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Make 2005 New Year's Resolutions a Reality

Here are five baby steps to improve your health, family, and home in the New Year.

WebMD Feature

Eat right. Get organized. Rein in the kids. Sounds good on paper, but too vague New Year's resolutions won't happen. Instead, listen to ageless wisdom: To make changes, take baby steps.

 

 

New Year's Resolution No. 1: Eat Healthier

When eating habits need an overhaul, baby steps work best. "Making minor changes in your lifestyle is doable for most people," says Cindy Moore, MS, RD, director of nutrition therapy at The Cleveland Clinic and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

If you want to get more calcium, vegetables, and fish in your diet, here's how to work it into your daily schedule:

 

  1. Drink one glass of low-fat milk at breakfast or lunch. "People are more successful at making changes if they start early in the day," Moore tells WebMD.

  2. Bring baby carrots or grape tomatoes to work for lunch every day.

  3. Eat one vegetable (something green) at your evening meal.

  4. Designate two "fish days" every week. Decide your meal in advance, whether it's a tuna sandwich or broiled salmon. Suggestion: Buy fresh fish on your shopping day, and enjoy it that night.

  5. On paper, track your progress every day. Note whether or not you've met your goals that day. Also, note your weight and/or body measurements.

 

"Tracking makes you more accountable for your actions," Moore says. "You're more likely to follow through."

7 secrets to a healthier new year.

New Year's Resolution No. 2: Bond With Kids

Take a good look at your kids: Would you recognize them in a lineup? If life's so chaotic you're rarely together, that needs to change. Nadine Kaslow, PhD, a professor at Emory University School of Medicine and chief psychologist for Grady Health System in Atlanta, offers advice:

 

  1. Plan regular family fun, such as weekend outings or family vacations. "Parents can set the limits in terms of time and money," Kaslow tells WebMD. "But the family votes, and the majority rules. That means you don't always get what you want, but sometimes you do." It's a good life lesson.

  2. Schedule family meal time. Be realistic, but get everyone together several nights a week.

  3. Appreciate each other. Go to the kids' games and performances. Establish a family ritual for honoring achievements -- whether it's a parent's promotion, a kid's good grades, a first job, or the first band concert.

  4. Get the family involved in community volunteer work, such as a monthly Feed the Homeless program or helping with the city's annual Thanksgiving dinner.

  5. Plan family meetings to discuss issues of concern, like "chauffeuring" challenges.

 

Don't overwhelm the kids with all this at once. Baby steps, remember, for these New Year's resolutions. Get reacquainted with your kids gradually, one step at a time. But make sure fun is a top priority, Kaslow says.

Get more ideas for making resolutions as a family.

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