New Year’s Resolutions. They begin with grand proclamations – “I’m going to take my lunch to work every single day!” and “I’m joining a gym so that I can run a half marathon this summer!” – and then slowly fizzle out and get forgotten.
We don’t believe in such resolutions. Instead, we choose to set goals. With our first blog post for the year, we set goals to help us lead better lives, goals that fit with our current lifestyles and move us toward healthier behaviors.
As in most cases, we’ve done very well with some and not so well with others. Here’s our New Year’s Goals Reality Check for the end of Q1 2011.
– Eating well during pregnancy. I’ve done very well here. I started eating right well before I got pregnant, so it’s been easier to maintain those healthy habits. Not easy. Easier. Tiredness and food cravings are two enemies of healthy eating. Mustering the energy to make menus and then – ugh! – cook a meal can seem like an insurmountable task for a woman who is with child. But it all starts with shopping for healthy ingredients at the store and eschewing the less-than-healthy items. If you keep healthy snacks – yogurt, granola, fruit, whole grain crackers – around the house, that’s what you’ll have to eat when the cravings come.
– Meet more chefs. In 2011, I’ve posted just two chef profiles. With work and other demands, it’s been tough to get out there and interview folks. Instead, I’ve come up with other chef-related features, such as our banh mi extravaganza and news about worthy causes such as D.C. Central Kitchen.
– Calories in, calories out. Dismal failure. Well, perhaps not dismal, but I am definitely not getting the recommended 10,000 steps a day nor am I doing yoga daily as planned. As my bones and muscles get ready to deliver my little bundle of joy, I’m noticing how challenging everyday movements – such as bending down to pick something up – have become. This week, with this post on my brain, I started incorporating daily yoga, about 30 minutes right after I wake up. After just a few days, I already feel better and more flexible!
– Trialing more new-to-me recipes. Unless baking counts, this one definitely requires additional work. New cookie recipes? No problem. Mains or sides, not so much. There are recipes printed and waiting to be used, but most of our recent meals have been the old standbys. My barriers with this goal are time and planning, as I tend to do more labor intensive meals only on the weekends, and lately I haven’t been up for trialing a new dish. I’m all ears for suggestions on this one.
– Reading, reading and more reading. Success! It’s fair to say I’m not tearing through research articles each night before bed, but I have been making use of the library card and reading for leisure. It helps to keep the balance.
– Continuing to be intentional about family meal times. Big score here. This is a daily investment in a priority that I highly value, and the payoff is huge. I’ve even been preparing lunch right after breakfast so that we can maximize time together at the table. We also strive to keep the focus off the food, which is helpful for easing pressure on the little ones to try new and different foods. The less you interfere with children’s eating, the more peace you’ll have at the meal.
– Being active with others. This goal is definitely in progress, but could use a higher priority status. We’ve even braved the less than ideal temps to be outdoors, but look forward to daily outside activity once the warmer weather is here to stay. Please let it be soon!
We still have work to do, and that’s OK! We’ll check in again at the end of June to see how we did in Q2.
How about you? Have you been working toward specific goals you set for yourself this year? What are your secrets for success and what do you think you could do better?