It’s hard to believe that we’re in the third month of 2017 already! Now is the right time to start evaluating all the New Year resolutions you promised yourself at the strike of midnight last year. Although I’m not really one to make new year resolutions because well, I tried that in the past and the pressure to fulfill them was just too unreasonable. So, for the past few years I realized that making easy to reach goals throughout the year was much more realistic and attainable. It has worked for the most part and I don’t feel as pressured or disappointed if I’m unable to fulfill the bigger goals and aspirations.
This year let’s start off with some easier goals to make and achieve. I’m going to start the first week with a healthy topic that is suitable for both kids and adults. With each new year the desire to start fresh or new is just waiting to jump out of my body. While children may not truly understand this concept or desire since everything is practically fresh and new to them, for grown ups however having a fresh start is invigorating and exhilarating. I’m not referring to anything big or major, but just the thought that I can do something to make my life better is always a nice thought.
The new year is a great time to start getting rid of things. Things that may tie us down or hinder us from moving forward in our lives. It could be eating cleaner and healthier, or clearing out unnecessary items in our home, or negative thoughts that cloud our minds day in and day out. To do these cleansing rituals, let’s start off with a list and then deciding if they are attainable. Each person can have a different goal set but keep in mind that the new year brings in a healthier and happier outlook in life.
Commandments of a clean mind and body:
1 – Toss out any leftover Christmas/holiday items from last year: scraps of wrapping paper, Christmas lights that don’t work, holiday decorations that are old or torn, ribbon scraps, and bows that are misshaped or damaged. Toss out gift boxes or re-purpose them into something else. Gift boxes tend to clutter up the home if you have too many. If you’re particularly attached to any of them, keep the fancy ones and reuse them as container boxes. To further help the environment, find recycling centers in your area that can recycle these items. If not, ask your local elementary schools if they would like wrapping paper, bows, and ribbon for classroom projects. Or, have your kids make some fun projects that can be placed in picture frames or re-purposed into their growing home projects.
* Tip for tossing these items out: Seeing extra scraps of paper, torn ribbons, bows, and anything broken just leads to frustration of the mind and eyes. Sometimes we tend to hold onto objects that we think we might use again. Seriously consider what you would reuse them for and if you don’t plan on reusing them within the next three months, then toss them out.
2 – Toss out “junk food” in your fridge and pantry and replace them with healthier versions. Yes, there are healthier versions to the conventional types of junk food out there. While once in awhile we may indulge on the occasional junk food snack, keep in mind that if you don’t keep them in the house, you won’t feel the need to eat them.
* Tip for tossing these items out: Go to the natural grocery store and head straight to the natural and organic food aisle. There you will find many alternatives to the conventional unhealthy versions. Food products can be organic and made without any artificial ingredients. Trade unhealthy versions of yogurt with healthier organic versions. Trade greasy GMO chips with non-GMO, baked, or kettle style chips. Trade ice cream for gelato and dairy-free ice cream. Most importantly read labels and ingredients to get a better understanding of what you’re buying.
3- Toss out old, unworn, and damaged clothing. Sometimes we tend to buy clothes when they’re on sale or if we need them for an emergency occasion or function. But if you haven’t worn the articles of clothing for over six months and it’s already a new season, donate them or give them to someone you know. For damaged clothing, see if they can be fixed or re-purposed into rags or other types of clothing (jeans into shorts; long sleeves into short sleeves; long skirts into shorter skirts, etc.)
* Tip for tossing these items out: The general rule for keeping clothes is if you haven’t worn them in over a year, then toss them out. For clothes to have some value they would need to have been worn at least three times. Great places to donate are donation centers and consignment shops where you get a percentage back from the value of the sale.
4 – Yard cleanup is probably one of the most satisfying endeavors for a healthy home. Start by clearing out all the debris that’s in your yard such as fallen leaves, trees that need to be pruned or trimmed, dirt and soil from all the rain, and any broken flower pots and furniture. This will clear up space in your yard and help create a calmer and more serene scenery.
*Tip for cleaning up the yard: old debris in the yard left untouched can create germs, bugs, and even rodents! These are dangerous to have around the yard if your kids like playing in them and might accidentally touch or pick some up.
5 – “De-junk” your snacks. Yes, there is a way to “de-junk” all of the snacks that we see in grocery stores. While our brains may have been trained at a young age to buy the big name brands, we are also getting smarter and more adept at discerning between what is healthier for us and how certain ingredients trigger the “addiction” to unhealthy food. Unhealthy snacks are snacks that contain artificial ingredients, high fructose corn syrup, chemical preservatives, and many others. For a list of the top 7 scariest ingredients found in food, visit: http://digest.naturallysavvy.com/scary-seven/ for a complete list.
*Tip for cleaning up your snacks: Most children love to snack, whether it’s sweet grapes or greasy potato chips. But as parents we need to be extra diligent in the kind of snacks we buy and give to our children. Children’s bodies are best nourished with foods full of vitamins and minerals and not the sugary, artificially colored and flavored treats you find lurking in the grocery aisles. While some conventional snacks are unavoidable, it’s best to remember that children’s bodies absorb more of these harmful ingredients so try to keep it at a minimum.
6 – Toss out plastic containers. Those plastic containers that are either from restaurant leftovers or purchased from the store create more landfill than necessary. Most restaurants use plastic containers that can’t go into the recycle stream thereby ending up filling the landfills which takes thousands of years to fully decompose if at all. If you do end up with lots of plastic to-go containers, consider upcycling them into something you can use around the house or give away. And instead of buying more plastic containers from the store, consider reusing the restaurant containers a few times to really get some good uses out of them. Most store-bought containers are made from materials that can’t be recycled although more and more companies are changing to containers made from recycled materials. Also consider purchasing and supporting environmentally conscious companies that use recyclable materials in all of their products.
*Tip for tossing out plastic containers: Many plastic containers are made from materials that can’t be reheated in the microwave or can break or crack if used too often. If you do find plastic containers (from restaurants or store-bought) that are made from recycled materials, consider reusing them or upcycling them to give them a longer life. Certain chemicals in plastic have been known to cause certain illnesses so avoid them when possible.
7 – Toss out chemical cleaning products. Cleaning is important in our lives in order to maintain a healthy body and environment. But cleaning with toxic chemically-made products actually does more harm in the long run. Non-natural cleaning products can leave behind toxins that we wouldn’t want to inhale, touch, or eat off of. Chemical cleaning products may seem like they’re actually disinfecting and cleaning, but they leave behind more harmful residue than actually cleaning anything. Naturally made cleaning products, whether store bought or homemade can clean just as well as conventional cleaners if not even better. Certain ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils are naturally designed by nature to clean, disinfect, and get rid of germs. Using naturally derived ingredients to clean your house will prevent toxic residues and end up on surfaces and inhaled by your young ones.
*Tip for tossing out chemical cleaning products and using naturally derived cleaning products: consider that conventional cleaners were manufactured in a lab with unpronounceable ingredients and can actually cost more to purchase. DIY cleaning products using ingredients found in nature and probably in your house saves you money, time, and your health. For recipes on how to make your own natural cleaning products, check out my previous post here.
8 – Clean up your computer. At one of my old jobs I had to keep all the emails that I received for documentation and resourcing. But in order not to get inundated with insignificant emails I had to sort and categorize almost every type of email. Well, the same should be applied to your home computers. Whether you use your desktop/laptop for personal use, business, or both, keeping it clean and free of junk helps streamline your work and optimize your computer to work at its best. Make folders of certain categories so that when you get emails that are important or you need to go back to later, you can easily find them in their designated folders. And deleting junk emails is just like throwing away your junk snail mail. Read them quickly and get rid of them. And then don’t forget to delete all of the emails and documents in your trash folder too.
*Tip for cleaning up your computer: Consider how easy it would be in the future when you have to find something quick. Instead of searching through your thousands of emails, you can simply look through the designated folders and find what you need there. It will save you time and insanity and free up your computer’s memory.
9 – Toss out old periodicals, donate books, and revisit your craft supplies. A new year is the perfect time to decide if you should renew your magazine subscriptions or renew them as digital copies only. Digital magazines and books are easier to reuse and saves tons of paper and ink that end up in our landfills. Books that you no longer read or care about, such as outgrown children’s books can be donated to schools and libraries or start a book swap with your friends. Perhaps there are books that your children would love to swap with their friends and vice versa. It’s okay to keep favorite books or books that are autographed or rare, but when in doubt donate them or give them to friends and family.
*Tip for clearing out unwanted paper goods and craft supplies: Books are never ending journeys that can be revisited without costing any extra money. But when books are completely worn out, outdated, or outgrown, they inevitably clutter our home and take up space. Same goes to the craft supplies that we think to ourselves, “we might just need that extra scrap of ribbon for another project”. Unless you’re a professional crafter or you craft regularly, there’s really no need to hold onto that 1/4″ scrap of ribbon or construction paper. And instead of throwing them in the trash, see if your kids can make creative projects out of those scraps for you to frame or them to give away as gifts.
10 – Clear out the clutter in your mind and life. Most of us nowadays have either more than one job or are working parents or stay at home parents with several kids. No matter what, we all have some kind of clutter lingering in our minds and lives. Ask yourself is it necessary to hold on to damaging thoughts and feelings. Think about what those detrimental thoughts are doing to your health and to your life. Are they affecting your way of living or your loved ones? Do they cause you so much stress that you barely have time for doing anything relaxing? Find healthier solutions to resolving these harmful lingering thoughts in your head and move on. Even a little bit of stress can cause health problems later on in life.
*Tip for a peaceful mind: Meditation and being aware of what bothers you can help you find better solutions to live a healthier life. A healthy life equals healthy eating and healthy mindset. Determine what is holding you back and what is triggering you from making harmful choices and decisions. When you can let go of things that are preventing you from living your life to its fullest potential, you’ll be happier and possibly live longer.
So this year try something different that will make your life better. If you have children, teach them and lead them to make healthier choices in life so that they can grow up into happier and better individuals.
Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.
Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.