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Category: Activities

Keeping That New Year Resolution

New Year Resolution

Are you one of the many people who made a ton of New Year resolutions? Or did you just make one big resolution, like weight loss, quite smoking, eat better, or start exercising? The New Year seems to be a great starting point to step out on the ledge and make some changes. I, myself, believe any time is a good time but totally understand that the beginning of the calendar year might make it easier for some. It’s like starting your gym rotation on a Monday. It makes sense.

Chances are whether you made one big resolution or many small ones this New Year; you most likely will not make your goal. STOP! Before you throw your skinny caramel macchiato at your computer screen in hopes that I felt it, I am just the messenger, so please don’t shoot me. The truth is that more than half of the people who vow to make changes at the beginning of the new year barely make it to June before quitting. So much for calling it a lifestyle change when it only last six months. So why are so many people unable to fulfill their New Year Resolution? The short answer to this is that they did not plan well. So what does good planning look like? Well here are a few tips to help you stay on track.

Take It Slow

Many people hit the pavement at full speed straight out the gate. I admire their enthusiasm and understand it well but they must be careful not to burn themselves out. I know this firsthand because I struggle with this myself. It is better to start slow, like committing to only 30 minutes of exercise one or two days a week until you get the hang of it. You might not feel like you are getting anywhere at first, but you are. You are training your body to be active and that is a big thing. After a month or so start adding time to your gym sessions and adding extra days a week. This way you build yourself up to a full gym schedule and your body is prepared for the energy it is going to exert.

Narrow It Down

It is a great thing to want to make so many changes for personal growth but it is just not realistic to change them all at once. Trying to lose weight, stop smoking, read more books, go back to school and find the love of your life all in one year is just way too much to take on. Start small. Write down the list of thing you want to change and pick out the ones that matter most to you. It is also a good idea to start with a building block goal, one that will build up to a greater goal. If you want to lose weight, eat right, and exercise more than it might be a good idea to start with exercising first. Make your resolution and goals around exercising only and don’t think too much about the eating right and weight loss. When you start exercising your body will naturally start craving what it needs to fuel your workouts, plus you will automatically make healthier choices to make sure you don’t undo all that hard work you’ve put in. When you start working out and eating healthy you will start to see weight loss. It’s like a domino effect and you have met three of your goals without overwhelming yourself.

Make Goals You Can Reach

One of the biggest mistakes people make when setting up their resolutions is not making them realistic. You recently watched one of the many food documentaries on our countries food and have now made a resolution to only purchase all organic, gluten free, fair trade and vegan food for your children. The thing is you are a single mom and money is tight. Unless you are the greatest master of budgeting this world has ever seen, it just is not a tangible goal. (By the way, if you happen to be doing this please give me a call because I could use those awesome budgeting skills!) How about you start with cutting out highly processed foods and replacing them with fresh fruits and veggies from a local market. Getting your children to eat more fruits and vegetables a day will be extremely beneficial for them whether they are organic or not.

Track Your Progress

Sometimes we just need to visually see how far we have come, like a gold star on a chore chart. Make a list of the steps needed to achieve your goal. After each step is completed, cross it off your list. I do this with my everyday task and I feel like I get much more done than when I don’t do this. I also pencil in my gym time like it was an appointment in my planner and after I go I cross it off list. You are more likely to get up and go to the gym if you actually made time for it in your schedule. Seriously, this really works.

Tell The World

Tell your family, tell your friends, tell your coworkers. Sharing your plans and later your ups and downs with the people around you is necessary for the journey. It helps you from doing it all on your own. It also holds you accountable because people will ask you how your resolution is going. You might want join a support group or stick with friends who made similar resolutions. These people will be your own personal cheerleaders!

Prepare For A Fall

Plan for the best, prepare for the worst. That saying is one I live by. Some say if you have a plan B then there is no way you are going to be successful. I say that’s a bunch of hooey. There are many unexpected things that can happen in life. Kids get sick, cars break down, work runs late. Life happens. It is best for you to at least be prepared for it. Can’t make it to the gym, it’s ok. Plan to do a little home workout, or do 15 squats every time you go to the bathroom. Aunt Flo is coming to town and you have suddenly eaten every bit of salty and sugary snack your side of the equator. It… is… ok. Get a hold of yourself and put those meal-planning skills to use. Also plan to fill your house with healthy alternatives next month when Aunt Flo shows. Have a plan for when things don’t go as planned. Period.

 

Hopefully these tips help you in your journey.

Apple Picking in North Georgia

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I am so excited that autumn is upon us, even if it’s still hot and muggy in the Atlanta area. Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year. The weather becomes cool and breezy.  The leaves charge to a fiery color. I get to take out my boots, blazers, and cardigans from the back of my closet. I mean, what’s not to love? One of the best parts about fall in Georgia is that there are so many activities held this time of the year. Apple picking is one of those great activities that the whole family can enjoy.

We took the kids up to Ellijay, GA a few years ago to go apple picking for the first time. Being from Florida I have been to strawberry fields and orange groves, but I had never been to an apple orchard. The place we choose to go to not only had an orchard to pick apples, but a bunch of activities as well. We had such a blast I decided to head up there again this year. I figured my daughter is a little older now and will be able to enjoy it fully.

I found a great deal on Groupon for B.J Reece Apple House and Orchards and after reading the reviews I decided we would go there. The drive from Marietta to Ellijay was a little over an hour, which is not such a long trip for little kids.  I was a little nervous about the weather because the forecast called for thunderstorms throughout the day and it rained a little on our way up there, but the weather was great when we arrived. It was a little overcast, there was a bit of a chill in the air, but it stayed dry the whole time we were there.

Here are a few pictures from the trip.

Breath taking views of the north GA mountains

Breathtaking views of the north GA Mountains

There is a farmers market you can buy from

There is a farmers market where you can buy fresh produce

An apple canon where you can win prizes

An apple canon where you can win prizes

Cute goats at the petting zoo

Cute goats at the petting zoo

Not so healthy, but way so yummy corn fritters.... Myrtle's Pick!

Not so healthy, but way so yummy corn fritters…. Myrtle’s Pick!

Just me under an apple tree

And then there is me under an apple tree

They also had cow milking, a cow train, tractor rides, pony rides, a scavenger hunt, a giant jumping pillow, a zip line and pig races. It really was a great time where all my family members had fun and got involved. If you are planning on apple picking in Georgia here are a few tips before you go.

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1. Go early in the season. A few years ago when we went apple picking it was close to the end of the season and there wasn’t many apples to choose from. Most of the trees were bare. This year we went early and the trees were filled with apples, so much so that many of the branches seemed to be drooping from the weight. So go early on in the season so you have plenty of apples to pick.

2. Pick ripe apples. Apples, unlike bananas, are the kind of fruits that stop ripening once they are picked so it is important to pick apples that are fully ripened. Look for apples that are on the outside of the tree furthest away from the trunk because these apples will ripen first.

3. Twist, don’t pull. When you pick your apples off the tree it is best to twist or roll the apple towards the branch so that the stem comes off rather than pull the apple down. This will help avoid a bunch of apples falling at once and bonking you on the head!

4. Do not pick the apples off the ground. This might be common sense for adults, but for small children who can’t reach the branches easily this might be appealing. Make sure you express to your children that picking the apples from the ground are not a good idea. However, it is ok to grab an apple off the ground if you freshly picked it and it has fallen on the floor.

5. Gently place apples in your basket or bag. Placing them instead of throwing them will help avoid bruising and punctures.

6. Do not eat the apples right there. I cringed every time I saw a person pick an apple and eat it. The worst was when they took a few bites and then threw it on the ground. Remember that these apples are dirty and they need to be clean properly before you eat them.

7. When you get home, store apples in a dark cool place.

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