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Putnam: Planning for 2018

By Tami Putnam
Nov. 12, 2017 at 4 a.m.


Can you believe 2018 is almost here? I can recall in the late 1980s watching "Back to the Future 2" and thinking, "Wow, the year 2018 is a long time from now."

As most of you can recall, it was a blink of the eye, right? The time flew, and now that I know how fast it passes, I refuse to waste any more time. What about you? Are you going to make a difference in 2018?

Will it be losing weight, changing your lifestyle, organizing your home or simplifying your life? Or you may have a goal to make a difference in someone else's life. Maybe you are thinking about completing all of this, or you have some ideas of your own.

I am going to work on accomplishing several things in my life and doing a little of each task until I feel good about what I have accomplished. Of course, when it comes to weight and a healthy lifestyle, I will work on this every day.

I'd like to start with weight loss and how you can make it a change of lifestyle.

According to MayoClinic.com, people who are following a healthy, well-balanced diet should not lose more than 2 pounds per week.

Whether you lose 1 or 2 pounds per week, you should concentrate on making it a long-term change — not losing the weight and then going back to eating unhealthy foods or at the same amount you used to eat them.

Choose fresh items, and, as I have said before, prepare so that you are not grabbing food while on the run. Buy snack bags and cut up fruit and veggies, put them in the snack bags so that you can grab them on your way out.

It takes 20 minutes from the time we eat until we feel full, so slow down and chew your food well. I have really tried to work on this recently. We always are in such a hurry that even when we do have time, we eat fast.

Cut out the flavored or carbonated drinks or limit them by having one as a weekly reward.

One thing I have to tell myself is if I fail, then I have to get right back on and try again. You will make mistakes, and it's OK, but work on not doing it again.

Another change of lifestyle may be exercise. Remember 30 minutes a day, five times a week. Thirty minutes is not that much time. If you only have 15-minute breaks, then take that time to walk, but walk fast to make a difference.

Find a new way to exercise. For example, when the weather is bad, I chose to do weight exercises inside so I can watch my favorite show at the same time.

Or you may want to challenge yourself and join a group, such as a biking group. I can assure you that if you bike, you will see a difference in your weight and energy.

As for organizing your home, pass down the clothes you have not worn in the past year.

Give them to another person or friend who may need a change in wardrobe.

Clean out that closet and organize those drawers. I promise it will make you feel better to open that messy drawer and find exactly what you need.

Last but not least, simplify. I don't know about you, but as I get older, I seem to like simplicity.

Your simplifying is probably different than mine, but my goal is to clean out the storage building and get rid of what I don't need or use any more and to pay off bills and get back on my budget to get them all paid off again.

Whatever it may be for you, all of this will make you feel better and will make 2018 a great year.

— Tami Putnam is a Texas A&M AgriLife extension agent for Gregg County.

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