12 Months of Healthier Living {Make One Change Every 30 Days}

Yesterday I shared with you 12 months of frugal living, and today I’m going to use that same concept to bring to you 12 months of healthy living.

12 months to healthier living

January is always the month, isn’t it? It’s the month we are thinking more about healthy choices. We’re SO full from chocolate and cheese and all around too much food, not enough sleep, and less exercise over the Christmas holidays.

January is when we finally just want to feel better.

But, let’s be honest, and we all know it’s true – having the motivation and determination we have in the first week of the new year to make big changes often starts to disappear as time goes on.

And often it doesn’t even take that long before we’re reaching for the junk, have given up our exercise schedule, and are staying up too late again.

Sometimes I think that happens because we jump into too much too fast. We jump on the newest lifestyle change that EVERYONE seems to be doing, yet it may not be the right fit for us. We all have different lifestyles and schedules and that affects what is realistic for us to change.

For example, I find that if I try to get an hour of exercise in a day I’m bound to fail. It’s impossible to fit it in for me in this season of life. I homeschool my kids, I homestead, I work from home, and giving up more sleep to fit in that extra hour is not an option because I am dealing with some health issues that make sleep super important for my overall well-being.

However, if I consider trying to exercise 20-30 minutes a day, or 45 minutes to an hour three times a week, that is more realistic for me to handle.

I’m learning that I have to find what fits into my life when it comes to healthy choices.

What if this was the year you focused on your health? What if you bit it off in little chunks and were able to focus on just one thing each month? What if that thing you focused on each month snowballed into 12 different things you were doing for your health by the end of the year?

That’s what we’re going for here in these next 12 months.


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Cut out refined sugar. We all know refined sugar is bad for us. You may not feel the greatest at this time of year thanks to the holidays. So it makes sense to start with this.

Sometimes when we start taking things out of our diet we try to take too much out at the same time. However, if you start with one thing, it gets a little easier.

Now, you will still want to limit your honey, maple syrup, and other natural sugars intake. Buy raw honey instead of pasteurized honey for the health benefits (though it is not safe for babies under one year old).

Now whether you want to completely remove refined sugar from your diet or would rather allow yourself to have a day where you treat yourself is up to you and your situation. Do what you think you will succeed at the most.


Get more sleep. It’s not uncommon for us to to just not get enough sleep. We stay up too late and try to burn the candles at both ends. That might work for awhile, even years if you are lucky. However, one day it will catch up to you. It’s been proven that lack of sleep causes health issues.

Make it a priority to get to bed on time.  Just do it.  Your body will thank you.


Add exercise to your schedule. If you aren’t getting enough exercise consider adding a workout routine to your week. Plan one out that will fit your lifestyle. There are so many options here! You can go to or do it at home. You can carve out time everyday or three times a week. You can do a variety of activities like running, swimming, biking, lifting weights, etc.

If you start your exercise routine and discover it just isn’t working for you, don’t give up! Just change it up to better fit your lifestyle.


Drink more water. Many of us don’t drink enough water and struggle with dehydration without even knowing it. Drinking more water has so many benefits. Our bodies need it. Make it a point to drink a big glass of water when you first wake up in the morning before anything else because that’s when we are the most dehydrated as we’ve just spent 7-8 hours without anything to drink.

If you struggle with drinking water consider adding some lemon, lime, cucumbers, or raspberries to it to infuse some extra flavor.  These fruit infuser water bottles are perfect for that.


Cut back on the caffeine. Okay, so I definitely am not going to tell you to give up your morning coffee if you don’t want to, so don’t panic. 🙂 However, if you drink a lot of caffeine throughout your day you may want to consider cutting back.

Or, if you feel like you need to, maybe you are one of those people who wants to give up your morning coffee. You could either start weaning yourself off slowly, or go cold turkey. It’s whatever your personality works best with!


Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Sometimes I think we over complicate eating healthy. I know I do. But it really comes down to this – eat real food. Eat less junk and more fruits and vegetables. If you eat more produce you really can’t go wrong.

You can try experimenting with new vegetables and fruits you haven’t eaten before. Last summer my friend gave me some Kohlrabi to try. I love it and now buy it when I go grocery shopping.

No matter where I am the cashier always asks me what it is. It’s funny how we all stick to the same common fruits and vegetables when there are so many amazing things to eat out there!


Reduce toxins in your home. This is one of those things I never really paid attention to until a couple years ago when I got a bit sick and started to think about the things I was breathing in and putting on my skin.

Once I started looking into it I had a huge wake up call. I think we don’t think about these things because the damage it can do is often long-term and not immediate. Some people can be affected, and others seem to be okay. The problem is years later when you discover some health issues and you find out that something you have been using for years is linked to that particular problem.

Reducing toxins doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Slow is the way to go in my opinion. You can make your own all-purpose cleaner. You can switch out your scented candles for beeswax candles and use essential oils to diffuse (and clean) instead. You can use natural options when it comes to shampoo and conditioner.

And it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing thing. I think that’s where we don’t even try. I use natural cleaning products most of the time but still pull out the commercial toilet bowl cleaner because I’ve yet to find something that works on my toilet. If I do I’ll gladly change, but for now I don’t panic about it. I’m using a lot less toxic items in my home than I used to, and for me that’s a win.


Work on portion control. This is something that has been huge for me over the years as I am a snacker, and an emotional eater. Often it wasn’t necessarily WHAT I was eating, but how much of it I was that was not making me feel good (and of course adding on the extra pounds at different times).

There are various ways you can work on portion control. The biggest one for me is to not eat after dinner time.

My digestive system does not like too much food in it while I sleep, and so this helps eliminate stomach aches for me and also prevents me from snacking on things I shouldn’t because let’s be honest, most snacking before bed is NOT a bowl of fruit.

Other ways you can work on portion control is making sure that at every meal at least half of your plate is vegetables. You can also use a smaller plate to help.

Of course, I want to say when it comes to portion control make sure you are getting ENOUGH. Your body still needs adequate nutrition. If your portions are great as they are then this is not something to cut even further. Our bodies need fuel.


Consider adding needed supplements to your diet. Okay, I used to avoid supplements at all costs. I used to tell myself young, healthy people don’t need them.

But here’s the thing. Few of us are getting everything we need from our food. And as we age this becomes more evident.

I do think we need to be careful not to “over-supplement.” But it’s not a bad idea to look at what you may be sufficient in and add that to your daily regime.

The best way to do this of course is to go to a health professional and have them test you on what you suspect you may be deficient in.

Here where I live we have longer winters so vitamin D is a must for me since it’s a vitamin you get from the sun and we don’t see the sun as much as we would like at certain times of the year.

So, check with your doctor on this one, and add what you are missing.


Speaking of health professionals, taking care of your health involves getting your regular checkups. If you have avoided any checkups and tests recommended for your age, now is the time.

Look, I know it’s not fun. I have been there too many times to count. But I go anyways – not even necessarily for myself, but for the ones I love. I go because I have a husband and three kids who need me here as long as I am physically able. I want to do whatever I can to make it happen.

So I bring myself into the doctor’s office even though I literally have anxiety over it. I have also since added regular visits to a naturopath this year to have the extra guidance in my health care choices.


Boost your immune system. When November hits the weather starts getting colder and seasonal threats are beginning. Consider boosting yours and your family’s immune system with some natural ideas. Make this elderberry syrup, or fermented garlic honey, or diffuse immune boosting essential oils. Check out other ways you can boost your immune system in this post.


Make a plan to not overdo it on the junk this month. You’ve made it this far, yet December is when it all seems to be thrown out the window. You can do this!

Definitely make extra room for splurges for holiday treats, but decide how that looks. Will you eat well all December and then give yourself a break for the week of Christmas? Will you allow yourself some extra treats each week but decide exactly how much that is beforehand?

Will you make some healthier treat options yourself? Will you only allow yourself some treats at holiday get-togethers but make sure to not buy any for your home?

Again, this will look different for everyone, but the most important thing is that you need to make a plan or the chances that you will take a bunch of steps back this month are pretty high.


After the 12 months have passed you will be amazed at all the different choices you are now making when it comes to your health. At the start a year seems like a long time, but it really does pass quickly and before you know it you will be a healthier you.

If you struggle with any of the above changes, don’t give up. If you fail just try again. I am a true believer that no matter how many times we failed we can still achieve what we really want to. We may need to make some changes to set us up for success, but I believe it still can be done.

Here’s to a healthier year!

3 thoughts on “12 Months of Healthier Living {Make One Change Every 30 Days}”

  1. All good advice! Eight years ago I ditched doctors and went alternative. Since that time we have tried to eat something raw at every meal. We always start our evening meal with a big salad and It fills us up some and we get all those greens everyday. Some fruit or raw veggies at breakfast and lunch really help us to feel better all day long.

    1. Raw is definitely a good choice. You definitely have to be intentional about making sure you get your vegetables in. Some weeks are better than others for me!

  2. It would go without saying that the QUALITY of your portions in each meal is far more important than QUANTITY (size).
    Picking products chock full NATURALLY of the good stuff (vitamins, minerals, protein, iron, etc).

    December: add more family time, less TV time! Perfect month to do that with those dang money pit holidays in full swing.

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