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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

January 15, 2019 - 8:29am --

I had the opportunity between Christmas and New Years to spend some extended time with my college roommate and lifelong friend.  While the visit with her was (and always is) full of reminiscent stories, this time it was traveling out of state to see her sister who has been placed in a beautiful hospice facility.  The circumstances stimulated many conversations about life, purpose and perspective.

As we begin 2019, I’d like to challenge all of us to become more mindful of each day as a gift.  A day that we will not have the privilege to relive.  The tasks that we do or not do, the words that we speak, or not speak and the manner in which we treat those around us will pass by as the day ends and another one begins.  In the book “7” the author talks about life with the number of mornings we are given.  If, we live to the age of 84, we have about 30,000 mornings to live life.  Each morning we take one away and at this point in life, for me I’ve lived way more than half of those gifted days.  We life our life, by how we live our days.

While we may not understand the reasoning behind some of life’s challenges, for many daily tasks we have choices to make.  We can choose to take care of ourselves by eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep and physical activity.  With each choice we model for our children the behaviors that are important to us and give them a foundation to build their lives upon.  They will practice what they see.

So what it is that you are looking forward to in 2019?  What plans, or projects or goals do you want to set to make sure that happen this year?  With material things, that are concrete, it’s fairly easy to set particular steps to reach the goal.  For instance, if I want to save $600 by June, that means I need to save $100 a month or $25 a week.  To save the $25 I might need to look at my spending and begin to pack my lunches or limit shopping or plan meals so that going to the grocery doesn’t spend extra money for the week. 

If you have your goal or project in mind, try the following steps to put it into action so that you can make sure that it happens in 2019.

Specific - Identify what you want in details, I want to save $600 or I want to lose 20 pounds. 

Measurable-how will you know if you achieve it?  I can save $25/ a week or I can lose 1# a week

Attainable- is this possible in my budget?  Do I have wiggle room in my budget or am I committed to sticking to the routine to lose 1 pound a week?

Realistic-How committed am I to making this happen?  Will I give up some things to make sure that I can achieve others? 

Time Bound- by setting a date, I am holding myself accountable and at that time I will re-evaluate my progress.  That way I can tell if I accomplished my goal or if I need to reset my timeline. 

If I don’t set goals, I won’t know when I reach them.  Write them down and post them on the car visor, bathroom mirror, kitchen window, refrigerator or anyplace where it will be seen several times a day to reinforce what I’m working towards.   If it’s a goal that the family is working towards, be sure to have frequent conversations about how close we are to reaching it and ideas of how to be successful.

Life, purpose and perspective are molded in part by our faith, our actions, our values and the recognition to begin each day with the mindset that what we contribute, makes a difference.  Make 2019 be a great year for you and your family.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at  


Melinda Hill is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.

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