How to Set Realistic Goals for the New Year

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links*

The New Year always holds the promise of new goals, routines, habits, dreams. In 2013, only 8% of Americans successfully achieved their New Year’s resolutions. EIGHT PERCENT. Ouch

I think we can all figure out a couple of reasons as to why so many of us don’t keep our New Year’s resolutions…
We set unrealistic goals and unrealistic expectations for achieving those goals
 We don’t truly commit ourselves to achieving our goals and we try to tackle them alone

The first few weeks of the year, everyone has a new sense of life and how they want to start the New Year. Goals seem more attainable and we seem to have the entire year to tackle them! However, the weeks fly by and we start coming up with excuses and push our goals back…

“I’ll start tomorrow.”

“I’ll wait to start on Monday so I can enjoy the weekend.”

“I’m too tired.”

“I can’t do this.”

“I don’t have time.”

…and the list goes on and on. 

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The Art of Marriage With Kids


Marriage after kids is a completely different animal compared to marriage before kids. Marriage is hard work and takes effort. If someone tells you otherwise, don’t believe it. And, don’t believe every photo and tweet and post on social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow us to share only a sliver of our life with others, and let’s be honest, we always show the best of the best instead of our worst. It’s easy to see others with a “perfect” life and feel jealous. Always remember that nothing is perfect. Having a solid, real marriage with bumps and imperfections is more important than trying to look the best on your Instagram.

My husband and I had a pretty solid relationship before welcoming our daughter into the world. We weren’t perfect and never wanted to be and we still aren’t. He puts up with my stubbornness and indecisiveness. I put up with his everything (ha!) :)

After bringing a child into the world, we were in this new unchartered territory of our relationship. Some days, it felt like we were just totally out of sync and couldn’t stand each other and other days, I felt like I was going to completely burst with the love in my heart. Add in some postpartum depression and anxiety and it could get WEIRD. But, throughout all of those huge adjustments, my heart full of bursting love wins each day no matter what, even if I’m not the best at showing it.

Throwing kids into the mix makes certain aspects of marriage trickier than before, but, it is so crucial to focus on your marriage and relationship so you can teach your little ones about some important qualities in a strong, healthy relationship. It’s a constant effort and we’re still trying to figure it out, but, we TRY to remember to do the things below! We’re working on all of these and it’s sometimes a struggle to fit them into our schedule. That’s real life though! It’s always a work in progress, and, taking baby steps is better than no steps at all.

For a simple, printable list (without descriptions) of the following, click here!

Date each other– just because you’re married now doesn’t mean you should stop dating each other. Make sure you set time aside each week, month, whatever, for just the two of you- no kids, no distractions. You don’t have to go out every time or spend a ridiculous amount of money. Stay in, order pizza, get some beers, and watch a movie or play video games. Make a nice dinner together and snuggle on the couch with a drink afterwards. Enjoy each other without any distractions- simple as that.

Unwind together– we’re still working on this and trying to make it a routine. Find something comforting and relaxing that you can enjoy together at the end of the day. Lately, we’ve been using our new electric kettle (AMAZING- thanks Rosewill for creating this amazing kettle that we use every day!) to enjoy a cup or two of tea in the evening after our kiddo has gone to bed. Even if we watch TV while drinking it, it’s still something we’re sharing. It’s amazingly relaxing and helps you to unwind after a long day of life and having to be an adult!

Exercise together– this is another one we are working on. My body is a mess so we’ve decided that some light yoga is a good start so I don’t kill myself ;) We’ve tried once so far and it was an epic failure trying to do some relaxing yoga with a rambunctious toddler slapping us in the face and tickling us when we have our eyes closed…not our best plan. However, for me, I push myself harder and put more effort in when I’m working out with my love. He motivates me and that is extremely important.

Pray together– if you are religious, this is something that will bring you so much closer. It’s awkward at first and it’s still awkward for us, because, neither one of us is an out-loud prayer. Knowing what’s weighing heavy on your partner’s mind is huge, and, seeking God together is an extremely bonding act. We also enjoy doing devotional plans through the YouVersion app- there are a ton of plans for every aspect of marriage. And, if you haven’t seen it yet, we highly recommend watching “War Room”- whether you have the strongest marriage out there or your marriage is about to break its last thread, watch it. I can guarantee you will take something from it that can only do good for you and your partner.

Talk together– simple as that. Don’t just have the typical day-to-day conversations. REALLY talk WITH each other. Discuss things you’re passionate about. Discuss your fears and troubles. Discuss the joy in your life. Discuss real life and how it isn’t exactly how you pictured it, but, you’re still grateful and blessed. After we had our daughter, she was nursing non-stop and sleep was not on our radar. Instead of me being awake by myself nursing her, my husband would get up, too, and we honestly had some of the greatest talks and discussions during those late night/middle of the night feedings. We learned so much about each other and ourselves. That was one of my absolute favorite things after bringing our sweet girl home.

Support & respect each other– this is a hugely important aspect of any relationship. It’s not always easy to remember because daily life moves in and we forget that our partners need more than just hugs, kisses, and other physical affection (although very important also!). Try to remember to build your partner up. Ask what is weighing heavily on their mind or if there is something they need from you. It means more than you think.

Make time for *ahem* “the fun stuff”– But seriously, physical intimacy is an important aspect of marriage. It is bonding in a completely different way. Make time for it because it is extremely important to nurture that bond and special aspect of your marriage.

Never stop working on your marriage– this one is hard, because, some days, it is really easy to get lost in the everyday routine. Even if you think you have the strongest marriage in the world, you can always benefit from cultivating an even greater amount of love and understanding in your relationship. Cherishing your bond is crucial. If you’re not working on your relationship, it becomes easy to turn into “roommates” versus spouses and partners in life.

Check out the following info-graphic with the most recent marriage figures thanks to For Your Marriage!

Click to enlarge :)

Marriage Snapshot in the U.S.


Marriage is a daily work in progress. You’ll have “off” days, good days, terrible days, and amazing days. All that matters is how you handle each day and how you can improve on yourself and your marriage.

What is your favorite part of marriage? What do you struggle the most with? I’d love to hear it! :)


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Unwinding with Tea- it’s healthier than you might think! :)


If you got a chance to read my latest post, The Art of Marriage With Kids, you probably saw that one of our favorite ways to unwind each day is by having a cup or two of tea in the evening! It’s a nice way to relax together even if we don’t have a lot of time to do it! Plus, drinking tea (without a ton of milk and sugar in it) has more health benefits than you probably realize!

To make it even easier, we have this AMAZING electric kettle from Rosewill* that boils our water within a couple minutes. It is easy to use, easy to clean, and fast which is ideal when you’re trying to have some quick alone time with a toddler running around chasing the poor dog.

The kettle holds 1.5 liters of water and keeps the water super hot for a good long time! I forgot I boiled water one afternoon and when I opened the kettle hours later, it was still warm. The best part is that the outside of the kettle stays completely cool so there’s no chance of my clumsy self scalding my hand. It’s also really nice not having to use the microwave to boil a couple of cups of water and no need to get a pot out to boil water on the stove. This mama likes simple and quick! Plus, the less mess I have to deal with, the better.

My husband has also started using the kettle to boil water for his oatmeal in the mornings. It’s quick and easy and it has encouraged him to eat a more filling breakfast each day without having to sacrifice too many minutes of sleep each day! Winning all around! :) I would totally take this kettle to work to keep at my desk, but, I like having to get up to walk over to the hot water dispenser when I need it! If I took this kettle to work, I’d probably never leave my desk besides going upstairs to the bathroom because of all the tea I was drinking!

I know this kettle could be used for SO MANY things besides just hot water for tea and oatmeal, but, those two things are the most popular in our household!

Now, onto those health benefits that I mentioned earlier (thanks to!)…

1. Tea contains antioxidants. Like the Rust-Oleum paint that keeps your outdoor furniture from rusting, tea’s antioxidants protect your body from the ravages of aging and the effects of pollution.

2. Tea has less caffeine than coffee. Coffee usually has two to three times the caffeine of tea (unless you’re a fan of Morning Thunder, which combines caffeine with mate, an herb that acts like caffeine in our body). An eight-ounce cup of coffee contains around 135 mg caffeine; tea contains only 30 to 40 mg per cup. If drinking coffee gives you the jitters, causes indigestion or headaches or interferes with sleep — switch to tea.

3. Tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Unwanted blood clots formed from cholesterol and blood platelets cause heart attack and stroke. Drinking tea may help keep your arteries smooth and clog-free, the same way a drain keeps your bathroom pipes clear. A 5.6-year study from the Netherlands found a 70 percent lower risk of fatal heart attack in people who drank at least two to three cups of black tea daily compared to non-tea drinkers.

4. Tea protects your bones. It’s not just the milk added to tea that builds strong bones. One study that compared tea drinkers with non-drinkers, found that people who drank tea for 10 or more years had the strongest bones, even after adjusting for age, body weight, exercise, smoking and other risk factors. The authors suggest that this may be the work of tea’s many beneficial phytochemicals.

5. Tea gives you a sweet smile. One look at the grimy grin of Austin Powers and you may not think drinking tea is good for your teeth, but think again. It’s the sugar added to it that’s likely to blame for England’s bad dental record. Tea itself actually contains fluoride and tannins that may keep plaque at bay. So add unsweetened tea drinking to your daily dental routine of brushing and flossing for healthier teeth and gums.

6. Tea bolsters your immune defenses. Drinking tea may help your body’s immune system fight off infection. When 21 volunteers drank either five cups of tea or coffee each day for four weeks, researchers saw higher immune system activity in the blood of the tea drinkers.

7. Tea protects against cancer. Thank the polyphenols, the antioxidants found in tea, once again for their cancer-fighting effects. While the overall research is inconclusive, there are enough studies that show the potential protective effects of drinking tea to make adding tea to your list of daily beverages.

8. Tea helps keep you hydrated. Caffeinated beverages, including tea, used to be on the list of beverages that didn’t contribute to our daily fluid needs. Since caffeine is a diuretic and makes us pee more, the thought was that caffeinated beverages couldn’t contribute to our overall fluid requirement. However, recent research has shown that the caffeine really doesn’t matter — tea and other caffeinated beverages definitely contribute to our fluid needs. The only time the caffeine becomes a problem as far as fluid is concerned is when you drink more than five or six cups of a caffeinated beverage at one time.

9. Tea is calorie-free. Tea doesn’t have any calories, unless you add sweetener or milk. Consuming even 250 fewer calories per day can result in losing one pound per week. If you’re looking for a satisfying, calorie-free beverage, tea is a top choice.

10. Tea increases your metabolism. Lots of people complain about a slow metabolic rate and their inability to lose weight. Green tea has been shown to actually increase metabolic rate so that you can burn 70 to 80 additional calories by drinking just five cups of green tea per day. Over a year’s time you could lose eight pounds just by drinking green tea. Of course, taking a 15-minute walk every day will also burn calories.


*Crunchy on the Weekend sometimes receives complimentary items to review on the blog. The items marked by asterisks above are products that I have received complimentary in exchange for my HONEST review. All opinions are my own and were not influenced by any other factors. I decide which items I will post reviews of and I will never recommend an item that I wouldn’t use myself. My reviews are just that- my reviews. If you are unhappy with an item that I have reviewed on my blog, I will not be held liable. If you have questions, please contact me at




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