It's that time of year folks. Bring on the inevitable resolutions for 2009. Alot of us talk the talk each year for what...a few fleeting weeks? (myself included depending on the resolution). A conversation thread I caught on the Today Show yesterday morning got me thinking a bit though. Why do we feel obligated to force goals, intentions and resolutions upon ourselves right on January 1st each year? Who's to say you can't set goals for yourself mid-July? Sure, the fresh start of a new year serves as a good impetus to reflect and think about what you'd like to accomplish over the next 365 days, but I think the primary point of all of this, is to blaze a path when you're truly ready for it and can achieve whatever it is that much more successfully. There's nothing worse than setting a bar so unrealistically high it's absolutely unattainable. Personally, I'm a big fan of baby steps and mapping out how I can feasibly get from point A to point Z, how my goal or intention fits into my life...kind of like writing a biz plan (I know, I'm such a nerd). But it works and I don't feel guilty, pissed off, or down on myself if I start something and trail off days later. Whether it's eating more fruits and vegetables, cooking at home more to cuts costs and trim down a little, sleeping more soundly, or simply taking more time for yourself (probably the most challenging goal of all!) -- none of us are perfect, if we slip up a little, ok, not the end of the world...get right back up and back on the horse. The commentators on yesterday's show made a great point: pick a single word or phrase to describe the year ahead for you in order to better focus on your goals, like "strength", "spending smartly", "mindful eating" etc. Yes, a bit cheesy and hokey, but if it works for you, who cares.
So in the spirit of creating baby step intentions for the year, here a few of my own for 2009...
1. sleep more (falling asleep at my laptop at 12:30am is not productive!)
2. consider the environmental impact of my food choices more frequently (particularly around overfished seafood)
3. continue to purchase as much as possible from the greenmarket...fruits, veggies, eggs, meats/poultry/fish and more (it's nice putting a face to who's feeding you and it supports the local economy, agriculture and community...not to mention all the health benefits)
4. try to get home earlier at night to cook dinner more during the week (rather than scrambling to make something super-fast from whatever's in my fridge)
5. experiment with some new recipes using ingredients and exploring certain ethnic cuisines I haven't worked with before
6. run the NYC Marathon for charity next November *this might kill me, but it's something I've been wanting to do for a while now
7. spend more time writing (this goal actually HAS to get done thanks to some set deadlines. I won't go into detail, but we've got some pretty exciting projects on the horizon for 2009...more to come on that note, stay tuned!)
8. invest in some better cookware finally (specifically, I'm shooting for a good stainless steel pan or two like those by All-Clad and an iron skillet so heavy it could take off a toe or two if dropped...for $20 though it's a kitchen staple. An enameled cast iron pot from Le Creuset was my exciting purchase for 2008 and I'm a bit obsessed. It's amazing and with it's fiery red color, it looks damn sassy sitting on my stovetop)
9. take more time to focus on my *personal* life (I swear, Mom, I'm trying!)
What are your big intentions for the year ahead? Here's to a delicious 2009!