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What I’ve Learned About Skin Since I Started Working Here

Hi! My name is Statia and I started working as a Guest Service team member at Kneaded Relief last summer. Since that time I’ve learned so much that I never knew about skin care! Some of what I’ve learned seems obvious, while some was rather surprising. I thought I’d share some of that knowledge with you all today.

When I started here at Kneaded Relief my skin care routine was pretty basic. I used your standard drugstore face washes that were full of Salicylic Acid and micro beads – the only two ingredients I knew of at the time. And that was it. I never used a moisturizer, no toners, only the occasional sunscreen application. Thanks to BioElements and PCA I now use a much more comprehensive skin care routine, and thanks to my Esthetician Kelsey, one that is better for my skin type.

Here’s a little bit of what I’ve learned so far:

  • Wear Sunscreen!
    1. Over the course of the year I’ve learned that the old Baz Luhrmann song about Sunscreen was absolutely right; everyone needs to wear sunscreen! 85-90% of aging in our skin comes from the sun’s harmful UV rays, so wearing an SPF daily is the smartest thing we can do to protect ourselves. I’m 27 and I’m not saying I’m old, but I made a promise to my niece I’d never get old so I have to ward off those fine lines and wrinkles as best as I can! Sunscreen is one of the easiest and best ways to do that.
  • Peels are amazing!
    1. So far I’ve had three chemical peels and I couldn’t be a bigger fan. A lot of people still assume that a chemical peel is some scary disgusting service that will make your skin fall off but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. PCA Peels are designed for people who have lives! The way a chemical peel works is by penetrating into your skins top layer of skin and activating your cells. When your cells slow down, aging signs increase, so it is important to keep those cells hustling! PCA peels are specifically formulated to increase cell turnover. They get your skin moving and push the dead cells out, which is why you appear to physically “peel.” In reality, it is less of a peel and more of a “slough,” but every person will have a different experience with their shedding.
    2. After each peel I’ve had I notice that my skin doesn’t break out as much as it does without peels, my skin feels brighter, and the results last until my next peel (I aim for doing a peel every 4 weeks, but if you have acne or aging skin you can do peels more often).
  • Your Esthetician knows best
    1. As I mentioned, before I ever had a professional facial I had no idea what I was doing. I bought face wash with Salicylic Acids because I thought that was the only thing that got rid of acne. Little did I know that those types of acids were completely wrong for my face. During my first facial, Kelsey assessed my skin and told me that the type of face wash I was using was totally wrong for the type of acne I was experiencing. She set me up with a face wash from BioElements that had the right ingredients for my acne type and skin type. I’ve been using it for a year now and I love it, plus I haven’t even come close to running out even though I use the product every single day.
  • Ingredients Matter!
    1. There are so many different skin types out there and so many different ingredients to consider when looking at skin care products. Many people have topical sensitivities to ingredients and they may not even realize it. Or, like some, may know they have an allergy to almonds, tree nuts, or even cucumber. Your esthetician is your greatest resource when it comes to ingredients. They are trained and know what to look for when looking at an ingredient list so that you are not using something harmful for your skin.
    2. The other thing to consider when looking at an ingredients list is that if you are using products from several different lines you may be mixing ingredients that are actually harming your skin. While one product may be working to hydrate, another product could have an ingredient that counteracts the other, leading to increased skin sensitivity. Licensed Estheticians are trained to know what to look out of in ingredients lists, making it that much easier for you to understand!
  • Wash your face at night
    1. This is one of those revelations that now seems so obvious to me, but before I knew I had never thought about. During a particularly bad breakout at a season change last year, I asked one of our Estheticians Nicki what I should do to clear up my skin. She asked me what I was currently using and when I used it. When I told her that I only washed my face once a day during my morning shower she stopped me. She said that if I’m only going to wash my face once a day it needed to be at night. Your face builds up all sorts of toxins and sweat during the day, not to mention make up! (I was removing makeup but I use makeup wipes which actually aren’t the best for your skin.) By only washing my face in the morning, I was allowing all of that dirt and oil to penetrate into my skin overnight, making me break out. Now I try to wash my face twice a day to remove all the excess dirt and oil from my pores. I’m not saying that I’m earning a 4.0 in nightly face washing but I’m improving and I can see that my skin is doing better as well.
  • You should start anti-aging routines early
    1. Like I said, I’m 27 – not old, but no longer a fresh faced babe of 19 or 20. I used to make fun of my older sister for fretting over her miniscule wrinkles and signs of aging, but karma gave me a swift kick in the butt when I realized I too was starting to get fine lines and wrinkles around my eyes. Peels and SPF are great ways to fight aging but for a full anti-aging routine you need to start early. The three products every person should be using for anti-aging are Retinols, Vitamin C and an SPF. When used together, they activate and protect the skin, reducing aging signs before they can start.
  • Oily skin still needs to be moisturized
    1. Professional products use two types of ingredients to moisturize the skin; humectants and occlusives. Humectants work by bringing moisture from the dermis into the epidermis (top layer of skin) and occlusives work by creating a barrier on top of the skin to stop moisture from escaping from your skin. Even if you have oily skin, you still need these two ingredients to make sure your skin is fully hydrated. If you aren’t using a moisturizer, your skin might overproduce oils, but once you start using a skin care regimen, your skin will stabilize leaving you fresh faced and happy!
  • You may have to switch moisturizers in the winter/summer
    1. Speaking of moisturizers, your skin may need a different moisturizer in the summer than it does in the winter. Winter air is much dryer than our humid Wisconsin summers, therefore a lot of our clients switch moisturizers seasonally. Schedule your facials at least seasonally, and monitor your skin during season changes. Then your esthetician can assess your skin and tell you if you should try a different moisturizer between the two different times of year.
  • Facials can be even more relaxing than a massage!
    1. Ok, this is maybe just me, but I feel like every time I go get a facial I’m at a level 11 on the stressed-out scale, but by the time I leave I feel refreshed and calm again. The first time I had a facial I fell asleep, which had never happened for me during a massage. There’s something so relieving about having your skin cleansed, toned, moisturized and protected that puts me in a trance! My favorite service is the Relief Facial – not only is it an amazing facial, but the massage on my face, neck, shoulders and feet make it a total package service!

I hope you have learned a little bit about how to have a healthy glow and skin that is clear and happy! I’m so excited to share with you the little bit I know about skin care since starting here. If you have any questions, our Esthetics team at Kneaded Relief is amazing and will answer anything you could think of!

Hope to see you all soon for your Kneaded Relief Facials!

 

The History of Massage

Every culture has their own form of massage, from the fully clothed stretching of Thailand to the nearly naked Iomi Iomi of Hawaii.  Each has a different explanatory model, from the meridians of acupressure to the anatomy of myofascial release.  The common denominator?

Touch.

Why do we enjoy touch so much? So much so that we pay people for it?

Social grooming is an essential part of being alive, and you can see it not only across cultures, but across the animal kingdom (and all over youtube!) Your favorite video of that cat massaging a sheep?  Social grooming.  Those silly primates at the zoo, picking bugs off each other? Social grooming.

The health benefits of social grooming are clear:  stress goes down, health goes up, and social bonds get stronger.  In a world that is becoming increasingly more physically isolated as we spend more and more time online, prioritizing touch has become even more important.

So hug your friends, cuddle your pets, and make an appointment today to reap the benefits of social grooming, and enjoy the touch we all crave.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts featuring our massage therapists and the modalities they choose to incorporate into their work!

Chloe Bradley, Massage Therapist

 

Detox H20

By: Tara Coberly

We all know that drinking eight 8 ounce glasses of water per day is recommended, but do most of us actually do it? If you have questions on the specific amount of water suggested for daily intake, check out our previous blog post So How Much Water Do I Need to Drink? This post, however, is going to focus on fun ways to get up to the proper amount of water, without feeling like you have to carry around a gallon to chug throughout the day. Which is exactly what this guy did. By adding a variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, and essential oils to your water you can increase the benefits of drinking water and enjoy it in the process.

Often called ‘detox’ water or infused water, this healthy drink can focus on helping a variety of ailments. If you are experiencing digestion, skin, or fatigue issues there is likely a combination of healthy ingredients to help alleviate it. Below I’ve outlined some common ingredients and their uses. I’ll go over a recipe later on, but keep in mind that mixing up whatever suits your fancy (or whatever you have in the fridge!) is a perfectly acceptable practice. Also, after sipping (or chugging, as the case may be) your detox water, the added ingredients are still delicious! Their flavor might be a little watery, but the fiber is still intact and very beneficial.

Citrus Fruit: Examples being lemons, limes, grapefruit, and oranges. Citrus contains high levels of vitamin C, which supports your immune system, it aids in weight control, and is a natural stress reliever. In addition, citrus is a great energy booster.

Cucumber: Cucumber is an excellent base for your infused water, as it naturally has a high water content. Cucumber is also an anti-inflammatory and is packed with skin-friendly minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and silicon.

Mint and family: Including basil, lavender, and spearmint. Great for digestion, oral health, and can help alleviate congestion in nose, throat, and lungs. Go easy at first, as mint leaves are full of strong oils that pack quite a punch. The mint family offer a wide range of benefits, for example lavender is calming and peppermint is energizing.

Ginger: Adds a spicy flavor to infused water. It aids in digestion and is a natural pain reliever.

Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and any other berry you can think of! All berries are high in anti-oxidants and fiber, meaning they are a great choice to infuse in your water, and munch on after you’re done drinking it!

Spices: Cinnamon is an excellent example of a spice that is extremely beneficial to health. Adding a cinnamon stick to your detox water can add anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and a warm kick to your water.

Essential Oils: Adding a drop or two (seriously, no more than that!) of lemon, peppermint, or other food-grade essential oils to your water is a great way to boost flavor quickly. Make sure to read up on the oil before adding it, as they are very potent and can potentially cause discomfort.

detoxH20 Recipe Idea:

Slim-down and Energize Water:

  • ½ small sliced lemon.
  • 3-5 slices of cucumber.
  • ¼ of sliced orange.
  • a few fresh mint leaves.
  • 24 oz of ice cold water

Slightly muddle lemon, cucumber, and orange in the bottom of a tall glass. Pour water over mixture and garnish with mint leaves.

Mental Health and the Workplace

I was asked to write a blog post to explain PTSD and the effects it can have on someone. A spa is a great way to help you practice self-care, take care of your body physically, and it’s fun! Even if you can’t make it a regular thing, it’s a great way to spoil yourself and love yourself. Going to the spa doesn’t have to be stressful. Keep reading as I explain PTSD and then how you can advocate for yourself in the situations life presents itself with.

At our last staff meeting, we talked about our clients with mental health issues, more specifically PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and ways we can help those clients as therapists. Seeing how May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I think it’s the perfect opportunity to talk about PTSD and how we as therapists are willing to come alongside you in your journey of recovery.

What do you think of when you hear PTSD? Is it a soldier? If that’s where your mind went to, that’s okay. Soldiers can have very severe PTSD from the things they might have seen while overseas. But did you know that anyone can have PTSD? It’s not limited to just soldiers. If someone has been abused, assaulted, in a car crash, bullied, had a medical emergency, or even watching a loved one go through a serious physical or mental illness… these are all examples of people who might be traumatized and experience PTSD.

As someone who has personal experience of what it’s like to live with PTSD, I can attest to the fact that there are times (both sometimes or all the time) when you don’t want to be touched. Being touched can trigger various reactions, and for different reasons. Say there is someone who was in a car accident. A massage can be very healing for the body, but not always for the mind. The client’s seat belt might have cut off their windpipe, making it difficult to breathe. That can be a scary and very traumatizing thing, to be unable to breathe in a very alarming situation. While massages and/ or facials usually include neck and shoulder work, this can trigger the client and that can result in a myriad of things.

What it a trigger, and why does it matter? Dictionary.com defines a trigger as anything, as an act or event, that serves as a stimulus and initiates or precipitates a reaction or series of reactions. Okay, lots of fancy words. What does that mean? Let’s go back to the client that was in an accident. Touching their neck can remind their brain of the time when they were strangled. This can cause a series of reactions that are, but not limited to: a flashback, in which hallucinations occur of the traumatic event, often convincing the person that they are actually reliving that moment; an emotional response similar to the one the person had at the time of the traumatic event; fight or flight mode; an intense and “irrational” fear of the person who triggered them; and many more similar reactions.

At Kneaded Relief, the therapists (whether it be for a massage, facial, body treatment, etc) take the time before the treatment starts to check in with the client. Update on any changes of health history, talk about areas that need some attention… this is a great time to let your therapist know if there are areas you want them to avoid so you aren’t triggered. You don’t have to be afraid of judgment. Our staff had a wonderful conversation at our meeting, and I can speak from personal experience, having PTSD and other mental health issues myself, the staff takes a non-judgmental stance when it comes to opening up about mental health issues.

No matter who you are, or where you are, this concept can be put into practice. I think it’s wonderful to talk about mental illness in the workplace. I’m glad my employers are helping lead the way to education and the end of this stigma.

Dry vs. Wet Heat

Heat can be a therapy option when looking to improve body aches and pains.  When heat is applied to the skin, it actually reduces the sensation of pain.  Thermo-receptors which block your body’s pain transmitters from sending pain signals to your brain are stimulated by heat.  An old fashion version of heat therapy was utilizing a heating pad.  You would plug it in and apply it to the area of pain.  This type of heat therapy is known as a dry heat.  When the heating pad is placed on the body it is removing moisture by drying out the skin.   It is a better option than not doing anything, but I am here to explain a better alternative to dry heat therapy and that is wet heat.

So why wet heat?

Water transfers heat more quickly than air, and it improves the expansion of the blood capillaries (vessels) to allow more blood flow.  The primary objective of heat therapy is to expand the blood capillaries so that blood flow is increased and the area of pain can heal quicker.  Moist heat is more effective than dry heat in providing deeper penetration of the tissue at the same temperatures.

Wet heat options

When looking for a superficial heating unit, look for one that says something like “moist heat”.  Kneaded Relief does provide a “moist heat” option.  Our Sonoma Lavender Wraps pictured here can be heated up in the microwave and then placed on the body.  These wraps create sweat which then transfers the heat quicker.  They are also equipped with Lavender which is an essential oil that provides a calming presence.

Sonoma Lavender Wet Heat Wrap
Sonoma Lavender Wet Heat Wrap

Stress Relief for the Full Timer

Stress unfortunately can be part of my day-to-day life.  I can stress over a number of different things before 8:00am rolls around (daughter woke up with a boogie nose – is she sick?, son climbed in bed with me last night – is he getting enough sleep?, did I remember to feed the dog?, traffic is a nightmare – probably will be late for work, etc. etc. etc.).  I look to resources on how to de-stress and realistically I just can’t partake in a number of these items because I am a working mom.  As much as I would love a bubble bath, or time to color in a coloring book or peace and quiet for that matter, I just don’t get that, and that is ok because I have found 5 other things that I can do that can happen all while in my car, with my kids in the back, or at my desk at work.

Quick Fix for Stress…

    1. Taking a deep breath – Just 1 time per hour take a deep breath.  6 seconds breathing in thru your nose and 6 seconds out thru your mouth.  If you are really ambitious, take 3 deep breaths per hour.

      Take a deep breath
      Take a deep breath
    2. Saying to yourself, “It is ok.” – Sometimes all I need to do is remind myself that, it is ok.  It is ok that I had to pick up dinner tonight instead of make it.  It is ok that I bought Valentines instead of hand making them for my son’s school.  It is ok that I wear leggings as pants (my shirt is always covering up everything).  It is ok that I am still not sure if leggings are suppose to be considered as pants.  Letting yourself off the hook is sometimes exactly what you need to let go of the stress that comes with trying to do it all.  PS. You are doing it all.
    3. Using a drive thru – I am very lucky that we have a drive-thru liquor store in my town, yes you read that right…a drive-thru liquor store.  Now not everyone is that lucky, but how great is it when you don’t have to get out of your car (and your kids out of your car), and you get your lunch, coffee, dinner or bottle of wine handed to you.  In my opinion you should take advantage of drive-thru’s on the regular.
    4. Music, Music, Music – Turn up the music.  Music lifts the spirit and allows you to detach from your other stressful thoughts for awhile.  Music is known to relax you, energize you, make you sing even when you know you can’t carry a tune.
    5. Shake, Wiggle, and Move – Move your body.  Shake your legs, wiggle your hips, do jazz hands, I don’t care, just move.  Your body is not meant to be sedentary.  Getting the blood flowing increases your endorphin’s and makes you feel better.  Perfect for when you are feeling stressed.

Relieving stress doesn’t always have to take a ton of time.  It just needs a few quality focused minutes and you will feel like a new person.  And if you are like me, you will totally embarrass your children with your rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it off” as you pull away from school on your way to grab your bottle of wine, and that alone is worth the small amount of effort.

Dana Neal – Spa Manager, Group Fitness Instructor and not as stressed Mama

Let Plan B be your Plan A

This quote, “Let Plan B be your Plan A”, came across my ears this morning on the radio and it struck me!  What an interesting concept.  The person on the radio was talking about how often you plan and create your “A” strategy and then how often something happens and throws off Plan A.  You are then automatically put on to track B.  Well there are two things you can then do with Plan B.  You can complain, be upset, and dig your heels in because this was not your original plan, or you can let Plan B be your Plan A.

What a great way to live life…

Planning 2.10.17
Family Planning Day

I started to think to myself how much negative time and energy would be removed if I just let Plan A go and seamlessly allowed Plan B to take over.  Being very Type A (pun intended), I can schedule things to a fault.  My intention actually for 2017 was to be more adventurous because I realized I had gotten to a point in my life where if things weren’t planned I would break out in metaphorical hives, itching to have a plan and being incredibly frustrated if I didn’t have one.  Needless to say, I almost always have a Plan A.  The rarity though in which Plan A goes off without a hitch is high.  Now with small children it is almost a guarantee that something will put me into Plan B.  Children just don’t operate on parents’ schedules, they operate on THEIR schedules.  So what does that all boil down to?  Well it brings me back to why this quote hit a positive chord with me this morning.  I can have my Plan A (which I love), but if I end up with a Plan B I am going to have just as much enthusiasm and passion for it as I would for Plan A.

Plan C-hildren:

Lastly, I am going to realize that Plan A and Plan B still might turn in to Plan C-hildren, and that can work for me to.

Dana Neal – Spa Manager, Group Fitness Instructor, Open to Plan A,B or C.

 

Bach Rescue Remedy – My Personal Story

My bottle of Bach Rescue Remedy
My bottle of Bach Rescue Remedy

It has been over 9 years now since I was introduced to Bach Rescue Remedy.  Honestly when I was first made aware of this product I really thought, “this is a bunch of bologna and it is clearly if anything a placebo effect.”.  Well that was at least my thought until this past fall.

What is Bach?

Bach Flower Remedies Limited utilizes flower essences to create products to help with a number of different emotional states.  Bach Rescue Remedy is a natural stress relief spray.  It provides a gentle, non habit forming stress relief by simply being sprayed in the mouth.  The product is homeopathic, vegan and gluten free.

Well as I was saying, I was introduced to Bach over 9 years ago and I purposefully had not used it.  I recommended it to guests and to my friends and family because I wanted to believe it would work, but I felt honestly that there was no way a spray was going to do anything for my mental health.

It was September of this past year when I was heading back to work after my maternity leave with my daughter and my son, who had just turned 2, was now going to go to daycare full time vs. part time.  I had convinced myself that he would be fine.  He would not be upset that he didn’t get to spend part of his week with his grandparents and he would totally understand why his mom had to go to work…you probably all know where this story is going.  Instead of having a well adjusted 2 year old I had a sobbing, clinging, frazzled, massively emotional 2 year old who I literally had to yank off my leg when I left him at school.  It was horrible.  Day after day he sobbed and I sobbed in the car on the ride to work because I felt like the worst human being alive.  I had no idea what to do.  He was 2 and emotional and I was a breastfeeding, mother-of-two, hormonal roller coaster myself.  There was no magic pill for this situation, but then as I was sitting at my desk I looked over to our retail shelves and saw Bach Rescue Remedy.  It was then I thought, “I have nothing to lose.”

Now on the bottle it did say that if you are pregnant or breastfeeding to consult a doctor and it also said that it should be not directed at children under 12, so I went to my doctor and told her what I knew and what this was.  Her personal advice was that it would be fine for me and for my kiddo to use (please advise your own physician when considering taking Bach).  So the next day I purchased some, and the day after that I tried the spray on my son.  His immediate reaction was, “that is spicy mama”, and he wanted nothing to do with it.  I went to Pam our Massage Department Manager and asked if there was any other way to apply it.  She suggested spraying some into my hand and then rubbing it on the back of his neck, so that was what I tried next.  It had been just over a week of using Bach and then it happened.  I asked my son when he got to school if he wanted “his spray”, he said yes and I applied it to the back of his neck.  He then took my hand, walked calmly into the classroom, gave me a hug and a kiss goodbye and said, “bye mom”.  I LEFT STUNNED!

Once in the car with my jaw picked off my chest, I realized that this spray might have done the trick.  Driving to work that day was incredible.  I was happy and my stomach didn’t feel in knots.  Ever since I have been using Bach Rescue Remedy and telling everyone about it.  Not only that but I started to use it too.  I don’t use it everyday but I use it when I start to get stressed or I worry.  Having kids, a full time job and a busy husband there are a number of things that cause stress, so each time I feel that feeling coming on I just spray some Bach Rescue Remedy and I instantly start to calm down.  I became more rational, clear-headed and I worry A LOT LESS.

I was a non believer and I became a believer.  If this is just a placebo effect, well I don’t care.  It gives me a homeopathic option to help my kids not cry, and for me to worry less.  I will take that option any day. http://www.bachflower.com/

Dana Neal – Spa Manager, Group Fitness Instructor and Mom of two

Shellac Manicure for Winter

Shellac Manicures Available
Shellac Manicures Available

Shellac Manicures combat Winter Gloves

It is a balmy 2 degrees outside today in Fitchburg, WI.  Typical weather for this time of year.  It is also typical of me to question why I chose to live in Wisconsin every year at this time.  With a polar vortex in full swing, you can imagine that no one leaves their home without full body coverage (hats, scarves, jackets, gloves, long sleeves, long pants, thick socks and boots).  So when a guest comes in to receive a manicure, I slightly cringe because there is a specific dance that has to happen in order for the guest to put back on all of their layers, especially gloves after a fresh coat of nail polish has been applied.  Well that cringing is all in the past now due to a product called Shellac.

Shellac is a nail polish designed by Creative Nail to have zero dry time.  It is a 14 day high shine, high performance wear product that has fast removal and by the end of your service is completely DRY.  Let me say that again because I feel like this is so amazing.  At the end of your service your nails are completely dry.  No worries about grabbing your credit card out of your wallet, no worries about how you are going to put your jacket on, no worries about bumping a nail anywhere and no worries about wearing warm gloves in the middle of a polar vortex.

Shellac is a professional product and should only be applied and removed by a professional; otherwise, damage to the nails is possible.  At Kneaded Relief we offer a Shellac manicure and removal.  There are a variety of colors to choose from and the service only takes about 45 minutes.  To learn more about the Shellac product check out CND’s website https://cnd.com/.  There are F.A.Q.’s that you can read about or you can see a video on the process.

Just because it is freezing here (and that might be an understatement), does not mean that you shouldn’t be able to enjoy a manicure and have beautiful nails.  I promise you that once you try it you will be hooked.

Annual Prepare and Plan Day

Taking a day to prepare and plan for 2017

As 2016 draws to a close, I wanted to share with you an organizational strategy to help 2017 be a knockout year.  The advice is, take a day either by yourself or with your significant other, and prepare/plan out your 2017.  Take a weekday off of work, grab your calendars, planners, mobile devices, and laptops and head out of the house.  If you have kids make sure they are not with you.  Put them in day care, have a babysitter come over, or take the time they are in school to give yourself and your partner some time to really get down to business with minimal distractions.  Then, go to a place where you can get a meal, caffeine, free Wifi and some alone time.

“What then do you plan for?”, you ask.  Well here is a list to get you started.  It includes questions to ask yourself along with events and lifestyle trinkets to take into consideration.

Questions to ask:

  1. What in 2016 did I find to be stressful?  How could I remedy this in 2017?
  2. What was my favorite thing I did in 2016? For myself? and With my family?
  3. If I could have done anything different in 2016 what would it have been?
  4. What is my intention for 2017? (to be more adventurous, to consider wellness in my everyday life, to live more “experiences”, etc.)

Once you have these questions answered, plan out any dates, events, etc. that will need to blocked in order for you to do the things you laid out.

Events/Appointments to Plan for:

  1. Travel – Are there vacations you want to take (Vegas with your girlfriends)?  Are there trips you need to take (out to Connecticut for Christmas with family)?  Find the dates, start to plan your transportation, inform those involved.
  2. Birthday party dates for your children
  3. Dentist Appointments
  4. Wellness Appointments – Massage, Facials, Nails, Chiropractic
  5. Volunteer events
  6. Kid’s Dr. Appointments

Life Trinkets:

  1. Meal Planning
  2. Exercise Plan – how many times per week, who watches the kids, who will hold you accountable?
  3. Bills/Money Allocation – Retirement accounts, savings funds, large upcoming purchases, maternity leave

Once your prep/plan session is completed you will have a focused direction for 2017.  You will be ahead of the game, and well beyond most of your peers.  You will feel less stressed and more centered because you will minimize a lot of the last minute crazy.  Instead of setting a resolution for yourself that will only get broken within the first 6 weeks (this is on average how long a person holds true to a resolution), give yourself and your family a game plan.