Tips On Achieving Your New Year's Resolutions, Including Lose Baby Weight, Get Out Of Debt And More
Whether you’re a brand-new mom to a three-week old newborn and you’re just trying to keep your eyes open in between 3am feedings and diaper changes, or you’re deeply embedded in the trenches of motherhood, chasing after a toddler who is hell-bent on using his newfound walking skills to destroy anything in his wake, chances are you could use a few New Year’s resolutions to help you restore some balance to your life!
Resolution: Break down those overwhelming goals
Susie Shina, author of Fit Enough: The 7 Day Guide for REALLY Living your Life believes that new moms tend to give up on resolutions because it is often such a daunting task. Ms. Shina offers these tips to help them breakdown their huge goals into bite-sized daily manageable action steps.
- Breakdown your top five goals and assign one to each day of the day of the week. For example: Monday: Self-care, Tuesday: Marriage/Partner, Wednesday: Work/Hobby Thursday: Organization, Friday: Family
- On a calendar write down one specific activity that you will designate as your the goal for the day. Since as a new mom your schedule is forever changing it might be wise to pencil in your daily goals at the beginning of each week. And if you’re feeling especially pumped with energy- feel free to map out a month’s worth of daily goals!
- Each day accomplish ONE specific thing dedicated to that goal- Here’s a sample list—no pressure!
Monday: Do 30 minutes of circuit training and go for a long walk.
Tuesday: Have sex.
Wednesday: Spend one focused, isolated, guilt-free hour brainstorming to forward my business or hobby.
Thursday: Pack up baby clothes that do not fit and give them to friend, relative or charity.
Friday: Spend one hour focused on your family, sans TV or any other electronic devoices, and ENJOY each other.
- Keep a log of these and enjoy the pace, remember if you have time to do more and you feel like it, DO IT! - But don't feel obligated. If you've accomplished the one goal, the rest is just gravy!
- At the end of each month marvel at what you've gotten done and be sure to CELEBRATE your accomplishments every weekend.
Resolution: Lose baby weight
According to licensed marriage-family therapist, life and fitness coach and holistic health practitioner, Sara Holliday, MFT, CPT, shortly after having a baby, most new moms are concerned with losing their leftover- post baby, weight. Unfortunately most are often so overwhelmed by all the changes that take place with having a brand-new little person to take care of and they simply don't know where or how to begin. Ms. Holliday offers new moms these effective steps to lose weight and actually feel good while doing it.
- Take it Easy- Many moms eager to quickly lose their baby weight, plunge full speed ahead into an exercise routine – exercising too hard and too often. The result of too much-too fast is often injury, severe muscle pain, and/or exhaustion which can cause setbacks until your injuries heal and often cause new moms to abandon their fitness routine completely.
- Whether you stopped exercising during your pregnancy or exercised throughout, ease into your fitness routine with low impact exercises such as walking, swimming or yoga. For example, begin walking 10 minutes 3- 4 times per week and work your way up to walking 30-45 minutes 4-5 times per week.
- Have a Clear Picture of What You Want to Accomplish- Be specific about your goals. Most women know how many pounds they want to lose, but it’s important to be specific about what you want to achieve with your body. For example, do you want to have toned thighs? Flat abdominals? Firm buttocks? A simple way to figure out what you want to accomplish is to start at your feet and work your way up to your head.
- Write Down Your Goals and Postdate Them- Once you know what you want to accomplish, write down your goals as if they have already happened. For example: “I am 10 lbs. lighter” “I have toned thighs” “I have flat abs” “I have firm buttocks”. Then write the date you plan to accomplish the goal. Writing down your specific goals reinforces and clarifies what you want to accomplish. You’ll also be more committed to achieving your goals by the date you’ve set for yourself.
- Drink Water- My weight loss tip is to drink plenty of water. Our bodies are often dehydrated so we mistake hunger for thirst. Before every meal drink a full glass of water, and always bring a water bottle with you wherever you go!
- Reward Yourself- After each goal you’ve achieved, reward yourself with the pampering of your choice. You deserve it!
Want more post-baby weight loss tips? Read Celebrity weight loss secrets: Lose the baby weight
Resolution: Resolve to stress less
New mom, yoga teacher and author of the just-released book, The Anywhere, Anytime Chill Guide, Kate Hanley says new moms should resolve to stress less this year. She offers these three simple ways new moms can work stress reduction techniques into their messy, million-mile-an-hour days:
- Stand By Your Mantra. Pick a mantra, any mantra. It can be any phrase that is meaningful to you and reminds you to be the best version of yourself. Whether it’s “amen,” “om,” “peace,” “love,” or “bless the baby’s heart”, resolve to repeat your chosen mantra whenever you’re stressed—like when; the baby won’t nap or stop crying. It builds a tiny moment of reflection into your stressful moments, and helps you react with grace.
- Multitask, Mindfully. You may not have time to meditate for 30 minutes a day, but you can still make meditation a daily habit. The secret? Link it to one of your daily chores, such as brushing your teeth, washing the dishes, or taking a shower. Whatever task you choose, vow to concentrate on your breath while you do it. By directing your focus away from your swirling thoughts and onto the sound of your own breath, you give your mind a chance to rest. There is no law that says you must sit on a cushion to meditate.
- Remember to Breathe. A deep breath is the quickest way to short-circuit your stress response. Choose something you do every day and let it serve as a reminder to take a deep breath--whether it's changing a diaper, fixing dinner, or getting into bed at night. Or, choose a time of day, such as 8:18, and take a deep breath each time the clock strikes your magical hour.
For more tips on managing stress, read How to avoid depleted mom syndrome
Resolution: I will remember to bond with my partner/ have sex
Laura Lowell author of the book, 42 Rules for Working Moms firmly believes that humans need sex; it is a key way for us to feel close, loved and, yes, less stressed. “For my husband and me, it runs the gamut from sleepy “roll-over” sex to making love and connecting at a level that surprises us even after 22 years of marriage," says Ms. Lowell. “I know, sometimes you’re too tired, either physically or emotionally, because of all of the demands on your day. But sex doesn’t have to be perfect to have the desired effect.”
Ms. Lowell’s tip: Sex makes us happy, lowers stress, and keeps us connected. There are all kinds of sex. Enjoy them all, even the kind where there appears to be nothing in it for you, at least, at the time. In the end, you’ll find that everyone is happier, life is good, stress is low, attitudes are positive. It’s as simple as that.
For more tips on babyproofing your relationship, read Make time for your love life
Resolution: Get your finances in order
According to Consumer Credit Counseling Organization Novadebt’s senior counselor Kim Cole, it’s essential that new moms review their budget for 2009, and factor in all the additional expenses like; diapers, formula and daycare costs that their new baby can incur.
- Check your credit report; all three can be checked annually for free at annualcreditreport.com.
- Increase your tax-deferred savings contribution; 401K, 403B, etc.
- Speak with a financial planner about a possible 529 plan and different savings options for the child’s education
- Know how much of your income is going towards servicing debt. If that amount is too high, create a plan to reduce or eliminate the debt.
- And new moms should always keep in mind when developing their spending plan that it’s crucial to keep an emergency savings account. When you have kids anything can happen.
For more tips on budgeting for baby, read Baby on a budget