Let each new year find you a better man. ~Benjamin Franklin
I love the start of a new year as it has always been a reminder to evaluate the last year and start fresh with new hope for a new year. This year as I start to look forward to the new year I am grateful for the chance to continue to improve and grow as a person. Admittedly New Year’s resolutions deserve the ridicule they often receive as we can fall short of our hopes within days. But that is partly, I believe, because people make the wrong type of resolutions. Too big, too grandiose, too daunting. I believe the new year should be a time of not making impossible goals for ourselves, but a time of evaluating, reassessing, and making adjustments in our lives. Some of us may even discover after thought that we need to simplify our lives rather than add more in!
Eating well is just one factor in our lives, but an appropriate factor to consider for New Year Resolutions. I have a yearly tradition of having my readers and fellow bloggers share their “nourishing resolutions” this time of year. I love reading through every one’s goals and thoughts and plans, but I especially love the motivation the nourishing resolutions carnival provides me personally. In the past, making plans (aka “resolutions) for the new year has helped me become a better cook, and I have been able to expand my skills in feeding good food to my family. I haven’t always accomplished everything I hoped too, but I did a lot more than I would have done without my resolutions!
This year, my goals may look slightly different with a young baby in the house. I have a lot to consider. We have recently been going through one of those life circumstances that has caused a lot of stress, work, and upheaval and because of it all, we have been eating a decent diet, but certainly not ideal. And it’s starting to effect our energy and sense of well being, especially mine. It’s been a good reminder to me why I find eating well so important! It certainly makes me feel physically so much better, so I am very much looking forward to getting back into the swing of eating well. All in all, I have a lot to carefully consider this year as I try to make realistic, helpful goals for myself.
I hope that you join me! We will be sharing our thoughts, plans, and resolutions together January 3rd, which is a Monday. Bloggers can post their resolutions on their own blogs and link in using the Mr. Linky (like we do for Pennywise Platter) and everyone else can leave their resolutions in the comment section to share.
For those considering being part of this little venture, here are a few tips.
Make Baby Step Goals
If you make just one large goal you will have a hard time seeing your progress and can easily become discouraged. Instead make smaller goals that you can more easily achieve. This is the most important tip I have to make and the one that will most help you succeed. Along the same lines…..
Make your Goals very Specific
If your goal is simply “eating a better diet”, it will be hard to evaluate and feel a sense of accomplishment. But if your goal is very specific such as “I want to make bone broth twice a month”, you can easily track your goals and how well you are meeting them.
Don’t Plan a Whole Year
Consider just making goals for a few months, and then reevaluating and making new plans and goals. I find it sometimes a little unrealistic to plan a whole year out. I find that it can be helpful to keep reevaluating throughout the year. Regardless, I find it helpful to…
Make One Goal Per Month
If you make one very specific goal per month, you can concentrate on it and conquer it. Whereas if you are trying to learn many new skills each month, you may find yourself overwhelmed. Sometimes it can be helpful to make one specific goal per month. Example: In January, make bone broths every other week. In February, add in nourishing seafood once a week, etc.
And always remember, resolutions are meant to serve you by motivating you, not condemn you!
I hope you join us! Meanwhile, I would love to hear from you all. Have you made resolutions in the past that have helped you? What advice do you have for us all?
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I just subscribed to your blog yesterday and have read some of your posts on soaking grains, etc. My passion is nutrition and I am a big fan of the Weston A Price Foundation and Sally Fallon’s ‘Nourishing Traditions’ and ‘Eat fat, Lose Fat’ with Mary Enig. I have a tip for New years resolutions too, all your tips above are great and I would recommend that if you have a young family with pre-schoolers that you concentrate on 1 or 2 areas each year to improve your diet. Since I started my research into nutrition in earnest 5 years ago, my 4 children ranged in age from 13 to newborn. I quickly became overwhelmed by all the information and so did not implement much of what I was learning. After facing cancer (and beating it) in 2008, I decided to concentrate on 1 area at a time and gradually implement it into the diets of my whole family. This increases as you become more confident with your knowledge and ability. In 2009 I addressed the fats/oils in our diet, this took time because I was so brainwashed by the ‘fat is bad’ jargon that we are fed from a young age. We need to give ourselves time to reprogramme our brains, even after reading 3 books I was still nervous about making this change. It was only through the action of actually doing this and experiencing the positive health benefits that I was truly able to believe what I read. And in 2010 I have addressed the sugar/refined carbs in our diet, started cooking most foods from scratch, using organic/biodynamic where ever possible and some other small (but just as important) lifestyle changes.
So my message is similar to what you’ve written above; don’t overload yourself, give yourself time to get your head around it, and that it is only through actual action that you can understand the benefits because you physically and mentally feel the difference.
Sorry my comment is so long, thanks for your blog and recipes, they are great.
Thanks for sharing your experience Michelle! I appreciate it! 🙂
I’m so excited about this!! Somehow (today) I stumbled upon your last year’s post about resolutions and it got me thinking. I’ve rallied the troops (blog authors) in Little Rock and we’re hoping to post a bunch in the coming weeks about resolutions, baby steps, etc.
Oh good! I hope you guys are part of the carnival as well. 🙂
You have touched on something I am in the process of writing about right now — Confessions of Denial — 10+ years ago we got on track with eating right, then life happened (a lot of life) and over the last 3 years couldn’t figure out why I gained 10 pounds (I blamed it on turning 40 :). I was in denial. We made compromises (more than we thought) in the name of “convenience”. Four months ago my husband had a heart attack. All our friends were shocked (just like we were) because, as they said, “you eat so healthy”.
The statement that woke me up was from the doctor: “We know that what he was doing wasn’t working.” (as they pushed a handful of drugs at him) That was hard to hear because we thought otherwise.
Well, we have been back on track for four months now, he lost 20 lbs, I lost 13 lbs, and his cholesterol dropped 100 points (it was only 224 to start with). What might seem like small decisions (compromises) in the name of convenience, accumulate into a whole lot of inconvenience when health is jeopardized.
Keep ringing the bell…what you are doing matters.
Wow, this really speaks to me. Thanks for sharing your experience, simply amazing!
Health is such an important thing and we don’t realize how important it is until it is gone. Thankfully most of us have chances to change and repair. I’m walking a thin line being morbidly obese and the fear my children will be too. Making small changes has helped my children to lose weigh (even my 6 year old has lost 5-8lbs!) but not me. A lifetime of making bad choices has killed my metabolism and fatigued my body so I am going to work on repairing that with RRARF.
For the family, I am going to stop buying convenience foods. It’s soooo hard but I am just going to phase them out and work in the good stuff. My kids are very picky so I struggle daily finding things they like but eventually we’ll get the hang of it!
Oh Carla, I know how you feel. We have followed a nourishing diet and made many changes that has been beneficial to me and my family for about 3 years now, however I was not losing weight as I thought I should. It was like I was missing a piece of a jigsaw. I was not gaining weight either, but I was obese and needed to lose weight. I was encouraged to read a book by a (skinny) friend called “Sweet poison” by David Gillespie (an Aussie, as am I). I was skeptical at first as I didn’t think that I consumed enough sugar in my diet for it to be a problem, however after reading both his books I began eliminating sugar from my diet. It has not interfered at all with any of the other dietary changes and I have found it to be very easy. And I have lost 8kg in 3 months. My hormone levels and improved and my overall energy levels are up too. I have implemented with my whole family and everyone has lost weight, my Mum has lost a massive 10kg and she has been obese for over 30 years, even though I thought she was the healthiest eater I know! I don’t know what RRARF is, but I found these 2 books to be my missing piece of the jigsaw. I am continuing to lose weight effortlessly knowing that my family is being well nourished. I hope this could be of some use to you too 🙂
I fully agree that one month goals are the way to go! Last year, I made several one month resolutions and many of them carried over naturally into the months that followed. It was so much more manageable to think “I can do anything for 30 days” and most of us are already thinking about what we’re doing next month, but probably not next November.
I focused mostly on healthy living but included resolutions that nutured my heart and mind as well. For instance, I resolved to keep 3 comments to myself each day (you know, we usually speak before we think). I also resolved to practice yoga or pilates every day. One month it was morning walks every day. Another month, it was acting with compassion (for myself and others). Believe me, not one of these were perfect months but I had greater success than I had ever had the old annual New Year’s resolutions.
In lieu of New Year’s resolutions, I write down my top ten moments or accomplishment from the previous year. Then I share it with friends and family. Sometimes they’re silly little things and sometimes they’re huge life changes, but this forces me to acknowledge all the good that’s happened (and get me to stop obesseing on those extra holiday pounds I’m so tempted to make my New Year’s resolution). Try it – its harder than you’d think.
Hi Kimi, I wanted to send this to you in an e-mail but don’t see that info anywhere on your site. Feel free to reply to me via e-mail.
I remember a while ago you posted a video about natto, which I’d never eaten before. It sounded interesting to me so I scavenged my city for weeks and finally found it – and love it. I stocked up, but wasn’t able to eat it all right away and eventually it got lost in the back of my fridge. It’s been there for a long while, probably about four months, and I was wondering if it spoils. Since it’s a fermented product I’d assume that as long as it’s unopened it’s still fine, if a little more pungent. Am I right? It smells funky enough when it’s new so I can’t go by smell alone.
I wish I knew as I have often wondered the same thing!
I posted 11 ideas on my blog this week. Check it out; http://goodlookingcook.blogspot.com/2010/12/11-real-food-resolutions.html
Kara, you had some great ideas for those looking for some good starting points for their own resolutions. Thanks for sharing.
I found your blog today and really like it! I want to join your Nourishing resolutions carnival. I have been trying to come up with a way to actually make progress this year instead of just giving up like I have always done. I appreciate your advice and posted on my blog today what I want to do this year, and am really excited to get going! Thanks!
Now to go look around your blog more.
I’ll be here to join you! My #1 resolution is the betterment of my eating habits because of my health. I even started changing the focus of the type of meals I feature on my blog. It is great that you mention short term goal because that I what I am doing: 30 day plans to improve how I eat…and how my dogs eat. some people may think this is crazy but I have noticed that my dogs thrive and are happier when I feed them quality food (not grains). Some people have kids…my kids are my dogs 🙂 I already participate on your Pennywise Thursdays but I am looking forward to more nourishing ideas to do a makeover of my eating habits.
I love looking at your site! I didn’t know how else to contact you other than through a comment here. I was wondering if you could have a special feature on feeding babies/children. My daughter is almost 7 months old & I am trying to feed her nourishing wholesome foods. It’s a slow start & I would love some more ideas, especially when she gets a little older. Thanks so much! 🙂