New Years Preparation For A Healthy, Productive Year

If you are struggling at night to do something besides sit on the couch, worry, eat or drink, then keep reading - this is my experience of what I did to change. 

This year is coming to a close and the New Year is upon us.  This time always make me reflective on how I've progressed towards being a better person, and if I'm serving my family well.


And given that I'm a perpetual list maker, I reflected on my notes from the beginning of this year, dated on 1/15/2015 where I found a list titled "Healthy Lifestyle". And you know what?  The list still holds true - this is what it takes to have a healthy lifestyle.
Because the picture isn't that great, I've typed it out here with better explanations rather than my shorthand self-reminders (I took the picture at 7:18pm tonight in my office lighting - ugh, right...).

I scribbled out this list when Ben was deployed as a reminder of things I could do at night while the kids were asleep besides vegetate on the couch and be sad, worried, drink wine, eat or worse.. Google news about Afghanistan...
I frequently reviewed this list in the beginning as a reminder to stay positive, stay on task and focus on things that I could and still can control.

Healthy Lifestyle

  1. No drinking alcohol (it is a depressant and leads to eating) 
  2. Bed on time (get at least 8 hours of sleep a night)
  3. Exercise daily (at least 30 minutes)
  4. Eat a lot of vegetables
  5. Drink lots of water 

Night Leisure Activities (instead of TV)

  1. Draw
  2. Paint
  3. Bath
  4. Read
  5. Yoga
  6. Crochet

Night Drink Options (instead of alcohol)

  1. Hot tea
  2. Chocolate milk
  3. Water with oranges/fruit

Night Snack Options (instead of junk)

  1. Edamame
  2. Fruit
  3. Turkey, Chicken, Ham

Define Accomplishments

Notice in the picture below I had also listed a bunch of projects?  These were things that I wanted to accomplish in 2015.  I no longer say resolutions, because frankly it sounds negative, so instead I identified projects to accomplish in a year. 
Surprisingly, I had accomplished all but 2 which I scrapped later because they weren't important to me anymore.  It's important to re-evaluate and figure out what matters and what doesn't. 
This year, I'm doing all of the above for a healthy lifestyle and I've developed additional lists of things to do that, as of right now, have a place in my mind.  I have a list of: 
  • 8 Projects to complete around the house (you can see these in the notebook below the orange notebook): Paint hallways, redecorate kids bathroom and paint cabinets, paint master bath and cabinets, finish Lil Man's afghan (that I started 6 years ago :) ), yearly photo book, and other stuff like that.
  • 4 Oil painting projects (as of now): 2 people portraits, 1 pet portrait and one landscape.
  • 2 Weekly activities to progress my art: weekly live model drawing class, weekly real-time oil portrait painting session.
  • 5 Categories of things to sell on eBay to get out of my house. :)
So you see, these aren't like 'profound' statements/accomplishments but when I complete them my family and I will be better for it.

What is your version of healthy lifestyle?
If you are struggling at night to do something besides sit on the couch, worry, eat or drink, then my suggestion to you is to make a list similar to the one above. You may have other nightly leisure activities, additional drink options, additional snack options but I think you'd probably get the idea..  Keep the list handy: bedside table, refrigerator, sticky note on your laptop/computer, screen saver on your smart device.

I've already started my lists for 2016 and I rewrote this Healthy Lifestyle list on the front page for reference along with this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson who spoke of the concept "divine discontent", which is the state of questioning whether we are walking God's perfect plan:  
"the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation".  - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Your call to action:
Why on earth am I sharing this?  Because frankly, I'm 40 years old and these simple lists helped me and my hope is that I might help someone else who is looking for more.  So, my call to action for you:

  • Write your list to make yourself a better fit for God's perfect plan: mind, body, soul and family.  
  • Write down what you'd like to accomplish.
  • Keep these lists near by and reference them and evaluate frequently - it is OK to change the list as life demands change.
God bless and I hope your next year is productive, happy and healthy. 

Stephanie Weaver

Grinning Like An Idiot: Create your Happiness. I'm a stay-at-home mom who doesn't 'stay' very well. I like to provide everyone with resources and ideas for crafts, painting and DIY!