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Challenge: Start Today: Healthy Habits

Set Tweens Up for Success with Mindful Living Plans

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I'm the kind of mom who offers a lesson in everything -- much like Marilla Cuthbert in Anne of Green Gables.

Like everything, when I'm focusing on something I feel is important, I like to bring my daughters along for the ride.

They may or may not roll their eyes these days when I introduce a new plan, but the truth is that when I'm learning and growing, they are also eager to learn and grow alongside me. It works for us.

So this month, when I decided to put a mindful living plan into action by creating a big poster to hang in on our refrigerator -- to keep me on track with my own goals -- I asked them if they'd like to do the same.

They quickly grabbed their notepads and pencils and got to work.

This conversation came to be right after my pickiest eater actually ate teeny tiny bites of raw spinach mixed into her rice and beans. This was a huge celebration at our house.

And it led to a goal to eat more fruits and vegetables.

To create our mindful living plans, we used some of the suggestions in the book, "Savor," by Thich Nhat Hanh. (affiliate link)

As the book suggests, my 10-year-old daughters and I created weekly goals around eating, movement and breathing/meditation -- all actions we can start right now, this week and make progress on. We all chose easy actions we can feel really good about.

My girls' plans include an increase in fruits and vegetables, doing pushups and jumping jacks and doing a small flower meditation that includes our newly bought house plants. This meditation is straight from the book "Savor." We also added water intake check boxes, too.

Our mindful action plans are hanging on the fridge where we check off our progress.

When I'm working with busy mothers I remind them that we're the models our kids need to live a healthy, nourishing life. When we take care of ourselves, first, we show our kids what it takes to lead a healthy life in return.

And by making it a mindful living plan, it's not about dieting. It's not about body image. It's not about what's good and what's bad.

It's about living, moving, breathing and being present -- and I love that.


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