Contact the Caldwell County Extension Office for more information about each tip. 

  1. Keeping track of meals and snacks in a food journal is a great way to prevent over-indulging.  

  2. Regular physical activity is key to a healthy life.  If you are not currently physically active, do not push your limits. The idea is just to move more and sit less.  

  3. Small changes can make a big difference!  Just by lowering your thermostat when you leave home or go to bed, not only will you conserve energy, but you will also save money on your utility bill.  

  4. A well hydrated body works better.  Water aids in many important bodily functions.  Remember, you not only get water from what you drink but also from the foods you eat.  Everybody has different hydration requirements based on age, gender, physical activity level, overall health and the outdoor temperature. 

  5. Try using herbs and spices in place of salt in some of your favorite recipes.  The enhanced flavors may surprise and delight you.  At the Caldwell County Extension Office, we have several publications that provide easy recipe substitution or simply ask for our Plate it up! Kentucky Proud recipe card for some new recipe ideas.

  6. ‘Tis the season of giving.  And you might find that when you shop online, many retailers are giving you the opportunity to “buy now and pay later.”  Before you leap into any loan agreement, read the fine print and make sure you understand all that is involved. 

  7. Making your own “fancy” coffee drinks at home will save you money, time, and perhaps even calories.  Your coffee drink will cost cents rather than dollars, you will not have to wait in long carryout or drive-thru lines, and you have control over what and how much of each ‘add-in’ you put into the coffee so the calorie savings can be significant!  Savor that frugal cup while you relish your extra moments!  

  8.  Turn off the television, computer and other technology devices to spend some time together as a family. Play a board game, look at old family photo albums, prepare a favorite meal or sweet treat together, or simply have a conversation. Make these family nights a weekly tradition! 

  9. Keep a gratitude journal. Write down three things for which you are thankful each day. specific. Take it one step further and encourage your family members to do it, too. You can share your “thankful three” around the dinner table each evening.  

  10.  If your family is stuck in a meal time rut, try changing things up a little by cooking around the map. There are many regional dishes that can put a break up your dinner doldrums. If you want to stick a little closer to home, just check out the Plate it up! Kentucky Proud recipe collection for a whole list of new ideas. To find the recipes click here or ask for recipe cards at your local extension office. 

  11. Do you have a habit that you want to stop?  Now is the time to start working on it.  Whether you choose to “quit” today or begin small steps to change your behavior, let today be the day you decide to make a change.  Set a goal and stick to it.  
  12. Popcorn can be a healthy snack if you skip loads of salt and butter.  Try popping a big batch of popcorn today, store it in several airtight containers, then open throughout the week when you want a quick snack.  Try different herbs and spices to top your popcorn in place of salt.  Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence will provide a savory treat.  If you need a little sweetness, lightly sprinkle with a cinnamon and sugar mixture.  If a little kick is what you prefer, try chili powder or even red pepper flakes. 
  13. Instead of that early morning “cup of joe” to wake you up, why don’t you slip on your walking shoes and take a brisk walk?  Even a short 10 minute walk will wake up your senses and get you ready to start your day.  
  14. When your pie or cake recipe says that it will "yield" a certain number of servings just cut smaller pieces. That will save everyone a few calories and get a few extra servings per recipe. If your cookie recipe instructs using a tablespoon to place 24 spoonfuls of batter on cookie sheets, use a heaping teaspoon and make 36 instead. Fudge and bar cookies can also be cut into smaller portions. 
  15. The time you spend with family and friends is priceless.  Make time to spend together.  Mark it on your calendar, if necessary, to ensure that you are giving your relationships the time that they deserve.  
  16. Did you know there is a "National Clean Out the Refrigerator Day?" Well, there is but it isn't today! 😀 It's actually in November. But it is a good idea to go through your refrigerator weekly to clear out those items that have been there a little longer than they should. It is especially good to do this in preparation for a big meal. So, go ahead, clean out that refrigerator! You will be glad you did!  
  17. Make tonight a family game night! Break out the board games or shuffle a deck of cards.  Learn a new game together or rely on an old family favorite.  Whether your players include friends or family, this is definitely a weekly tradition you will want to take into the new year.
  18. Have you ever heard that it is better to give than to receive? It turns out that science supports that idea.  It doesn’t matter the amount or what we give, giving to and doing for others makes most people happier than merely tending to their own needs.  So, give a little bit of yourself each and every day, for that will bring you happiness in ways you could never have imagined. 
  19. Take the hassle out of meal time.  Sit down today and make a plan for the rest of the week.   Get the whole family involved.  Let each member choose a night or choose a dish for each meal.  Plan early in the afternoon and go shopping together so that you will already have all ingredients on hand when it is time to prepare each meal.  
  20. If you want to go “green” in 2022, ditch the disposables.  Cutting out paper or plastic plates, cups, and utensils will not only save money but will also save space in the landfill.  While it might require a little extra clean-up, before you know it you will be glad you made the switch.  
  21. What are some of your favorite memories of family traditions?  Does your family have a tradition that is special?  It is never too late to start a new tradition.  Traditions don’t just have to be centered around special holidays.  Maybe you want to start a tradition or revive an old favorite with your neighbors or friends on the third weekend of every month.  There are no rules about who or what must be included in traditions.  What is important to you and those who participate in your traditions is what makes them special.  
  22. Avoid the snooze....button that is.  Set your alarm for the actual time you need to get up and then GET UP.  Using the snooze button doesn’t actually give you more restful sleep.  Just get up when you need to get up and get your day started.  If you have a few extra minutes, use that time to reflect on your plans for the day or to send someone a text just to say you are thinking about them.  
  23. In this busy, hectic time take a moment just to stop.  Take in the sights, sounds, and smells around you.  Breathe.  Focus on the here and now rather than your to-do lists and expectations.  Give yourself grace and remember that whatever you do will be great. 
  24. Is there someone you really miss?  Give them a call just to say hello!  Chances are they are missing you too!  Taking a moment to reach out will be good for both of you.  
  25. You are amazing!  Remind yourself that today and every day.  The best part of everything that you give to your family and friends is your heart.  Thank you for all that you do every day to make your family and community strong.  Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back.   
  26. Look back on the month and review any changes that you have made.  What have you learned?  What are you going to do differently in 2022 to make it your healthiest year yet?
  27. There is something good about everything.  Find the silver lining, see the flower sprouting up in the crack in the sidewalk, listen to the song of the bird who wakes you up too early.  Train your brain when things are going well so that when something bad happens it is already a habit. 
  28. Pay it forward.  Maybe you just need to smile. Or maybe you want to by coffee or breakfast for the person in line behind you.  Maybe you can pick up the grocery tab for the person in the next aisle.  Whatever you are able to do, find ways to be the good.  Whether it is a smile, a wave, letting someone go ahead of you, or a larger gesture, it just might make someone’s day. 
  29. When you see good things happening around you make sure to share them!  Whether you tell a friend or family member, a neighbor or someone in the grocery line, we must make sure that we let everyone know when good is happening.  It seems that the everyone is too eager to share about bad things, so let us be the voice of change and share about good things.
  30. Do something kind for someone.  It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture.  It doesn’t have to be life changing.  When you can be anything, just remember to be kind. 
  31. Have the last 31 Days to a Healthier New Year changed you?  Will you take any of these changes into the year?  What are you going to do differently in throughout the year?  What are you going to let go of?