Well, it’s several days into the new year and you’re either soaring with confidence with those resolutions or already starting to wane. If it’s the latter, don’t fret yet. It happens. But, this year could be different. It might even be the one...even if you're starting today...or tomorrow.
One key word is, intention. This year can be different because we can choose how we want to start a new chapter, a new year, 365 (well, 350 anyway) new days where we can change or stay the same. I know it’s been trendy to forgo resolutions. Although, I just heard about “veganuary”, the resolution trend of going vegan this January. Wow! It’s cliche and boring and there’s so much pressure. Yet, there is still this feeling that it’s a great time to make some changes, to move forward, to surprise yourself. It might be the collective energy that moves us. Bottom line is, we have 365 clean pages so we may as well bring some intention to how we want to fill those pages.
Hopefully, you’ve been learning things about yourself over the years. For me, setting a goal means nothing unless I have a strong foundation, a solid support structure, a strategy, and a vision of where I want to go. Sounds like a lot, but taking something simple like “I want to eat better this year” or “I want to be healthier” is vague and highly unaccomplishable.
So, how do we move from these intentions to action? First of all, just start. Don’t make any grand announcements about it, just DO IT. Check out this TED talk for more on that.
Be clear about your goal. “I want to lose weight” is vague. “I want to lose 20 pounds this year because I will feel good and look good” is more defined and motivational.
Write it down. While you’re at it, write down HOW you will do that. For example, “I will keep a food journal. I will walk 3 miles with my bestie 3X/week.” etc.
Take it slow with small, even baby steps. I’m a huge fan of baby steps. They’re manageable and they still get you to where you’re going.
Identify your support. Who’s influence will help you or harm you? Ask for help when you need it.
Identify your own weaknesses and/or triggers. Will stress move you to have another piece of cake? What else can you do instead to help you manage the stress? Go for a walk? Talk to someone?
Go back to being clear. Understanding the “why” behind a goal will keep you focused and motivated. “I want to feel and look good” or “I want to have more energy” are good reasons and great reminders to keep you on track.
These steps can seem daunting or silly. Either way, making lasting change is not easy, it takes work and dedication, but it is worth it if it will bring you greater wellness and happiness. Just remember to also be kind to yourself. Beating yourself up because you didn’t perfectly adhere to your plan will sabotage your efforts. Forgive yourself and move on, without punishments or judgment. That was heavy! Now for some fun and light news. We’re finally ready to reveal the winner of the RED Recipe Contest. Let me just say it was a tough contest, with many more submissions than I imagined. We were busy, but deliciously so. We had a gorgeous bruschetta, lovely, little strawberry salads, some red quinoa, soups, stir-fries, smoothies, snacks and more. I was so inspired by all the cooking going on and all the creative ways in which RED foods were used. Thank you for that. Alas, we had to pick just ONE. Kaden Hubly submitted a simple but refreshing Red Apple and Grape Salad. He highlighted the simplicity and beauty of using fresh ingredients, full of integrity, and letting those flavors shine through. Anise is going to love making this salad and so will you.
Finally, since we’re talking about getting a good start to the year and setting intentions, I leave you with a gorgeous recipe for a breakfast granola, Fig and Barberry Granola, because if you’re going to start the year on a good foot, you’ll have to start with breakfast. I’ve recently discovered barberries and am now addicted to them in this granola. Barberries are kind of a superfood known to cleanse the gut and liver and have many other health benefits. This tart little berry pairs really well with the sweetness of the figs. Hope you love it. We certainly do! Wishing you and yours a wonderful year ahead. In good health, Nathalie