Extension Office Enlightenment

A new year and a new opportunity to set attainable health goals
By Haley Barker &Ashley Wells
Thursday, January 16, 2020

A new year, a new you! Millions of Americans make resolutions every January hoping to improve their health and wellness.

To encourage you to keep your health resolutions I want to give you four tips to help you stick them out, according to an article titled New Year, New You: 4 Tips to a Healthier You from the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

•Number 1: Eat the right amount of calories for you.  Everybody has different needs based on various factors.  The USDA’s daily food plan will help you determine the amount of calories your body needs.  You can find the food plan at https://www.choosemyplate.gov/resources/MyPlatePlan.

•Number 2: Follow the MyPlate guidelines in determining your diet.  Find your healthy eating style and maintain it, find the foods that make you feel at your best, and recognize the foods that make you feel at your worst.  Even those little changes can make a huge difference.

•Number 3: Choose foods low in saturated fat, sodium, and added sugar to help reduce your risk of certain chronic diseases. Eliminate sugary drinks which contribute zero nutritive calories to your body.

If you’re in need of a sweet treat, try some fruit infused water. If it’s the caffeine you crave, try coffee or black tea.

•Number 4: Be physically active by choosing activities you enjoy. Sometimes, especially with increasingly cold temperatures, it can be difficult to get that fun outdoor activity we need and crave, but there are other alternatives.

Workout videos, dancing, join a gym, or grab a friend to do those fun activities with.  Not only will this hold yourself accountable, but it’ll be way more fun!

•Lastly, set SMART resolution goals.  Make them Specific, Measurable (how will you know when you have reached your goal?), Attainable (can you do it?) for instance if you loathe working out early in the morning, don’t set a goal to get up early five days a week to workout.

Instead, maybe you workout after work, on your lunch break, or you only get up early on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Realistic or relevant, is this a goal you really want? Time Bound, how long do you have to reach your goal?  The point here is to set goals that you can achieve and be proud of your accomplishments in the end.

N.E.W. with 4-H

(New, Exciting Experiences Waiting!)

Hello 2020! Perfect visions for a NEW year, NEW beginnings, a NEW new. It is a N.E.W. decade, a N.E.W.  year, a N.E.W.  week and a N.E.W.  day. Let’s start this year N.E.W.  with 4-H. We would love to welcome N.E.W.  volunteers and N.E.W.  4-Hers (ages 5 to 18) to join our program! For all our current 4-Hers and their families, we encourage you to try something N.E.W..

How about living out our 4-H Pledge even more this year.

“I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living for my club, my community, my country and my world.”

Let’s focus on these areas this year and really begin something new in each of these areas for yourself, your family, or your club. Step out of your comfort zone and maybe offer a workshop for the youth, organize a community service project for each month, try a N.E.W.  project, attend more workshops/camps/state events.

Maybe it’s adding N.E.W.  friends to your circle, creating N.E.W.  encouraging/uplifting moments to fellow 4-Hers at school, fair, etc. There are so many ways to get involved in this N.E.W.  year with many N.E.W.  beginnings for you (adult or youth).

We are excited for a N.E.W.  year with N.E.W.  workshops, N.E.W.  camps, N.E.W.  relationships and friendships created, and many N.E.W.  memories. Please contact the office at 322-8035 or stillwater@montana.edu if you are interested in beginning a N.E.W.  adventure in your N.E.W.  year. We have a lot of ideas and opportunities.