Major Positive Changes for the New Year

As I’ve said many times before, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. But I do see the New Year as the proverbial fresh start. And as easy a time as any to make changes.

So, with this new year, we are introducing some new concepts into our home.

Exhibit A:

The Chore Chart/Behavior Chart

Joey is four and Will is going to be three in May, we decided it was time to institute some behavioral incentives and chores. After finding out just how helpful Joey could be with the correct incentives, we knew we were at the right place at the right time. The left hand side is chores. Each child has four and they are the same. There is a lot of white space because as they can take on more responsibilities we can add them. The right side is behavior, the boys earn stickers for each time they obey one of the behaviors. For example, completeing all their chores. Five stickers equals a visit to the prize box. Chores earn allowance. We don’t have a set rate because the  boys aren’t very money savvy yet, but we are teaching them about it and eventually we will implement a set rate (right now a dime works as well as four pennies, because it’s all money!).

Exhibit B:

The Snack Boxes

My kids, like most, ask for snacks. CONSTANTLY. It’s a drain on time. And money. And most “snack food” is pretty devoid of nutrition. Shelby has her own set of issues with asking for snacks but for the boys we are implementing snack boxes. The idea is this, we load the boxes on Monday with snacks for the week. If the boys go through all their snacks before the end of the week, they can only have fruit for snacks. They like fruit okay,  but love junk food. So far, they are learning moderation pretty well and Joey, especially, is very conscious of what and how much he is eating and he is helping Will.

Exhibit C:

The Menu Planning and Meal Choices

For this week they are/were:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Breakfast: French Toast/Waffles/Oatmeal/Fruit/Cereal

Lunch: Tuna Fish Sandwiches McDonald’s

Dinner: Mac and Cheese with Ham

Sunday, January, 8, 2012

Breakfast:  French Toast/Waffles/Oatmeal/Fruit/Cereal

Lunch: Peanut Butter and Jam Sandwiches

Dinner: Tamales with Refried Beans and Spanish Rice

Monday, January 9, 2012

Breakfast:  French Toast/Waffles/Oatmeal/Fruit/Cereal

Lunch: Grits with Butter and Cheese

Dinner: Vegetarian Lasagna with Marinara Sauce

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Breakfast:  French Toast/Waffles/Oatmeal/Fruit/Cereal

Lunch: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Dinner: Pierogis with Kielbasa, Squash and Onions

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Breakfast:  French Toast/Waffles/Oatmeal/Fruit/Cereal

Lunch: Bruschetta

Dinner: Meatless/Veggie  Quesadillas

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Breakfast:  French Toast/Waffles/Oatmeal/Fruit/Cereal

Lunch: Homemade pizza

Dinner: Roasted Vegetable Medley and Garbanzo beans

Friday, January 13, 2012

Breakfast:  French Toast/Waffles/Oatmeal/Fruit/Cereal

Lunch: Salad

Dinner: Great Northern Bean Soup

Okay, well, lunch on the weekend didn’t go as planned because we ended up out and about both days, which is okay because we got some great exercise in at the park and on a walking trail and we weren’t parked in front of the tv and were really productive. And as you can tell, breakfasts are pretty much the same because we aren’t big breakfast people. Jeff takes left-overs from our dinners as his lunches to work which saves us money on buying a lot of separate lunch things. We are also focusing on introducing more whole foods and fewer processed ones and more veggies and fruits and less meat. Which means straying from some of our standards or at least re-imagining them.

Finally, to keep up with my No-excuses Theme, I am using my iPad to track my physical activity and also to utilize the reminders to ensure I am getting everything I want/need to in in a day.

To me these feel like big dramatic steps but I know in reality they aren’t and if they feel that way, it means they are necessary steps to take to keep our lives on track.

Are you making any lifestyle changes this year?


2 thoughts on “Major Positive Changes for the New Year

  1. Wow! Hope all the changes go well!

    I actually hadn’t planned on much, but it seems like God may have other ideas. Through a friend (and one of the girls’ godmothers) I’m now in a group to buy fresh raw milk. Which got me wondering, “How do you make fresh butter? Could I just put one of the kids on a churn and …?” And now I’ve donated to a group to get a DVD about nutrition and healthy foods and stuff…. We’ll see where this goes… 🙂

    • I don’t have a raw milk community here (I think it may have to do with the lack of dairy cows in the area) but one step at a time is great, whatever step it is. 🙂

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