Oh yes, the new year is here and in full effect. In Seattle we started 2013 with three consecutive days of blue skies, which should satisfy us for a few months. With such an auspicious start I'm hoping this is going to be a good year.
With the turn from December to January comes resolutions! Now, I know there are a lot of new years resolutions haters out there. Not me. As a continual improvement and goal-setting junkie, this time of year is an endorphin high.
Perhaps I'm riding that high right now, but I'm thinking about waking this blog up to chronicle (at least for myself) my goal-setting (and achieving!) progress. This November I read Happier and Home and Making Ideas Happen simultaneously, and that combo was deadly from a goal-setting perspective.
In Happier at Home, type-A former lawyer Gretchen Rubin walks us through her school year of setting intentions to improve her home life. It wasn't in shambles, but there's always room for improvement, isn't there? I was inspired by her unapologetic, meticulous approach to personal transformation, and the way she chose a focus area for each month, with tangible goals to help her improve on that theme.
In Making Ideas Happen, author Scott Belsky, outlines a project management approach to life, work, and personal organization. He's got this wild folder system that I snapped right up. Basically, each area of your life warrants it's own project folder, broken down into an action list, a backburner ideas list, and references (which are kept inside). I immediately fused his concepts with the Happier at Home ones, jotted down my project ideas, and busted out the manilla envelopes to get at it.
I don't have a full outline for the year, but I have decided that my theme for January is reset. And the first week my focus is health.
Last year I did a hard-core month of health resetting (I highlighted my top tips here). January is usually a great time to to regain control of my body and start the year as I mean to go on. This whole month I'm going off dairy (going partial vegan last year was one of the best things I've ever done for my health), sugar, alcohol, and processed food, and getting out of some lazy food and coffee habits. For this past week I also decided to go on gentle cleanse to kick start things.
This week my health intentions included the following:
- January 1: no coffee, chocolate (!), sugar, dairy, etc.
- January 2 - 4: same as above, plus...
- make homemade lemon, ginger, and cayenne pepper tea to drink on the way to work (also to keep hands warm in the mason jar)
- start the day with a fresh-squeezed green juice at PCC, spend some time focusing my mind for the day, and do 15 minutes of writing
- sip warm water throughout the day (apparently good for cleansing), sometimes I mix things up by adding apple cider vinegar (which my colleague informed me tastes horrific, but I like)
- mid-morning snack is a glowing green smoothie
- afternoon pick me up is the almond berry energy smoothie (based on this recipe)
- teeccino with cinnamon and almond milk (best & only coffee substitute)
- Firefly Kitchens Ruby Red Sauerkraut for a snack (great for digestion thanks to all those probiotics)
- clean, plant-based dinner
As I sip my first coffee of the year I am happy to conclude success on this cleanse! Though my brain was a bit fuzzy on Wednesday going back to work -- due to the four day weekend and caffeine withdrawals -- I pushed through. I am a healthy eater overall, but even I can get lazy, start drinking more coffee than I need, bingeing on frozen chocolate chips in the evenings when I'm stressed, or just eating the same thing over and over again (roasted cauliflower got plenty of air time on my dinner table in 2012). Doing this "gentle cleanse"was a great reminder of what is possible with my health.
Even though I definitely have extremist tendencies with goal-setting and food (and so forth), I'm still all about scheduling in splurges. Like, tonight Dan and I going out to dinner and I fully intend not to order kale juice or anything with nutritional yeast or raw cashew nut butter. After this week I'm back on the coffee (because it makes my life better), and I cannot wait to get my mitts on a bar of chocolate as a weekend treat. The aim is to not let these treats become the norm.
So, well done week one. I'm still deciding what my focus will be for next week (so many options, I'm stressing out!). But expect a full report at the end of next week.
Are you setting any intentions for the year?