Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Vick’s.
It’s 2016 and that means it’s time to make a plan for a great year. Instead of making resolutions, which let’s be honest no one keeps, I’m sharing hacks you can use to feel happier, healthier, and get wealthier. We’re going to dive into 5 main topics: sleep, money, diet, fitness, and organization.
Sleep is essential to ensuring you feel good, have a clear mind, and have a productive day. Lack of sleep can cause health issues, cause poor judgment, and even affect your mood! It’s serious stuff. There are a few ways you can help yourself get better sleep, and spoiler alert some of these tips may remind you of sleep advice for kids.
Make a bedtime. Just like you do for kids, set bedtime for yourself. Try to stick to it as much as possible-your body may take some adjusting, but it will get used to it!
Keep phones away from your bed. This one is obvious, but I know you all break this rule. Guess what? I do, too. If I must use my phone before bed I turn the screen light all the way down and when I’m done I turn it to silent, and I turn it over so it doesn’t light up with notifications or bing and wake me up.
Keep clutter at bay. Keeping your bedroom free of clutter can be challenging, but it’s worth it! You’ll sleep better knowing you have a space where stress and stuff aren’t invited.
Get sleep help. ZzzQuil is an option for you to get a great night’s sleep. It’s a non-habit forming sleep aid-that means you won’t need to worry about depending on it unless you need it. I use it as a tool when I’m struggling with sleep or traveling to ensure I get restful sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.
Getting your money in order is a must, and there’s no better time to tackle it than 2016. Whether you’re just getting started or you’re a financial pro you can always improve your finances. Find three easy ways to do just that.
Dump debt for good. Most of us carry some debt. Whether that’s in the form of student loans, a mortgage, or credit cards it’s likely you have debt that’s weighing you down. Make a plan to dump debt for good starting now. Add up the totals you need to pay off and tally up the months it will take you to getting out of debt. Start with what you can afford to put to it now and figure out how many months it will take you to get debt free. As you find ways to bring in extra income or slash spending you can reduce the number of months.
For instance, if you have $300 per month to put towards debt and are carrying $10,000 in loans it would take you 33 1/3 months to get out of debt. You sell stuff and have an additional $600 to throw at your loans-so now your timeline is 31 1/3 months. I like to keep a visual reminder near my work area to remind me it will only be another 92 months until we have no mortgage. (that’s 7.7 years)
Save more. We’re all notoriously bad at saving. Yes, even me. It’s much easier to find things to spend on or to sock that money away in retirement or other investments than it is to beef up our cash savings. Commit to setting aside an additional 5-10% of your net income with automated savings. Set it to go into a savings account-just be sure to make it inaccessible if you’re easily tempted to use it.
Pay attention to your credit score. Your credit score may not be necessary to use anytime soon, but tracking it is key. It’s a good indicator of how you’re doing financially and will allow you to score lower interest rates when you need them.
Give yourself an ‘allowance.’ Just like we do with kids it’s important to give yourself an allowance. You can use it to spend or save without affecting the family budget.
No, I don’t mean dieting, I mean what you eat. Cleaning up our menus and ensuring we have healthy options in the house is a great way to kick off the New Year. Not only will it help to start the year off right, but also you can build new routines around food that are healthy.
Eat breakfast. It should go without saying, but I’m going to nag you like your mom would. Breakfast is really the most important meal of the day. It’s literally breaking the fast you’ve had for 10-12 hours. Pick breakfast options that are hearty like whole grains or packed full of energy like protein.
Water it up. I think we’re all guilty of not drinking enough water so increasing your H20 consumption is smart. Consider using a large glass or water bottle and pitcher or set reminders in your phone to refill your cup. And no, soda, coffee, and tea don’t count even though they have water in them. 😉
Meal plan. Planning your meals can be a great way to eat healthier and save big money. I shared how we meal plan for the year in a way that’s super easy, effective, and helps us eat healthier, too.
Being fit incredibly important-we know that, but most of us put ourselves last on the list. Carving out time isn’t always easy, so I’m sharing tips to get you started or help you improve your fitness routine. It makes a world of difference in our mood, sleep, and waistline. Here are a few ways to make sure you get the exercise you need.
Start small. If you’re starting from sedentary start with a 15 minute walk at lunchtime or strap the kids in the stroller and walk loops around the mall. Every other time you walk add an extra minute or another loop. If you’re already exercising try adding in a new element to keep your body in shape-try out yoga one day a week or add in weights to your routine.
Create a routine: While it will be tough at first setting up a time when you absolutely will be exercising (no exceptions) is incredibly helpful. Set up specific days and times that are non-negotiable.
Make it fun: Keeping fitness fun can be tough, but we’ve got some ideas. If walking or running is your thing set up a ‘club’ for your neighborhood or in your community. Everyone can meet at a set location and walk or run for 30-60 minutes. Trust me you’ll be more motivated to go when you know there are friends going, too. Trying new classes or options can keep it fun, too. No one likes to only run on the treadmill so go check out that barre class with your BFF.
Keep it simple: We know all about the special exercise clothes, fancy gyms, and complicated routines that you can rely on, but in the immortal words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” Start with the basics-a swimsuit and goggles, sneakers, or a yoga mat and get moving already.
Try out tech: Downloading an app, using your a health app, or getting a step counter can be a great way to get and stay motivated. You can use the data to get a sense of how much you move (and how much you need to!), compete with family and friends, or just beat yourself.
Staying on top of all the stuff we have can be a huge challenge. I formerly worked as an organizer, but you’d never know that to look at my house! With 6 people and one crazy dog the house is often a disaster zone, so working on organization this year is tops on my list.
Get a ‘brain.’ You juggle a LOT, so get an organizer or binder that you can use as your ‘brain’ so you don’t have to remember what day piano lessons are or when the shipping deadline is for Christmas. Use it to organize bills, keep a physical calendar, and stash papers that need to be addressed.
Send your schedule to your email or smartphone. If you’re like most of us you check your email early in the morning. That’s why having my family and work calendars emailed to me every morning is such a huge help. You can easily set this up in a variety of digital calendar clients. If you’re not an email checker try notifications on your phone that alert you to the day’s events.
Get physical. I used to be a big believer in the digital calendar, and while I still love it for checking in on the go, I have found having a physical calendar is a huge help!
Set times to organize. Staying on top of organization is the biggest challenge for most families. So, I suggest setting aside a few hours each week to deal with paperwork, phone calls, and other administrative work that comes with being the head of household. I also suggest you set up chunks of time in the family calendar to organize. I like to do this each Sunday for about 20 minutes with the whole family. Then once every 3 months we’ll do a bigger purge and organize. My kids may hate organizing their rooms, but they love organizing junk drawers and digging through the garage and basement.
To help your 2016 be even more awesome I’m partnering up with ZzzQuil and the lovely Vera from Lady and the Blog to bring you a fun twitter chat. Join us on January 5th from 8-9pm EST! We’re giving away prizes, too, so be sure to RSVP here!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Vick’s.