Happy New Year! After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I sometimes feel like January allows us to hit the refresh button on our lives. It’s a great time to start new routines or build habits that can make you and your family healthier and happier. And here at University of Illinois Extension, we always hope to provide you with the tools and information to help you live healthier, happier lives. So I’ve compiled just a few resources from my Illinois Extension colleagues that will help you and your family build habits towards some of the most common New Year goals.
- Eat a Healthier Diet – Are you hoping your family can spend less time in the drive thru and more time around the dinner table this year? Or maybe you’d like to better control a medical condition like hypertension or diabetes. Or maybe you’re just sick and tired of always feeling sick and tired! Whatever your reason, we have so many great resources to help you improve your family’s nutrition. Take a look at the Live Well. Eat Well. blog - or start with small changes that can lead to a big difference with ideas in this post from the Healthy Lifestyles that Last blog.
- Get My Finances Under Control – Are you ready to get serious about getting out of debt or saving for the future? Find great tips on the Plan Well, Retire Well and Fearless Financial Future blogs. It’s also important to teach your children good financial sense! Learn more about having positive conversations about money with your children from this episode of the Family Financial Feuds podcast.
- Exercise More – I don’t know about you, but I am overwhelmed with all the gym memberships, protein powders, yoga pants, machines, and more that ads tell me I need to be able to exercise correctly. But you know what? That’s not true! Effective exercise can be easy and free. Take a look at this post on Walking for Health to learn more, then check out additional healthy living tips from the Nutrition Nosh blog.
- Learn a New Skill or Hobby – Looking for a new way to feel productive and fulfilled in your free time? Try gardening! Learn tips for starting your spring garden off strong or planting the first-time vegetable garden from blogs like Good Growing, Over the Garden Fence, or IL River Hort. You can even get your kids in on the action with these fun ideas from Flowers, Fruits, and Frass.
- Spend More Time with Loved Ones – We try to provide you with lots of ways to do this here at the Connection Corner. But we’re not the only ones! For instance, I loved learning about Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs) from the Community Health: Education, Prevention, & Inspiration blog. And the Family Files blog always has amazing ideas on how to build more meaningful relationships.
If you’re interested in seeing all that Illinois Extension has to offer, check out our blogs homepage to find recent posts, featured articles, and a complete list of blogs. Whatever your new year brings, I truly hope you and your family stay healthy and happy!
MEET THE AUTHOR
Emily Schoenfelder joined the Illinois 4-H team in 2017. Prior to this, she began her work in positive youth development with California 4-H and the YMCA. She specializes in STEM engagement, social-emotional development, and educator professional development.
She received a Master of Science degree in recreation, park, and tourism administration from Western Illinois University.
When she is not writing curriculum or facilitating a training, you may find Emily sitting on the floor of her office, building marshmallow catapults out of popsicle sticks or designing mazes for robots for her next STEM program.
ABOUT THE BLOG
Connection Corner is a blog that provides timely information, activities, and resources to help you stay connected to loved ones, the world around you, and yourself.