Do you start the year with new year goals or resolutions? A new year is like a fresh start. So it’s a natural time to resolve to continue good practices, change undesirable ones, accomplish a personal goal, or improve in some way or other.
Personally, this year I have 5 areas I’ll concentrate on. Although not part of the goal list below, I do want to slow down the pace, which means less paint projects and projects in general this year. To that end, with less DIY tutorials, I may post more random ramblings, (like this post and this one on renovating for an aging population). I really love hearing your feedback and interacting with you on the day-to-day things that matter to us!
1. Weight Loss and Health Goals
I’ve been wanting to lose weight for years. So last year – February to be exact – I adopted a low carb/keto way of eating. I didn’t hit the ground running in January because I wasn’t really feeling ‘ready’ for it. Can you relate?
Anyway, I had been putting weight loss off for years because I thought I’d need a ‘special’ diet or an arsenal of recipes to keep me on track. This is how the last 9 years went:
I don’t know why, but for me, losing weight after I hit 50 just seemed so hard and overwhelming. But with low carb/keto eating, you don’t need recipes at all. You just eat the things we, as humans, were meant to eat. Veggies, meat, fish, nuts, berries, healthy fats and definitely not anything manufactured / processed (like refined sugar, bread, pasta).
You Are What You Eat
But eating like our ancestors isn’t just about the things you eat. Clean eating is just as important – meaning organic and genetically unmodified foods.
I don’t think it’s coincidental that things like cancer, dementia and autoimmune disorders like MS and Celiac disease are on the rise. And it’s not just that the instances of these diseases have increased. Is it just me, or does it seem like the median age of contracting these maladies is getting younger? For instance, a friend of ours developed early onset Alzheimer’s when she turned 50. Robbed of her golden years with her husband, she’ll never do the things they planned for in their retirement.
The older I get, the more I believe that you are what you eat. Our friend’s eating habits weren’t the best, so when I revert back to my own bad eating habits, this sad story helps reset my mindset.
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
Clean eating is tough these days. Our ancestors didn’t have to contend with chemical reliance on herbicides, like Roundup, and pesticides. Is there a connection between these things and the health problems in much of the industrialized world? I can only speculate about my own distant ancestors. Without processed food, and the impact of chemical soup in the environment, natural causes seem to be what took them in the end.
More recently? Both our dads had cancer: my dad an extremely rare form of small cell cancer, while my father-in-law had lymphoma. Ironically, both our mom’s died of Alzheimer’s – with no previous dementia in the family.
Given the recent family history, Hubs and I pay attention to EWG’s Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen lists and don’t mind paying extra for organic. Will eating better make any difference? Or is it just anecdotal that our friend and both our moms ended up with Alzheimer’s when their eating habits could’ve been better? Who knows. What I do know is that it’s encouraging that some outside the box thinkers are having success with reversing Alzheimer’s with a keto diet. And without relying on pharmaceuticals.
My sense is that waiting for a magic pill to be developed to cure whatever ails you is never going to happen. So it may seem counterintuitive that I’m so passionate about raising money for our Crochet for a Cure Alzheimer fundraiser. It’s an enigma for sure.
Autoimmune diseases don’t just have one cause that can be targeted by the pharmaceutical industry. Therefore, drugs can typically only mask symptoms instead of getting to the root cause. Let’s be honest. Our fate, and ultimate well being, is ultimately in our own hands. So if I could only have one goal this year, better health through eating well is at the top of my list.
Better Late Than Never
Anyway, I digress. In January I turn the big 6-0. Boy, time flies! As it turns out I didn’t need a ‘diet’ afterall; low carb/keto eating is doing the trick. Like they say, better late than never. Since last February I have lost 22 pounds – albeit, that was before the holidays. I slipped off the bandwagon and gained a few pounds when I developed this latke recipe, a gluten free gingerbread cookie recipe, and oven pork back ribs. However, now that the holidays are over, it’s right back to low carb eating again (right after New Year’s eve 😉).
Do you ever wonder why some people can eat anything and others gain weight just looking at food? I never really gave much thought to that until Hubs and I both did genetics testing. DNA tests aren’t just for fun facts about ancestry. Genetics can actually explain a lot. Like I’m genetically predisposed to not being able to process carbs very well. On the other hand, Hubs’ DNA shows no such sensitivity. He always used to joke about how he can go to an all inclusive resort, eat everything in site and actually loose weight. Me? Quite the opposite. Now I understand why he actually needs to eat more carbs just to maintain his skinny frame, while I have to limit my intake.
2. Money Saving Goals
Some New Years articles I’ve read talk about making changes to your finances with the help of apps to save for the future. And that’s all well and good. But did you ever stop to think about the amount of food waste you produce each year and how much ends up in the garbage?
Where we live, in Canada, we create over 50 million tonnes of food waste each year. The National Food Waste council estimated that Canadian households wasted 450,000 eggs, dumped 1 million cups of milk down the drain, and threw 2,400,000 potatoes away every single day (averaging about $1,300 per year). South of the border, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In America up to 40% of all food is wasted (or $1900 per household). Imagine how much that would translate to in compound interest if that money was saved and reinvested every year?
Five years ago we wrote about food waste in two articles here and here. Lately, we haven’t been following our own advice, so it’s time to get serious about meal planning and reducing food waste again. If you have some great tips on how you reduce food waste, let us know in the comments!
3. Staying Organized
Every year, I always have good intentions to get more organized. Then January comes and goes and I still haven’t started using a planner to keep it all straight. Now I don’t have an excuse. My blogger friend, Cindy, has a free printable planner available on her blog. If organizing is one of your goals too, just click the link at Cloches and Lavender and follow to get access (you’ll find it in the side bar and also in a pop up)!
Along those same lines, I want this year to be the year that I let go of the past and purge a lot of our ‘stuff’. I need to reread how to get rid of sentimental clutter because I really want to live with less and free myself from the constraints of material goods. Easier said than done when you’re an upcycle blogger. But staying organized will be so much easier when there’s less physical stuff to keep in order!
To that end, every time an organization calls to pick up items for free, we’ll say ‘yes’. Every time. Even if we put together just one box of things each time they call, it gets me closer to my goal.
4. Learn a New Skill
Learning new skills keeps our minds engaged and body active! But admittedly, I’m a procrastinator! For instance, I got a fabulous Cricut machine for Christmas and it’s still sitting unopened in the box. If I know anything about myself, it will stay that way for quite a while. But then? I’ll think of a crazy, out of the box project and finally open the box. So this will be the year to learn how to use the Cricut – and of course have fun and share our projects with you!
By the way, if you’ve always wanted to learn how to crochet, we can help with that!
5. Read More
I really enjoy reading, and got the opportunity to read more over the holidays. But I don’t read as much as I would like. To remedy that, I’m going to try a 30 day free trial of Audible (affiliate link) so I can listen listen to any audio book I want.
New Year Goals
Now it’s Your Turn!
Following through on goals takes effort. At the end of the day, if you veer off track, the most important thing to do is not to let that discourage you. Don’t give up!
So what about you? What are your goals for this year?