There is a recent report out that says the Earth’s climate is changing more rapidly than previously thought. We may reach the critical temperature increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius as compared to pre-industrial times by the mid 2030s. We’ve observed that that our last eight years have been the hottest on record. We are also seeing more extreme droughts, flooding and hurricanes in other parts of the country and it’s only going to get worse. We also have the issue of pollution. Trash on roads, beaches, streams, campgrounds, and parks seems to be getting worse every year.

What can we do as consumers? Choose paper over plastic, recycle, buy electric vehicles? These actions might help but only a little since there are trade-offs. For example, paper bags can be composted and break down, but they degrade forests, and are more energy intense to transport. Only a small percent of what we try to recycle is actually recycled. And the issue with buying electric cars is that they also are resource intense to manufacture in terms of resources and water.

The best thing we can ethically do as consumers is to consume less- drive less, fly less, eat less, buy less, take shorter showers, use less electricity. We must consider needs versus wants. I’m a type 1 diabetic so I use a lot of single use plastics and insulin to manage my diabetes. I’m not able or willing to compromise my health. However there might be some other small changes I can do to offset. For example, I can eat less sweets so I won’t need as much insulin, and not use as much diabetes supplies.

Small, simple behavior changes especially related to “wants” versus the “needs” can make a big difference over time. For example, cutting your showers by a few minutes can save many gallons of water over a year, in addition to saving energy. If you need ideas for goals, please see our OSU sustainability resource page for ideas.

Author: Dan Remley, Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition and Wellness, Ohio State University Extension

Reviewer: Jessica Lowe, Extension Educator, Pickaway County


Diffenbaugh N.S. and Barnes, E.A. (2023). Data-driven predictions of the time remaining until critical global warming thresholds are reached. PNAS 120(6). https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2207183120

World Meteorological Association. (2023). Past eight years confirmed to be the eight warmest on record. Retrieved from https://public.wmo.int/en/media/press-release/past-eight-years-confirmed-be-eight-warmest-record

Person holding a phone and chatting with a bot.

Recently a co-worker and I were talking about ChatGPT – a new online bot that can respond to questions and comments from users in a conversational and “human-like” manner. We spoke about the pros and cons of this new technology, the effects it could have in education, as well as ways it could be used by individuals. After our conversation, I wanted to try chatting with the bot myself, and learn a little more about how it can be used by others.

ChatGPT was first launched in November 2022 and is currently available through a free research preview. The program does require a user to create a username and password to log in, but that hasn’t stopped many individuals – within three days of its launch, over one million people had signed up to use the site. Users can ask ChatGPT just about anything that comes to their mind, from meal planning help, ideas for a party, or a synopsis of a book or movie (and it even tries to avoid spoilers!). The chatbot rejects inappropriate requests and will challenge false assumptions – for example, if asked to talk more about Christopher Columbus’ arrival in America in 2015, it will first gently correct the user then treat the question as hypothetical.

As I was chatting, I wondered how artificial intelligence could be used as a support in other productive ways. So, of course, I asked ChatGPT itself:

ChatGPT's response to how artificial intelligence can be helpful.

As artificial intelligence technologies continue to improve, individuals may see it being used more in healthcare and medicine. One way it is used today is through wearable health devices (WHDs).  Many of these devices look like watches or bands and are able to track the daily health stats of the person wearing the device. This allows individuals to take charge of their own health and monitor their activity. Some WHDs are able to be remotely monitored by physicians, creating more communication between patients and healthcare professionals.

Even ChatGPT itself could play a role in community health. It can provide information on public health issues and answer questions about health promotion and disease prevention, including the importance of vaccinations, regular screenings, and ways to reduce risk factors. It can also provide information about health programs and services in the community, listing eligibility criteria for certain services and whether programs can be covered through health insurance. The are some limitations to what ChatGPT can do, however. It may not always be completely accurate due to the limitations of its data. Chatbots also do not have the same level of engagement with individuals as a human health educator would provide.

I know I am amazed by the advancements of technology in the last few years. There is so much support that artificial intelligence can provide to help keep us healthy, however there are still some issues for programmers to solve. I am excited to see what the future will bring to better health and wellness!

Written by:  Jessica Lowe, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, lowe.495@osu.edu

Review by:  Dan Remley PhD, MSPH, Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition, and Wellness, Ohio State University Extension, remley.4@osu.edu


Biswas, S. (2023). Role of chat gpt in public health. Annals of Biomedical Engineering. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10439-023-03172-7#citeas

Bohr, A. & Memarzadeh, K. (2020). The rise of artificial intelligence in healthcare applications. National Library of Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7325854/

Broom, D. (2022). Explained: what is chatGPT? World Economic Forum. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/12/chatgpt-ai-bot-intelligent-conversation/

ChatGPT. (n.d.). https://chat.openai.com/chat.

Tyson, A. et al. (2023). 60% of American would be uncomfortable with provider relying on AI in their own health care. Pew Research Center. https://www.pewresearch.org/science/2023/02/22/60-of-americans-would-be-uncomfortable-with-provider-relying-on-ai-in-their-own-health-care/

Sharp-lobed Hepatica blooming, a spring wildflower

Monday, March 20th marked the first official day of Spring. Now is the perfect time to get outside and commit to increasing your daily dose of Vitamin N(ature). Why should you go outside? The health and wellness benefits of being outdoors are numerous. If you want to dive deep into these benefits, read Florence William’s book, The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative. For now, you might want to watch her short video, What Happens When You Spend 5 minutes in Nature? Her advice: “Go outside. Go often. Bring friends. Breathe.”

Need ideas of things to do to increase your Vitamin N? Here are four activities to try outside this spring:

1. Search for spring wildflowers, also referred to as spring ephemerals. These early bloomers have been blooming for weeks and are a welcome sight year after year. Want to learn more about wildflowers? Visit the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Wildflower website to find the Spring Wildflowers of Ohio field guide, weekly wildflower bloom reports, videos, a wildflower checklist, and featured locations throughout the state.

2. Watch the stars, planets, and moon. Visit What’s Up: Skywatching Tips from NASA, an educational website with monthly highlights, daily skywatching guides, night sky news, and other educational resources about our galactic neighborhood. Have you ever seen the International Space Station in the night sky? You can enter your location on NASA’s Spot the Station website and get a calendar of sighting opportunities in your community.

Male Red-winged Blackbird singing

3. Look and listen for migrating birds to return to your yard and community. Have you noticed the return of the chatty Red-winged Blackbirds? They are often one of the first migrants of the season. The male birds, with their black body and yellow and red shoulder patches, returns to their nesting grounds before the dark brown, streaked females. Be on the lookout for migrating waterfowl, hummingbirds, and warblers. To learn about birds, visit All About Birds and eBird, two websites maintained by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. These websites provide enormous amounts of information about different bird species, their migration patterns, their songs and calls, their behavior, and identification information.

4. Walk, stroll, or ride on the 1,523 miles of bike trails in the Buckeye State. To learn about the different trails and find a trail near you, visit the Ohio Bikeways website hosted by the Ohio Department of Transportation. This site features trail safety tips, a bikeways brochure, and a downloadable map.

Seedlings growing in an egg carton.

If you or someone you love has limited mobility or a difficult time getting outside, consider bringing nature indoors. Sowing seeds indoors is a fun and educational Spring activity. Using a cardboard egg carton is an easy, economical, and environmentally friendly way to plant your seeds.

Every day is an opportunity to get outside and get a healthy dose of Vitamin N. Even better, get outdoors and bring others with you. Be sure to get out and enjoy all that nature has to offer this Spring!

Written by: Laura M. Stanton, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Warren County, stanton.60.osu.edu     

Reviewed by: Shari Gallup, Assistant Professor and Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Licking County, gallup.1@osu.edu


Louv, R. (2016). Vitamin N: The essential guide to a nature-rich life. Algonquin Books.

Stanton, L. M. (n.d.) Nature matters. OSU Extension, Warren County.  go.osu.edu/nature-matters

Stanton, L. M. (2021, April 19). Get out! Celebrate nature on Earth Day and every day. Live Healthy Live Well.  https://livehealthyosu.com/2021/04/19/get-out-celebrate-nature-on-earth-day-and-every-day

Stanton, L. M. (2022, May 2). How’s your environmental wellness? Live Healthy Live Well. https://livehealthyosu.com/2022/05/02/hows-your-environmental-wellness

Tedrow, S. (2022, March 8). Selecting and starting seeds. OSU Extension, Wayne County. https://wayne.osu.edu/news/selecting-and-starting-seeds

Williams, F. (2018). The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative. W.W. Norton.

Williams, F. (n.d.). The Nature Fix: What Happens When You Spend Just 5 Minutes in Nature? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwQkTuhId-o

Photo Credit: All photos from AdobeStock.

It is finally spring and my favorite time of the year! I hope you are celebrating that not only has spring has arrived, but so has National Nutrition Month. This is a yearly celebration during the month of March to create awareness about making informed food choices as well as developing healthful eating and physical activity habits.

March is also a great time to enjoy springtime foods! Have you noticed the beautiful color of food this time of year? What are your favorite springtime foods to cook and serve? There are many to choose from including strawberries, spinach, and my personal favorite are the bright orange “bugs bunny” carrots! If you need a little inspiration for spring holiday dinner ideas here are two videos (3 minutes each) of my favorites green bean recipe and a cucumber dill appetizer recipe. Quick, easy and healthier!

National Nutrition Month is a great time to learn about different food choices and educate your family as well.  This year’s theme is “Fuel for the Future” and include the following messages:

Theme 1: Eat with the Environment in Mind

  • Enjoy more plant-based meals and snacks.
  • Purchase foods with minimal packaging
  • Buy foods in season and shop locally when possible.
  • Start a container or backyard garden to grow food at home.

Theme 2: See a Registered Dietician

  • Ask your doctor for a referral to an RDN.
  • Find an RDN who specializes in your unique needs.
  • Learn how nutrient needs may change with age.
  • Received personalized nutrition information to meet your health goals.

Theme 3: Stay Nourished and Save Money

  • Plan your meals and snacks.
  • See what food you have at home before purchasing more.
  • Use a grocery list and shop sales when purchasing food.
  • Learn about community resources.

Theme 4: Eat a Variety of Foods from All Food Groups

  • Include your favorite cultural foods and traditions.
  • Eat foods in various forms including fresh, frozen, canned, and dried.
  • Avoid fad diets that promote unnecessary restrictions.
  • Practice gratitude for your body by giving it the fuel it needs.

Theme 5: Make Tasty Foods at Home

  • Learn cooking and meal preparation skills.
  • Try new flavors and foods from around the world.
  • Find creative ways to use leftovers rather than tossing them.
  • Create happy memories by eating with friends and family when possible.

I hope you find time to enjoy a few springtime foods and don’t forget to get outside and soak up some sunshine!

Happy Spring!


  1. American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (2023). National Nutrition Month. https://www.eatright.org/national-nutrition-month-2023.

Written by:  Shari Gallup, Assistant Professor, Family and Consumer Science Educator, Licking County, Ohio. gallup.1@osu.edu.

Reviewed by:  Laura M. Stanton, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Warren County, stanton.60.osu.edu

When working in the field of early childhood you get many questions from parents regarding child development. I can’t tell you how many times a parent has asked me a question that began with the words “is it normal”. Generally, the answer is “yes”, followed by an explanation of how all children develop at their own pace. However, it is also important to recognize that early intervention, when needed, will lead to better outcomes and may have lasting implications. This is especially true with speech issues, including stuttering.

adult smiling at child
The most important lessons are learnt with love

Stuttering is a speech problem where the normal flow of speech is disrupted. Stuttering is a form of dysfluency and according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, there are several types of stuttering. 

  • Developmental stuttering. This is the most common type of stuttering in children. It usually happens when a child is between ages 2 and 5. It may happen when a child’s speech and language development lags behind what he or she needs or wants to say.
  • Neurogenic stuttering. Neurogenic stuttering may happen after a stroke or brain injury. It happens when there are signal problems between the brain and nerves and muscles involved in speech.
  • Psychogenic stuttering. Psychogenic stuttering is not common. It may happen after emotional trauma.

Many children (about 5%) experience disfluency between the ages 2 ½ and 5. It is during this time their vocabulary is growing rapidly and they are starting to put words together to form sentences. While most disfluency resolves on its own, some children may need additional support.

Although the exact cause is unknown, Craig Coleman, CCC-SLP, BRS-FD suggests the following may be risk factors associated with stuttering.

  • Family history is the biggest predictor of whether a child is likely to stutter.
  • Gender. Young boys are twice as likely as young girls to stutter, and elementary school-age boys are 3 to 4 times more likely to stutter than girls.
  • Age of onset. Children that start having difficulties at age 4 are more likely to have a persistent stutter than those who begin stuttering at a younger age.
  • Co-existing speech and/or language disorders increase the likelihood a child may stutter.

Children stutter in different ways so Katrina Zeit Purcell, MHA, MA, CCC-SLP of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, recommends your child be evaluated by a speech-language pathologist who specializes in stuttering if you have a concern about your child’s speech, if they struggle during talking, if they avoid situations in which he or she will have to talk if they express concerns about their speech or avoids saying certain words.

As with most childhood issues, early intervention may lead to better outcomes. The Stuttering Foundation offers free resources, services, and support. Learn more by visiting https://www.stutteringhelp.org/.

Written by: Heather Reister, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Butler County

Reviewed by: Roseanne Scammahorn, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Darke County.


Coleman, C., (2016). Stuttering in Toddlers & Preschoolers: What’s Typical, What’s Not?, Retrieved from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/Pages/Stuttering-in-Toddlers-Preschoolers.aspx

John Hopkins Medicine, (2023). What is stuttering in children? Retrieved from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/stuttering

The Stuttering Foundation, (ND). Home page. Retrieved from https://www.stutteringhelp.org/

Zeit Purcell, K., (2017). Stuttering in young kids: When to be concerned. Retrieved from https://blog.cincinnatichildrens.org/healthy-living/child-development-and-behavior/stuttering-in-young-kids-when-is-it-concerning/

In the parenting world, especially during the pre-teen and teenage years, children’s emotions are running high. When they experience sensory overload, the whole world becomes overwhelming and POOF, they lose control over their behaviors. Just as they begin to spin out of control, we can help by de-escalating the situation and bring their world back into balance.

When your pre/teen is at the peak of the escalation cycle, their brain function is in full survival mode or the fight, flight, freeze, or fawn mode. Meaning their reasoning skills are not fully functioning. Therefore, you must first regulate your emotions, modeling calmness through your breathing, non-verbal expressions, your tone of voice, positive self-talk, and then, when you are ready, engage. The more upset your pre/teen becomes, the calmer you need to become. Remember, at this point, your pre/teen is not ready for a teachable moment, they just need you to help maintain a safe environment for them.

Using the 5 steps to de-escalate emotions can help your pre/teen learn to recognize and address their emotions.

  1. Give them a moment to cool down so that together you can help them regain control.
  2. Next, get on their level physically. Try to be at their eye level, so if they are sitting, sit near them, while still giving them personal space.
  3. Listen to what the issue is and what their concerns are.
  4. Acknowledge their feelings without judgment of right or wrong. Just listen and validate their emotions so that they feel heard and understood.
  5. Don’t go directly into problem-solving mode. It takes time for a person to reach the recovery stage of the escalation cycle to where they can once again think critically. Stay present with them until they feel stable and ready to redirect their focus to identify what lead up to the escalation event. Brainstorm solutions, weigh the pros and cons, and then, together, create a plan of action toward correcting the problem.

When your child is amid spinning out of control, it can be difficult to not spin with them. Using the basic steps of first regulating your own emotions and modeling appropriate emotional regulation helps to set the stage for successfully de-escalating any situation. Remember these 5 actions: Let them cool down, Get on their level, Listen to their concerns, Acknowledge their feelings, and don’t jump to problem-solving before they are ready. In a perfect world, our kids would always be able to express their emotions in a healthy way, but life isn’t perfect, so knowing the basics of de-escalation is a good idea…just in case.

The next time you find yourself in an emotionally intense situation, practice regulating your own emotions through calming breaths, positive self-talk, and being aware of your non-verbal expressions.

Written by: Roseanne Scammahorn, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Darke County.

Reviewed by:  Heather Reister, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Butler County.


Bates, D. (2021). Six ways to de-escalate a heated argument; Before you do irrevocable damage, de-escalate. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mental-health-nerd/202101/6-ways-de-escalate-heated-argument

Colvin, G. & Sugai, G. (1989). Managing escalated behavior. Eugene, OR: Behavior Associates.

Day, N. (2022). Eighteen effective de-escalation strategies for defusing meltdowns. Retrieved from https://hes-extraordinary.com/de-escalation-techniques

McLean, Harvard Medical School Affiliate, (2020). 4 Ways to Help Children Manage Emotions. Retrieved from https://www.mcleanhospital.org/essential/4-ways-help-children-manage-emotions

Taylor, M. (2022). What does fight, flight, freeze, fawn mean? WebMD. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-does-fight-flight-freeze-fawn-mean#:~:text=The%20fight%20response%20is%20your,please%20someone%20to%20avoid%20conflict.

Bouquet of beautiful spring flowers on pastel blue table top view

The first day of Spring is approaching quickly. Monday March 20th marks the first day of Spring for 2023. The days will start getting warmer but there is still a chance for rain showers. If you find yourself stuck inside with your family and have little ones at home, this is the perfect time to work on DIY activities for Spring. I have just the activities for you!

Suncatcher Craft:


  • Paper plates
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Colored tissue paper (cut into small pieces)
  • Clear contact paper
  • Extra collage items (get creative with glitter, feathers, etc.)
  • String


  1. Cut the center of your paper plate out to create your frame. Then cut out circles from the contact paper. They should be slightly larger than the hole you cut in the plate.
  2. Peel off the backing from the contact paper and stick it to the back of the paper plate.
  3. Add tissue paper pieces, glitter, feathers, sequins and whatever else you’d like to use for your suncatcher. Push the pieces carefully onto the sticky contact paper, so they stick completely.
  4. Once your design is finished, peel the backing off another piece of contact paper and press it onto the open side of your suncatcher. Press firmly all around so that it sticks to the plate and the design.
  5. Punch two holes in the top of your suncatcher and string a piece of string through the holes. Find a sunny window and hang your suncatcher up to admire!

Homemade Playdough:


  • 2 Cups of flour
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • ½ cup salt
  • ½ to 1 cup water
  • Food coloring


  1. In a medium bowl mix together the flour, vegetable oil and salt.
  1. Add a drop or two of food coloring to the water.
  2. Add water slowly as you mix the dough to the desired consistency (Only use what you need).
  3. It is easy to add too much water as the mixture seems too dry until you mix it thoroughly. If you do add too much, simply add more flour to get the right consistency.
  4. The playdough is ready to use, you may use spring-shaped cookie cutters for added fun!
  5. Store the playdough in a sealed container when not in use.

If you find yourself inside on a spring day, try one of these activities to help brighten your day. It will keep the children busy, and they will have fun doing it!


Martelle, A. (2022, April 15). How to make tissue paper Suncatchers. The Artful Parent. Retrieved February 14, 2023, from https://artfulparent.com/how-to-make-tissue-paper-suncatchers/

Mcilroy, T. (2023, January 18). Homemade playdough without cream of tartar: 6 no cook recipes. Empowered Parents. Retrieved February 14, 2023, from https://empoweredparents.co/homemade-playdough-without-cream-of-tartar/

Author: Megan Taylor, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences/4-H Youth Development, Union County

Reviewer: Jennifer Little, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Hancock County

Bowls of various types of nuts, including macadamia nuts, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, peanuts and almonds.

This time of year, we all get weary of winter and may be looking forward to spring gardening and the resulting nutritious and delicious summer produce. Most of us are aware of the many health benefits of things like melons, berries, and tomatoes, but there is another “fruit” that is readily available all year round – NUTS!

While nuts are not colorful or juicy, like those typical classes of fruits listed above, they are botanically considered “fruit”, as they contain a seed that supports reproduction of the plant. While they are more oil-filled than juice-filled, some do have a softer enclosure, such as a walnuts or almonds. Because of the low moisture content, however, most nuts are easily dried, and the inner seed may be stored for long periods for consumption year-round. 

Like most plant foods, nuts are rich in nutrients and fiber. Nuts contain minerals, such as magnesium, zinc, copper and potassium. They also have many vitamins, including several B-vitamins, important in the body’s metabolism. They are also a good source of Vitamin E, which is especially well-absorbed, as it is a fat-soluble vitamin, and nuts are sources of healthy fats. Nuts contain protein, which along with the fat content, make nuts a healthier snack for people living with diabetes than other “fruits” which are higher in carbohydrates. 

While we may associate fatty foods in our diets with heart disease, nuts, which are 80-90% fat, have been linked with a lower risk of heart disease. Most of the fat found in nuts is mono-unsaturated, the type of fat that helps to raise “good” HDL cholesterol and lower “bad’ LDL cholesterol. Four-five servings of nuts per week are recommended as a part of the DASH Diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, an eating pattern associated with lowering blood pressure, a primary risk factor for heart disease. There have been multiple large studies that have showed that people who ate 5 or more ounces of nuts per week lowered their risk of heart disease and death by 35-50%.

So, what are some simple ways to add nuts into our diets? Nuts can add a nice crunch to fruit and vegetable salads, breads, and cereals. They are also an easy way to add protein to a snack such as a simple trail mix made from your favorite boxed cereal by adding raisins and nuts. Nut butters, while not as high in fiber, can also be easily incorporated into meals and snacks. Peanut butter simply spread on whole grain crackers, raw fruits or vegetables can be another healthy snack on the go. There are sauces made from nut butters, as well.

While it is important to be sensitive to family members or guests with peanut or tree nut allergies, as they can experience serious allergic reactions, most can find plenty of nutritious, fun and delicious ways to “Go Nuts” at meal or snack time. 


The Health Benefit of Nuts.  January 17, 2023.  Healthessentials website. Cleveland Clinic.   https://health.clevelandclinic.org/benefits-of-nuts/.

DASH Eating Plan.  National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.  https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/education/dash-eating-plan

Author: Jennifer Little, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Hancock County

Reviewer: Megan Taylor, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences/4-H, Union County

There is an old adage that states, “Life can’t go according to plan, if you don’t have a plan.” This rings true when you think about later life planning. Planning for later life issues is not only; such planning can give you control of your affairs while you are living and after your death. When preparing for the discussion about later life, one crucial topic to focus on is your finances.

Calculator and checklist of finances

When determining the future of your finances, you will want to create a plan so that you know what resources will be available to you and your family. This knowledge will help shape decisions on things such as living arrangements and medical care. One such plan is a retirement income plan, outlining your anticipated income and expenses. To figure out if you will outlive it or not, you should also analyze your nest egg savings. When creating this plan, it is recommended that you hold off on receiving your social security benefits for as long as you can.

Another important aspect is to plan for role reversal. There may come a time when someone else will need to take over the responsibility of paying your bills and managing your assets. Deteriorating health, mobility, and cognition may result in a change in the handling of your finances. Unfortunately, all too often, when a health crisis occurs, an older person is faced with the fear of losing their independence. As a result of this fear, they recant what they previously expressed as their wishes.  This wavering can result in a burden and stress on your loved ones.  It can make them wonder if they are doing what is right for you. This lack of clear communication can also result in turmoil within your family.

As part of your plan, it is recommended that you choose a financial power of attorney. This document allows you to name a trusted person, to handle your financial matters if you become unable to manage them on your own. Durable powers of attorney for finances are mainly preventive documents. If you don’t have them and you become mentally incompetent, a judge will have to appoint someone to manage your finances for you—even if the appointee is unfamiliar with you or your money matters. Ohio Legal Help is an excellent resource with forms to help you designate your financial power of attorney.

It is never too early to start planning for your future. Drafting documents before a crisis occurs, such as advanced directives, can prevent the discomfort of family members and make the end of your life more enjoyable for the entire family.

Written by: Kathy Tutt, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County

Reviewed by: Laura Halladay, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Greene County


     Ohio Legal Help, Financial Power of Attorney Form, https://www.ohiolegalhelp.org/letters-forms/fpoa

     Prosch, T. (2014). The Other Talk: A Guide to Talking with your Adult Children About the Rest of Your Life. United States: McGraw-Hill Education.

     Scholten, G., Bourguignon, S., Delanote, A., Vermeulen, B., Boxem, G.V., & Schoenmakers, B. (2018). Advance directive: does the GP know and address what the patient wants

     Tutt, K. (2022). The Gift of Planning, Retrieved from https://livehealthyosu.com/2022/12/05/the-gift-of-planning/

Image with question mark and check boxes

Did you know that only 19 percent of individuals keep their new year’s resolution? Almost a third of all Americans failed to maintain at least one goal after two weeks. By the start of February nearly 45 percent have abandoned their resolutions and by the start of March, almost 80 percent of resolution makers have abandoned their new goals. Time to check in, how are you doing on your goal(s)? It is never a bad time to set a goal, you do not have to wait for a new year, new month, or a Monday, you can start fresh today.

How do you keep yourself and your new goals from becoming one of those statistics? Failing to have a plan, one of the main factors as to why people fail to keep their new goals is they are not prepared or ready to make a change. According to the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) of change, there are five stages of change ranging from pre-contemplation (an individual may be unaware of the need to change; does not intend to make change) to Maintenance (sustained behavior change). Behavior changes such as a new year’s resolution will be more successful if you are prepared for change, TTM calls this stage preparation of determination.

As you are preparing for successful change and goal setting: Be realistic, every year resolutions fail because individuals set high, lofty, and sometimes unrealistic goals. You may need to think smaller, healthy goals can be more easily obtained by setting a series of small goals in place of one large goal. Set specific action steps to help you reach your goal, and remember it is not all or nothing, if you have a bad day or a setback don’t give up on your new goal. Track your progress, whether you want to use an app on a smartphone or make your fun way of tracking, keeping a record of progress will help you remain focused. Finally, consider what motivates you. Is it health benefits, cost savings, personal fulfillment, or happiness?

Whether you make the resolution to be healthy on January 1 or a random day in March, the same principles of being ready to make the

Letter tile blocks spelling "If not now when"

change apply, there is nothing magical about midnight on January 1, and the start of a new year. In fact, you can assess your readiness and start today on your journey to a healthier and happier you.

Written by: Laura Halladay, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Greene County

Reviewed by: Kathy Tutt, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County


Boston University School of Public Health. (2022, November). The transtheoretical model (Stages of change). https://sphweb.bumc.bu.edu/otlt/mph-modules/sb/behavioralchangetheories/behavioralchangetheories6.html. https://sphweb.bumc.bu.edu/otlt/mph-modules/sb/behavioralchangetheories/behavioralchangetheories6.html

Krause, R. (2022, December). Research shows nearly all new year’s resolutions fail. Why? wthr.com. https://www.wthr.com/article/news/local/new-years-resolution-expert-how-to-keep-resolution-2023/531-911e0e82-54de-498b-9a04-87b71bd25a2b

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, & National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney Disease. (2008, May). Changing your habits: Steps to better health. UMass Chan Medical School. https://www.umassmed.edu/contentassets/7855013f932a4d858f6b6dd412cdbabc/changing_your_habits.pdf

Picture credit: Brett Jordan, retrieved from https://unsplash.com/photos/gJUZjwy2EgE