New Year’s Resolutions are tricky. It’s great to want to make a positive change in your life, but if you bombard yourself with expectations at the beginning of the year, it’ll probably be nearly impossible to follow through on all of them. That goes for any time of year I suppose. If you have all these resolutions and have trouble realizing them, it might make you more likely to abandon them all and give up. And that is not what we want.
Maybe it’s time for a new way of thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. What about 12 resolutions, but instead of starting them all on January 1st, you start a new resolution each month (and try to keep up with the old ones as you add the new)? On January first, start with one new intention – it doesn’t have to be hard; maybe it’s even better to start with your easiest goal to give yourself some confidence for the harder ones ahead. (See below the lists for my own resolutions plan.)
Here’s a list of ideas to get started:
Food & Fitness Resolutions
- Ditch diet soda (and artificial sweeteners in general).
- Eat less. (Makes you live longer.)
- Go to a yoga class 2-3 times a week.
- Get out for a 20 minute walk every day. Take a friend or family member.
- No eating or snacking after dinner.
- Eat breakfast daily.
- Cut back on caffeine (1 cup a day!).
- Eat less grains and sugars.
- Eat more organic and local food.
- Eat more salads.
- Only have dessert once a week (but make it good).
- Do 5 sun salutations each morning when you wake up.
Mental & Social Resolutions
- Read more – a book a week? (Or at least 30 minutes a day, if the book is too long to read in a week.)
- Hang out with friends twice a week.
- Laugh often.
- Go to the movies, a concert, or another kind of show – 3-4 times a month.
- Stay hungry. Stay foolish. (What does this mean to you?)
- Join a credit union. (Going “local” for finances.)
- Track your spending and then find a way to save $100 each month (that’s just $25 a week, less than $5 a day).
- Meditate for 5 minutes a day (option to increase time on a weekly or bi-weekly basis).
- Go out on a date once a week with the husband. (Get dressed up!)
- Give away old or unused clothes. (Or any other items you’re not using.)
- Donate time to charity.
- Organize one area or room of your home each week.
My plan is to pick one from each list each month and stick with it. For the first month I’m going to do Food Resolution #1 (ditch the diet soda and artificial sweeteners) and Mental Resolution #1 (read a book a week). I already broke Food Resolution #1 by having diet soda yesterday and no-sugar-added ice cream (I think it had Splenda) at a dinner party, but I’m counting today as my start because I didn’t come up with my lists until today.
My book for the week is called Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States by Bill Bryson (who also wrote A Walk in the Woods) (my dad got me the book for Christmas). The title may sound boring, but it is in fact packed with juicy tidbits about the evolution of American English as well as a much needed refresher on US History (I have forgotten most of what I learned in APUS). Did you know that the word dime (as in 10 cents) was originally supposed to be pronounced “deem”? It came from the French word disme, which meant “a tenth”.
I will leave you with this delicious salad that I bought at a little deli near my apartment for lunch today:
It has a mesclun-ish base, grilled chicken, roasted veggies (zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant), mushrooms, diced beets, and sauteed fajita veggies.
What are your resolutions? Do you have multiple, or do you stick with one?
Healthy Living Links
- Dr. Weil Rethinks Saturated Fats – I don’t remember when it was that I came around regarding saturated fats (they are not just not bad, they are essential for good health). Now Dr. Weil, a fairly well-known health advocate, is also coming around. Quote: “It now appears that many studies used to support the low-fat recommendation had serious flaws.”
- Cool chart of the effectiveness of popular health supplements – the chart’s y-axis shows the evidence supporting popular “healthy” supplements like folic acid, green tea, and elderberry (many more). The higher on the chart the supplement is, the more evidence there is that it actually helps the person taking it.
- With Liposuction, the Belly Finds What the Thighs Lose – Gina Kolata (author of Rethinking Thin) wrote an interesting article about a study that tracked how bodies change after having liposuction – apparently most people regain the weight back, and it’s not in a attractive places.
- The quarterlife crisis: young, insecure and depressed – New research by British psychologists shows educated twenty and thirtysomethings most likely to be hit by pre-midlife blues.
- Digestive problems early in life may increase risk for depression, study suggests – via my sister-in-law. It’s saying that digestive problems may actually cause depression rather than being a side effect.
Random Fun Links
Restaurants I Want to Try (in NYC)
Hope y’all had a great weekend… stop by tomorrow for a great recipe 🙂
This week’s edition of What’s Up Saturday has lots of goodies (I think). I will not bore you with random musings today; without further ado here is my weekly link love:
Salad Round Up
Food & Recipes
- Not all calories are created equal?! A new study might show that the source of the calorie might actually impact whether or not you gain weight from it. In other words, an extra 100 calories a day from candy might make you gain more weight than an extra 100 calories a day from peanuts. (From Fooducate.) I eat nuts like they are going out of style so maybe this is why I don’t weigh 300 pounds already.
- Childhood obesity is running rampant because kids are eating utter crap. Apparently 40% of kids’ calories come from junk food (soda, sugary drinks, desserts, pizza, and whole milk). (Also from Fooducate. I love this blog. I do not agree that whole milk is junk, though – I am a big promoter of full-fat dairy!)
Linguistics Article & Other Random Things
Happy Saturday! Do you have any updates for me?
I got them new food so maybe they will be thinner next time they make an appearance. I also got them a cruel toy – it smells like catnip and you put food inside it (so they smell the food), and they chase it for exercise. They are not smart enough to get the food out though. I think they realized that because they’re not really playing with it anymore. Sigh.
How’s your Saturday going?
Last week was almost a palindrome and this week is lots of 10’s! 10’s seem to be very popular with humans, probably due to the fact that we have ten fingers and ten toes. Here are some fun facts and sayings that have to do with TEN:
- The Ten Perfections: These are ten qualities one must achieve in order to attain “Buddhahood”, or awakening (Buddhism)
- The Perfection of Ten: this is different from the previous one. Shakespeare uses the term “the perfection of ten” to describe a person’s opinion of his lover in the same way we might say, “she’s a perfect ten.”
- The Ten Commandments: In Christianity (and Judaism I think), these are ten moral/religious imperatives that one must follow in order to be a good person.
- Base Ten: our decimal system has ten as its base. It’s the most widely used number system used by modern civilizations. “Decimal” comes from the Latin decem, which means ten.
- Scale of one to ten: “a general and largely vernacular concept used for rating things, people, places, ideas and so on.” (Wikipedia.) It’s the most popular rating scale, followed by 1-5 and 1-4.
- Breathe and count to ten: I can’t find the origin of this phrase, but it’s a way to calm down when you are about to blow your top off.
- TEN: the word “ten” itself comes from the pre-Germanic (a long-ago ancestor of English) base *tekhan. If you go back even further to PIE (proto-Indo-European) the base was *dekm (you can see this led to the Latin decem mentioned above).
And now onto the rest of my weekly wrapup…
Interesting Health Articles
- US Life Expectancy Lowered by Poor Healthcare: Researchers found that our life expectancy is lagging behind the life expectancy in other (civilized) countries. Why? It is not, in fact, obesity, smoking, homocides, or car addicents – it’s our horrible horrible healthcare system.
- New York tries to ban the use of Food Stamps for sugary drinks: a while ago NY tried to pass a tax on sugary drinks and it didn’t go through, so now we’re trying to at least not allow food stamps to be used towards sugar-laden drinks. My opinion? I’m all for it. I was all for the tax, too.
- Too Much Noise at Work Bad for Your Heart: a Canadian study showed that people who work in a noisy environment are 2-3 times more likely to get heart disease. The reason is probably that noise –> stress –> constantly elevated cortisol and adrenaline (stress hormones, which are good in moderation but not all the time) –> heart disease.
- Sleep Makes the Body Leaner: a study showed that if you get 8.5 hours you burn more fat than people who sleep 5.5 hours. The people who slept 5.5 hours burned more of their lean muscle mass. You’re also hungrier if you don’t get enough sleep
Other Random Stuff (blogs, Macbooks, etc…)
- Eden’s Euphemisms: I have linked to Eden before, but you have to read this post of hers – she lists a bunch of fun euphemisms and also talks about why sometimes it’s better to just say what you really mean instead of masking it with a more PC phrase.
- Macbook Air Update Coming Soon: I have been waiting and waiting to get a new computer for the Macbook Airs to get updated and I think they finally will be – a bunch of places (including Amazon) are out of stock of the current ones and they are not getting replenished until either 10/12 or 10/16, and I am guessing (hoping) that the new shipment will be new Airs!
My Salad Roundup
My weekend has been great so far. I…
- Brunched at Alice’s Tea Cup with an old friend and current neighbor (Saturday)
- Got my nails done (Saturday)
- Discovered a new and awesome Duane Reade (Saturday)
- Found a yummy Asian restaurant close by (Saturday)
- Took Nia (Sunday)
- Took Yoga (Saturday)
- Am meeting up with another old friend for dinner (Sunday)
- Cleaned (mostly Sunday)
- Am very happy! (both days)
Okay off to do some work. How was your weekend?