New Year’s resolutions are tricky. Too vague and I quit because my goal is unclear. Too planned and I quit when I fail any of the extensive guidelines I’ve set for myself. Every year I give myself a New Year’s resolution – sometimes more than one, actually. Usually I pick a theme word of the year and I start each January feeling like this is it, the year I’m going to Be All That I Can Be! The year I’ll be the Best Version of Myself! All kinds of exclamation points are used in January. All kinds of menus are planned, new foods are tried. Goals for the spring, summer and fall are set.
And then February rolls around and I quit from the shear exhaustion of being an army of awesome all of January.
This year is no different. Well, maybe it will be a little bit different because maybe this year I’ll be able to keep most of my resolutions. If I know anything about myself it’s that I’m a list lover; they are the cogs that keep the wheels of my life turning. Maybe you, like me, need something simple to start off with, so here are a few things that I’m hoping will make 2017 all sorts of awesome but that should be pretty easy to stay on top of.
I always have some sort of “Get Healthy” resolution and in the past it almost always had to do with losing weight – baby weight, the pounds gained while moving, the my kid just went to kindergarten weight – always, always some sort of lose weight resolution. This year there isn’t a weight goal attached to the get healthy part of 2017. There’s no guideline to be X-weight by Y-date. I can’t think in terms of a goal-number this year. Instead I’m thinking in terms of: how can I be active with my kids? How can I teach them that reading books and doing science experiments all day long is fun, but so is biking to swimming lessons, taking a long walk to see the ore boats come in, or hiking one of the curvy trails near our house? This year my goal is to be more active, however that looks from a day to day basis.
It also includes running. Last spring I started running (can I call it running? Jogging, maybe? Or really, really fast walking?) and I got to the point where I actually kind of sort of in a weird way liked it. I like the way it makes me feel when I get my day started early. I like watching the sun come up. I like the broad spectrum of podcasts that I listen to and learn from while I practice putting one foot in front of the other. I like that I didn’t die on the side of the road, because at the beginning that was a very real option. Two Harbors keeps their trails relatively clear, so I’m able to get back on track even though it’s cold and snowy.
Life is better when I know what we’re eating and when I menu plan, I’m able to keep us healthier. My major struggle is breakfast; I can’t eat too early or I feel sick. I can’t eat too late because that’s called lunch. I have tried all manner of smoothies and every time I realize that I just like to chew my food too much. I try to have a few freezer options (waffles, pancakes, breakfast sandwiches or burritos) that I’ve made in advance so I know exactly what ingredients are in each meal (a little more time consuming, yes, but not chalk full of preservatives, so I’d rather take the time to do it myself). Last summer I started having a salad for breakfast and let me tell you – game changer: kale or summer lettuce, a soft poached egg, a little sprinkle of bacon or some quinoa and strawberries mixed up with a garlicy vinaigrette. I know what you’re thinking. I thought those same things. But really a salad for breakfast is one of the easiest, healthiest way to start the day.
Maybe one of the best parts of growing older is that we learn more about who we are and we get a little bit more comfortable in our own skin as time passes. I’m okay with being a homebody, but I’m also excited to try some new things this year – new foods, new exercise programs, new adventures with my small humans. I’m good with taking the long way around 2017 if that means we get to be outside more, smell more flowers and see more critters on the trail, and enjoy being with each other instead of glued to our devices.