Family Fun – Make Your Own Pizza Night

family fun make your own pizza

I love spending time with the kids and creating opportunities for family fun. I’m always trying to think of ways to create quality time with them. Quality time doesn’t always have to mean doing something big or expensive. We do pretty regular family game nights and movie nights, along with a smattering of other activities. (Check out my Geocaching post for example.)

But even when doing a chill family night in, people need to be fed! So I decided to kill 2 birds with 1 stone and do a make your own pizza night! Everyone can experiment with putting different toppings on different slices, or just go ahead and make their good old favorite style of pizza.

By getting everyone involved in cooking dinner, you create a sense of togetherness while also creating a sense of independence and fostering living skills. Sitting around the table making pizzas, also creates a general light heartedness amongst everyone. Maybe it’s the casualness of the food – or maybe it’s the fun of not having to agree on what to make and eat. Whatever it is, it is the perfect time to talk and joke and just generally enjoy each other’s company.



It does involve a little prep, but it’s pretty simple.

If you have the time to make the pizza crusts too, more power to ya! There are many advantages to that. But to make it quick and easy (because those hungry bellies DO need to get filled), you can easily buy pre-made pizza dough.
So you’ll need dough, sauce, and any toppings you have on hand.
My kids like cheese so, even though I don’t eat it, I bought cheese for them. Things like spinach and mushroom are pretty easy because they’ll cook down enough on their own when you cook the dough. I had some broccoli and cauliflower on hand. The kids like when I saute it, so before we began I sauteed it. It was one more step, but one more I thought would pay off in child vegetable consumption. It’s up to you if you have time or want to include something that would add steps like that. Maybe leftovers would be a great option.

family fun pizza night - mom is such a nerd

family fun pizza night - mom is such a nerd

family fun pizza night - mom is such a nerd

I love seeing them experience a bit of independence in a life skill. It gives them confidence.

family fun pizza night - mom is such a nerd

family fun pizza night - mom is such a nerd

family fun pizza night - mom is such a nerd

family fun pizza night - mom is such a nerd

They crack each other up!

family fun pizza night - vegan pizza

I make mine vegan with no cheese. And I love veggies!
My camera conveniently died before I got a picture of the kids’ pizzas.

But the dough had directions to cook for 12 minutes. So once we got finished, I slid them in the oven (the kids’ first) and then we were able to enjoy the fruits of our own labor. And play games and hang out while eating pizza.

Learning, bonding, and eating. Le sigh…

family fun make your own pizza
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Meditation for Beginners – 3 Ways to Start

meditation for beginners - 3 ways

Beginning to meditate can be daunting to some people. It sounds all so easy – just sit and quiet your mind. But if you are anything like me, learning to calm that crazy monkey mind is tougher than it sounds. It’s why so many quit trying to meditate so quickly. Their practice ends before it begins. Which almost happened to me too. So if you need a little extra help meditating, why not try a different method? Here are 3 ways to meditate that I’ve seen or experienced working for beginners or just people who have a lot on their minds.

Guided Meditation

meditation for beginners - guidedA guided meditation, uses visual mental imagery. By focusing on a relaxing scene, you give your brain something to keep it from wandering while also calming your thoughts.

To do a guided meditation, we actually like to use youTube. There are some great resources on there. One we particularly like is The Honest Guys. My daughter listens to a guided meditation by them to help her fall asleep at night. Boho Beautiful also has some great meditations I like to listen to.

If you have listened to a few guided meditations you may have figured out what works for you. In that case, you can always guide your own meditation.

Even if you haven’t, you can picture a scene that relaxes you. Perhaps you are on the beach at twilight, hanging on a hammock between two palm trees. You can close your eyes and listen to the waves peacefully crashing into shore. Or maybe you are camping in your favorite campground. Your sleeping bag is warm and cuddly around you. Close your eyes and listen to the crickets chirping. Think of whatever scene most relaxes you. I try to choose nature scenery. And then experience all of your senses using your mind’s eye. See it. What does it sounds like? Smell like? How does the  breeze feel? Can you almost taste the sea air on your tongue?

Walking Meditation

Ymeditation for beginners - walkinges, you can actually meditate while you walk. If you are new to meditation, this can be a good method because walking can be so peaceful and relaxing.

Find a quiet, calming location. Or somewhere you feel comfortable.

You can experiment with your focus.

Ffocus on the natural rhythms your body creates when walking – your breath or your footfall.

Or  use a focus word, such as “courage,” “dream,” or “create.” Say the word, out loud or in your head, with the rhythm of your feet.

Meditative Coloring

meditation for beginners - coloringColoring books are all the rage right now.

When you are coloring, your are completely focused on the task at hand. It helps keep you in the present moments and  let go of the other distractions.

It’s a great way to practice focus and mindfulness, if you have a hard time reeling it in.

 

Do you meditate? What method do you use?

 

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January 2017 Lifestyle Favorites

Lifestyle Favorites - January

2017 is already shaping up to be better than 2016. I’m already excited about what it has to hold. I know great things are in store for us. I have high hopes!

It’s so exciting when I find something or someway that makes my/our life a little easier, better, or more fun. I just thought I would share a few of my recent findings. So here are some awesome products/recipes/apps that I love.

        1. S’well Bottle
          My brother and sister-in-law got me this new water bottle for Christmas. I truly love it. I know S’well bottles are expensive but now that I have one, I totally understand why. I fill this puppy up every night (as well as multiple times during the day), put it on my bedside table, and when I wake up in the morning my water is still cold. It’s amazing and I love the color. It’s so fun and so pink which is amazing. But you can get almost any color or design if you prefer.
        2. Cuppow
          Another gift from my brother and sister-in-law. She gets me. 🙂 These are coffee style lids that go on top of mason jars and are then secured by the metal ring. They allow us to take drinks in the car or during family game night. (For some reason, cups and mugs seem to be ever more precarious during board games.)
        3. Minimalist Baker’s Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
          I am always looking for ways to streamline our routine. I love cooking, but I love even more when I find a way to make meals that are quick, easy, and kid-friendly. I love overnight oats because being able to toss a mason jar and spoon to my kids (and myself) makes mornings so much simpler. So when I found this recipe for overnight oats, I had to give it a try. We ALL loved it. My kids even said it tastes like peanut butter ice cream. I made it by the recipe (almost never do that!) and added bananas on top in the morning. It is absolutely superb!January Favorites - Overnight Oats
        4. Laser Tag
          I am always looking for ways to play together as a family – inexpensive and active ways especially. These galaxy blasters are especially great for that. My kids will happily grab one, toss one to someone else, and start firing without a thought for the TV at all. Of course, I enjoy being ridiculous because it makes it more fun for all of us. So run, hide, and roll around. They crack up and do it too. It makes us all laugh and hopefully creates some positive memories for them.
        5. App: Plant Nanny
          Plant Nanny is an app that my daughter found out about from one of her friends. Both of my kids have it downloaded on one of their devices. It’s an app that helps you to track your water consumption. When you drink water you record it on the app and the cute little plant grows. So they keep drinking water because they want to see their plant grow. After a while they will get sick of it, as they always do, but it’s nice that they become more conscious of their water consumption.

 

Have you found any new passions, strategies, or discoveries so far this year? How has January been for you?

* Mom is Such a Nerd is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This is at no extra cost to you and I truly appreciate it!*

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5 Free Ways to Remind Your Kids How Awesome You Are

I have so much fun spending time with the kids but sometimes they get this crazy idea that their mom is boring. So maybe cooking dinner or doing homework aren’t the most exciting things to do, but every 0nce in awhile I have to remind them just how cool and interesting I really am. So here are 5 free ways I keep in my back pocket to do just that.

  1. Geocache
    Find caches, add your name to the logs, mark them found on your app, and check out the map for where to go next. Downloading the Geocaching app and check it out. The free version only lets you check out the easier finds, but that may be all you need. Check out this post about the first time we went geocaching.Free Family Fun - Geocaching
  2. Camp in the backyard or build a giant fort in the house
    Right now we are living in a condo so we can’t throw the tent up in the yard. But we can still build all sorts of forts in the living room! We’ve always loved tying string to tables and chairs. Then we clip sheets to them with binder clips. Boom! Fort. We also have made them out of couch cushions. We’ll get sleeping bags and pillows and have a family sleepover complete with movie and popcorn.Free Family Fun Activity - Camp in the backyard
  3. Take interest in their interests
    They will find it hilarious, embarrassing, and also awesome if you take part in the things that they enjoy. When they want to take the scooters outside, I might just grab the scooter and scooter around too. They think it’s pretty hilarious to see me scootering towards them. My daughter, the diva, loves to act in plays. So in the fall, when she tried out for Mary Poppins, my son and I let her convince us to try out too. We were all in the play together. It was a ton of fun. This spring, my daughter is doing 2 plays, but we’ve decided that my son’s energy would be better expended in other ways.
  4. Make something out of boxes…seriously anything.
    Kids like boxes. Fact. There are so many things you can do with them too. They can be elaborate gingerbread houses or, for older kids, they can be quiet reading nooks. If you have a bunch of them – like after the holidays – you can even string them together and make mazes. With a paper plate (or construction paper) steering wheel, a box can become a car, truck, or rocket ship. We’ve also made cardboard gravestones out of deconstructed boxes. Have fun coloring, painting, or pasting things onto the boxes. Time to let your imagination take over.Free Family Activity - BoxesFree Family Activity - Boxes
  5. Make a papier maché volcano
    Use a bottle out of the recycling bin or use a tall cup for the center of the volcano. We place it in the center of a shallow box or pan. Then we use tape to create the bones of the structure. Use a flour and water mixture for the paste and strips of paper to create the actual volcano. I know little hands can get overzealous with the paste. So just remember the more paste used, the longer it will take to dry. You can paint it when it dries, or just get down to business erupting it with a baking soda/vinegar mixture. I use a ratio of 1:1. Sometimes we just use clear glasses and erupt baking soda and vinegar with food coloring or other fun twists. Or experiment with putting them in the glasses in different orders or different ratios.

Bonus Not-too-Expensive Way:

  1. Laser Tag
    We got these* laser tag blasters for a present. They are not too expensive and are so much fun to play with. We can easily let an hour or hours pass by without realizing it when we are playing the game. And it’s a great way to encourage a bit of physical activity even if you can’t go outside because of the weather or for whatever reason. Note: I do want to mention that the first laser blasters we got did not work. There was something defective about the batteries of one of them. This appears to be a fairly common complaint. Customer service was really nice and immediately shipped out a new set of blasters that worked. So we ended up with 3 working blasters which is actually even better because now we can all play together. But it’s something you might want to be aware of if you are thinking of giving them as a gift or something.

What do you like to do when you are hanging out with the kids?

Free Family activities pin


*This is an affiliate link. Mom is Such a Nerd is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This is at no extra cost to you and I truly appreciate it!*

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Make Family Dinnertime Work for You

Family Dinnertime

We’ve all heard that kids who eat dinner with their families:

  • get better grades
  • are less likely to do drugs
  • have higher self esteem
  • have an increased chance of graduation
  • have a lower risk of childhood obesity
  • etc, etc.

It seems like everyone is always touting the benefits of family dinnertime. But you are busy! You work late. The kids have sports after school and play rehearsal in the evening. There’s hours of homework to be done and dishes in the sink. So how are you expected to do this whole family dinner thing too on top of it all?

Firstly, don’t stress over it and don’t beat yourself up. There are ways to make it work for everybody.

It doesn’t have to be dinner.

A lot of the benefits of family dinnertime come from the sense of togetherness it brings, not solely from the food.
So if you tried to find a day that would work for you but there just isn’t one try a different meal. Maybe in the morning everyone leaves at the same time, so you could plan to have breakfasts together. Or after Saturday morning soccer games everyone gets back home at thes same time so you could arrange to do Saturday lunches every week. If that doesn’t work either, try a snack time before bed.
Food is an easy excuse to gather a family around a table, but if there really is no way to schedule a meal together, any kind of regular family time that allows for or facilitates conversation and togetherness can provide many of the same benefits.

Keep it stress free with easy meals.

Dinner doesn’t have to be gourmet. Trying to create entire fancy meals can be daunting and stressful. If you are stressed out during mealtime, you and your loved ones will probably not receive the full benefits of being together. Make it easy.
That Taco Tuesday we mentioned? An easy meal to throw together. The kids can even help rip the lettuce or take toppings to the table. Another favorite of ours is simply veggie sandwiches or wraps with homemade fries. Baked potatoes with lentils, veggies, or even just broccoli are great. Soups are easy to make. Rice bowls are quick if you make the rice ahead of time. Know simple recipes that everyone likes and keep simple foods on hand.
Meal planning can also help with this. Make ahead meals, slow cooker meals, things that are ready for you when you walk in the door are wonderful. One way that I make meals easy when I know we have a crazy week coming up is by utilizing a meal delivery service. Purple Carrot is one I use and highly recommend. (Read my review here.)

Get everyone involved.

The kids can help cook. They can also help clean up. They can put their dishes in the sink at least if they are really little and the older ones can put them in the dishwasher. The more people pitch in the easier it becomes for all.FamilyFamily Dinner - Make it Work for You

Pick a day and schedule it.

If you can’t have family dinner everyday, find a day during the week that people are home or at least, less busy. Maybe your kids don’t have anything scheduled for a certain day or your spouse can come home early one day. Dedicate that day to family dinners and let everyone know they are expected at the table.

Make it an event.

My kids love the idea of Taco Tuesday. That is an event they would never miss.
Often, on Fridays, we have picnic night. In the winter, when we can’t go outside, we put blankets and a tablecloth on the floor and have an indoor picnic.
My cousin has 4 daughters and 6 grandkids. He loves to cook out so the whole family – kids, grandkids, husbands, and boyfriends all get together and have a big family dinner on the weekends. It’s such a beautiful event with so much love and energy in the air that everyone looks forward to it and can’t wait to get together.
Big or small, making an event of it makes it fun for everyone.

Family Dinnertime Pin
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How do you find time for family bonding?

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LIVE – The Word of the Year

Live - Word of the Year

I’d heard of the word-of-the-year before. I always thought they were cool, but I never came up with one before because it was just too hard for me to figure out a word that could encompass a whole year. But while I was reading a post, suddenly it hit me and the word “LIVE” popped into my head. And that was that.

2016 was a rough year for many people. My family had a rough one too.  My father had a stroke. My mother was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and passed away a couple months later. My kids and I gave up a lot to be there and take care of him. I’m not complaining about it. I understand that it’s something that has to be done sometimes in families. But there was more screen time than I would normally condone. And a lot fewer outings, sporting events, birthday parties, etc. It was fine. We survived.

But I want to make sure 2017 is no longer about surviving. It needs to be about more than that. It’s about learning and laughing. Working hard and pursuing passions. I want my kids to enjoy life, to experience the world they live in, to question, to try, to feel joy. I want to work harder than I’ve ever worked and play more gleefully than I ever have. I want our family to grow closer, smarter, stronger, safer. We will be grateful with what we have. We will explore and seek to understand what we don’t. And we will make sure to give more than we take, to love, and mostly to LIVE.

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“What’s on your Shelf?” Reading Challenge – Books I Need to Read in 2017

Reading Challenge - What's on your Shelf

My shelves are beginning to suffocate me! They are teeming with books that I simply couldn’t resist! Those straight spines, those cover images, those intriguing titles, and most of all the calling of the potential information contained within.  I have always had trouble controlling myself when it comes to buying books.

Pair that with the overwhelming obligations of being in the sandwich generation, the emotional stressors of dealing with the death of a loved one, being a single mother, and you know…life, you can imagine just how many of those books have actually gotten read.

As mothers and caregivers, it is so easy to let parts of our own well-being slide. Mommy brain anyone? So as part of trying to keep my brain from turning to mush, I am desperately trying to rekindle one of my old hobbies. Reading! It feeds my mind and my soul.

I remember one time hearing about a “What’s on your Shelf?” Challenge. I feel like that is so fitting for me right now. I’m all about living intentionally and using what you already have. It’s time to apply that to my books. I’ve decided for this challenge I am going to read 12 books from my bookshelf, that’s one for each month. (Just for the record, I also read kindle books while putting the kids to bed because I can turn the light all the way down but still see it and I listen to audiobooks in the car.) These 12 books are books I’ve purely picked from the physical books on my bookshelf that have been sitting there, on the shelf, watching me sleep for over a year now.

These are the 12 books I’ve picked from the myriad of unread books. They are going to be read and/or donated THIS year!
(Please note that while these are affiliate links, I have not actually read them and cannot personally recommend them. Although, I am super excited to 

1. Awaken the Giant Within

This book was gifted to me by a sweet soul who knows about my secret love for all things Tony Robbins. It was only recently that I discovered him. I read a book called Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. In it, he mentions Tony Robbins a few times. I figured this guy was worth checking out. And I fell in love with his words. For a long time, I started everyday listening to a Tony Robbins talk. It gave me motivation to give it my all once more.
Awaken the Giant Within is his classic tome. I cannot WAIT to read it!

2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

So this book actually isn’t mine. It’s been on my parents bookshelf for…ever? And I’ve been gazing longing at it for the longest time, but never dared pick it up because I knew it would just end up sitting on another bookcase. After cleaning my parents’ house, anything that my brother didn’t want either got donated or is now mine – including this book.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is such a classic for those interested in self help (which, for some reason, I’ve only recently admitted). Even those who are not interested, reference this book. It was even cited in motivational talks at my last job. It’s just time for me to read this.

3. 1984

Talk about classics, right? In highschool, I was so into this sort of genre of book – future dystopias, etc. Loved Orwell, Vonnegut,Gibran, Huxley, and so on. A lot of those books are still on my shelf because I still love them but read them all entirely. I think I started 1984 on a plane ride one time and when the plane landed it got stuffed into the bottom of my carry-on where it remained (thought lost) until I was deep into another book. So somehow it never got finished. We’re talking like 15/20 years ago here! But it has managed not to get lost on all of my moves and is still on my shelf to this day. So it will finally get finished THIS YEAR.

4. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Not entirely sure what happened here. I’m assuming it’s pretty much the same story as above. I was just SUCH a voracious reader back in school. So I had way more books than I could read. But my favorites and my unread still come with me everywhere I go. But this year, if it wants to remain on my shelf, it has to prove itself to be a favorite. Meaning, I actually have to read it.

5. Jane Eyre

For some reason I keep saying I want to read this and never do. My Bronte days were even before my Vonnegut days. So I found this shoved in a corner in my old room at my parents house. I can’t even imagine how long it’s been there. No more wanting to read. I will read it!

6. 30 Lessons for Loving

This book hasn’t been on my shelf for years – more like months. My mom gave this to me last spring. She also bought one for herself. We were going to read it and talk about it, but she got sick and passed away. I’m still going to read it because I know she wanted me to get something out of it. She wanted to make sure I don’t make the mistakes I made with my last relationship – or that she made with hers.

7. The True Memoirs of Little K

Another book bought for me by my mother. I began reading it at a time in my life when paper books were just not working for me. I was using the Kindle app on my phone then. So it didn’t get finished. There are so many benefits to reading fiction and I need to do more of it. So this book made the list. My sister-in-law is also supposed to be coming up with a list of her favorite fiction books for me so we’ll see what made the cut!

8. A Year of No Sugar

Again, I have not had this book for years. Actually, it was fairly recently. And I really want to read it. I love food/exercise/wellness/anything books. And sugar is one of my many foes. Also I love books by bloggers as I hope to soon write one myself. I’m afraid this will get buried in piles of unread books. So on this list it goes!

9. Le Petit Prince

An easy read. Except my copy’s in French. I need to brush up on my French and I know this is a great book, recommended for kids, adults, those learning French, and those fluent. There are really no people who speak French where we live right now and it’s a shame just how much I’ve lost. (I’m from Montreal!) So this book is one way to kill two birds with one stone.

10. The Secret

My parents have always pooh-poohed meditation, affirmations, self-helps books, and the like. So imagine my surprise when I found this by my mom’s bed! I have the film saved to my Netflix cue as well. I cannot wait to read this little, yet mighty book.

11. Animals Make Us Human

I cannot tell you the number of times we spoke about Temple Grandin when I was an undergrad (studying therapeutic recreation). She has autism and is an advocate for both people and animals who may have a harder time advocating for themselves. As a people animal lover, dying to find ways to give back, she was and is a huge inspiration to me. I look forward to reading her book. (Or the one of her books that is currently on my shelf.)

12. Silent Spring

As a young child, Rachel Carson was one of my heroes. (Along with my mother, Jane Goodall, Albert Schweitzer, and so many others.) I was a huge environmentalist. My mom bought me this book and I read it in elementary school I believe. Then my daughter got to be Rachel Carson in a school performance a couple of years ago and I bought the book again for her to use as a prop. I want to read it again since it’s been so long and now that I’m older and my love for the cause has grown so much deeper, I think I can get more out of it.

13. Stumbling on Happiness

Because I can never stop when I’m supposed to…I found a couple of these “happiness” books in my mom’s house – okay so maybe she’s not as anti-self-help as I thought she was. I couldn’t really pick which one and we’re already over 12, but I think I’ve heard of this one a few times so I thought it would be a good place to start. I’m really interested in this elusive happiness. We are all searching for it. Why does it seem so hard to find?

 

So there you have it folks, my 12 errrr…13 books I am going to read from my shelf this year. No more just hanging there guys! Either I love them or I donate them. It’s time.

What book is on your shelf waiting to be read?

(Also check out A House with Character. She is reading through NPR’s book pics this year and they seem like great books – I’m attempting to exercise great restraint in not buying them…yet!)

Reading Challenge - What's on your Shelf

 

*Mom is Such a Nerd is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This is at no extra cost to you and I truly appreciate it!*

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Our Christmas Countdowns

I’m kind of dreading Christmas this year. It will be the first Christmas without my mother. (Deja Vu – I just said this about Thanksgiving didn’t I?) Well she was the kind of Grandmother that loved to buy things for her grandkids. Generally on Christmas night, I would take about half of what she bought and save it for their birthdays, but still the living room would be covered in presents. I can’t (and really don’t want to) do the same thing this year. But I am a little concerned because it is going to be so very different. And I haven’t even thought about Christmas dinner yet! GAH!

But the countdown to Christmas has been so much fun. We have lots of themed activities going on.

We found a whole bin of Christmas books in my parents attic so we’ve been reading them at night along with the book we’re reading together as a family.
Christmas countdown

The kids have the usual chocolate advent calendar. And my daughter also came up with her own genius advent calendar.

Christmas countdown adventChristmas countdown adventChristmas countdown advent

It’s super cute. She handed us envelopes. Inside those envelopes were little envelopes she made out of construction paper with numbers on them. Inside was a paper with a quote from a Christmas movie, book, or song. And she made different ones for me and my son. That creativity…

And of course, the good old elf on the shelf was back. Last year he started out strong by t-ping the Christmas tree, but this year, he was a bit smarter and paced himself.

Christmas countdown elf on the shelf

He arrived by the chimney on the ladder. Then he did things like hang out on the Christmas tree.
Christmas countdown elf on the shelfChristmas countdown elf on the shelfChristmas countdown elf on the shelfChristmas countdown elf on the shelf

He did some silly things a couple times – like when we found him hiding amongst the dog treats sneaking waffles and syrup (one of the elf major food groups!)

Christmas countdown elf on the shelf

Or when he was using the cardboard bathroom my daughter made

Christmas countdown elf on the shelf

Or when he got into the bag of insta-snow the kids made at a Christmas festival.

Christmas countdown elf on the shelf

 

I think my daughter’s countdown is my favorite this year. What are you doing this year as a countdown?

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Resolutions that Stick – Part 3: Goal Setting

Resolutions Part 3

We’re back to the third, and final, part of Resolutions that Stick!

So you figured out your priorities in Part 1 and then figured out where you want to be with them in Part 2. If this is enough for you, then by all means stop there. Just doing those two steps changes how I approach days and situations. I remind myself of my priorities when I get sidetracked or am having trouble figuring out just what to do.

But to make real progress, weekly goals are where it’s at!

It’s also the fun part if you ask me!

Let’s start with a brainstorm, or brain dump if you will.

Get out the list you created in Part 2 and start breaking them down into weekly goals. Write down any and every task/tactic that can be done in a week to get you closer to where you want to you want to be in the next month/quarter.

The reason we do this is because it is too easy to start writing your goals for the week and suddenly realize you have now have 567 goals to accomplish in 5-7 days. I fell into that trap time and time again.

So to avoid overloading yourself immediately, just write down everything. Take a piece of paper and write down ALL the goals you can possibly come up with. Once you have them all out and on paper, it is easier to look at them and choose the ones you can focus on this week. Try to keep it to 10 or under if possible.

Your goals should be action oriented (use a verb!) and measurable.

(Example: Exercise 3 times this week. At the end of the week, you can definitively check off whether or not you accomplished this goal.)

When writing your to-do lists, consult your weekly goals. Make sure that you include activities that will help you achieve your goals. And then at the end of every week, review your goals. Did you accomplish them? Are they getting you closer to where you want to be? Then decide on the goals for the upcoming week using your brainstorm, making changes, or adding tasks/tactics you hadn’t thought about before.

If you continue to set quarterly (or monthly) and weekly goals, you will not only keep your resolutions but you will SMASH them!

Don’t forget to check out Parts 1 and 2 if you haven’t already!
Resolutions that Stick Part 1
Resolutions that Stick Part 2

Resolutions that Stick Part 3

For more information and inspiration on making goals check out:
The 12 Week Year – a great book and guide on breaking your year into 12 week “quarters” and setting weekly goals, it’s more from a business standpoint, but also includes examples with personal and familial goals
Money Saving Mom – weekly goal examples from Crystal Paine here
Making Sense of Sense – Michelle gives us all a monthly income report, looking back on her past month, and sets her plans (where she wants to be) for the upcoming month
I plan to share my goals in 2017 as well.

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Geocaching – Free (Outdoor) Family Fun

I had heard of Geocaching years ago.

It’s one of those things that I think sounds so cool, I vow to put on my bucket list (I even put it on my Free Out of the Box Date Night Ideas post!), and then I just don’t actually do anything about it. Those are just the kinds of things, though, that I rely on to keep my family active and interested.

Over Thanksgiving break, I knew I had to think of something cool for us to do as a family. That’s when Geocaching popped into my head again. I could take the kids! It’s would be like treasure hunting. And who doesn’t like treasure hunting? That has to be fun and earn me a couple cool points!

I downloaded the Geocaching app a few days ahead of time. I’m glad I did. It gave me time to log in (apparently I had registered my e-mail address yearsssssss ago) and see what caches are nearby. So the deal is that the free version of the app only gives you access to the information for the easy finds. That was just fine for us since we are just beginning.

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