the looking forward.  I didn’t want to bombard you with resolutions for the New Year as everyone has their own and quite frankly mine are very weak.

Thoughout the last several days as I have pondered on what to write, I decided that I needed a focus; a theme to carry me though this year.  One not only for the blog, but also for my life.  Believe it or not, my children and husband helped me (although they don’t know it) with this theme.

I want to focus on a total healthy lifestyle…. A healthy lifestyle that encompasses the mind, body and spirit.


In our house we didn’t have a break the entire Christmas holiday.  We worked, we stressed over cleaning, we traveled, we stressed over shopping, cried over school, and only had company over one time because we had no time for anyone.  To be honest with you the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas were not fun and the so-called break from work and school turned out to be anything but a break for Audley, the kids and myself.

And it was NOT healthy.

It’s also not the life I want for myself or my family.

Health goes beyond having a good check-up at the doctor’s office.  Healthy is a way of living.  It’s a lifestyle that we must choose that incorporates all aspects of living from how we take care of ourselves to how we relate to others to how we live in general.  It is elevating the everyday and making it just a bit brighter for ourselves and those around us.  It is totally all about the mind, body and spirit.

Let’s face it, we all put too much on ourselves without looking at the consequences of what it is doing to our health.  Thoughout the next few weeks and of course the year I plan to share ways to help us all work towards the healthy mind, body and spirit, as well as carry this theme or focus throughout the entire year.

A healthy life is stepping away from the weeknight crime dramas and picking up a book instead; maybe a little less going out to eat and more staying in, eating at the table with the family.  Healthy living involves organizing our homes instead of living in chaos, taking time to finish the multitude of projects we’ve planned or started yet set aside.  A healthy life is getting out an exploring the beautiful area in which we live instead of staying inside surfing the net or watching TV and it’s dressing up to go to the grocery store instead of wearing yoga pants.  Healthy living is finding a proper balance between spare time and work without stress and exhaustion eating at our very souls.


There is so much that makes up a healthy life that will keep our mind, body and spirit in balance and I hope that I will encourage you to find this life as well!

Happy New Year my friends!!

I know it’s going to be a good one!