Avoid the stress of New Year's resolutions by living in today

OK, so where'd it go? What the heck happened to 2018? We could've sworn it was just a few days ago we were griping about how Christmas decorations were on display before Halloween.

Veggies aren’t just good for you, they taste good, too – especially when they’re canned straight from the garden. (Photo courtesy of Annette Tait & Kate Kassian)

OK, so where'd it go? What the heck happened to 2018? We could've sworn it was just a few days ago we were griping about how Christmas decorations were on display before Halloween.

Now it's already time to come up with New Year's resolutions? That long-standing tradition has merits, but it also has thorns.

We've run into a few of those thorns ourselves. We've covered all the usual bases - eat right, get fit, get organized, you get the drift. And then we've run into life.

Small squares provide a hearty exercise routine.

It's kind of like that diaper commercial, the one that shows all the perfect first-time parents reading the books, getting all the gear, and doing everything just right. Then it shows the controlled chaos that happens after kid number two comes along.


We get it. After circling the sun this many times, we realize that achieving perfect is like waking up in tomorrow. No matter how many times we go to bed at night, we always wake up today. That's just how it works.

So instead of stressing out on New Year's resolutions, we take a slightly different approach to "becoming the best we can be." Whatever we need to do has to fit in with our lives. There's nothing more frustrating than failure, so why set ourselves up for it?

Let's start with our exercise program. Feeding large critters, cleaning up after them and occasionally chasing after them makes a good start. That's weight-bearing exercise and cardio, without having to find time to go to a gym. Add in other chores that need doing, inside and out, and we burn more than a few calories.

Vegetables can be a tasty and important part of nutritionally sound meals.

Our nutrition goals may not be your best road map. We're both a little on the fluffy side, because we love to cook and bake. And neither one of us is willing to watch everyone else indulge while we count calories. But we can guarantee most of our meals are healthy and made from scratch. And if we're crabby, it has nothing to do with hunger pangs.

Another "best" is to keep on learning. We haven't come across anything yet that can't get better in one way or another. No, we're not striving for perfect - there's no such thing. As humans, we have faults and foibles, some of which take a lifetime of work. Patience is a great example - we still haven't mastered that one, and it's been a long haul to get where we are today.

Having fun is an important part of self-care.

And then there's the toughest challenge of all: self-care. No, it's not selfish. Think about the airline safety briefing, where the flight attendant says to put your own oxygen mask on before assisting children or others. Why is that? Well, if you don't take care of yourself first, you may not be able to take care of anybody else.


That last one's tough. We were brought up with strong work ethics and "get 'er done" attitudes, the kind that don't rest until the job is done. We feel like we're slacking if we're not accomplishing something.

We need to remember that nourishing our minds is as important as nourishing our bodies. Children do this naturally, using their imaginations and feeding their curiosities. They laugh, they sing, they play and we all need to do the same. We're going to let those "inner children" of ours loose a little more often and see what they have to teach us.

So, come on 2019, show us what you've got. We'll show you how to make it even better.

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