I always write a new year’s goals post on the first of the year, but the time just completely got away last month. (I don’t like saying “New Year’s Resolutions” because it sounds weird, but that’s basically what I do every January.) I honestly wasn’t even sure what goals I was going to focus on this year. I like to try to learn from each year — what worked, what didn’t, why not, etc.
First, here’s a look at how I did with last year’s goals…
1. I’m getting my weight back to the maintenance range of 125-135.
Haha! I’m in the same boat this year. In fact, I was back in my maintenance range and was around 130 pounds for a long time until a few months ago — I was so sure I had figured out how to stay there. But like at the end of 2022, I gained about 15 pounds. I thought about changing my maintenance range, but I just don’t feel comfortable physically when my weight goes up to 130. I’m curious how things will go this year.
2. Run 500 miles (cumulative, of course).
How did I forget this?! I just looked at last year’s post and this was written there. I honestly don’t remember writing it. Needless to say, I fell short of that goal — I only ran about 78 miles. However, I started a daily running habit and am currently on a 126 day streak. I only run one lap around my block (0.4 miles), but my goal was to build a daily habit. Even though I didn’t do 500 miles (or even 20% of that, haha), I’m pretty happy with the habit I’ve developed.
3. Complete one craft project per month.
I may or may not have completed it. I do a lot of crafts and have been particularly into sewing this year. I didn’t keep track of what I did during the year, so I’m not sure if I hit that goal.
4. I expand my vocabulary.
I started this by learning a new word every week, but found myself completely forgetting it. So, I decided to start learning Spanish on Duolingo. I do at least one class a day and I’m on day 221 right now. It’s kind of crazy when I think about how much I’ve learned in such a short amount of time!
Despite the fact that I didn’t really hit those goals last year, I’m not the least bit upset about it. 2023 was a crazy year and not in a good way. Survival was good enough for me 😉
I decided to try a different approach with goals this year. I will only have ONE goal and focus on that one goal instead of many. I think having a solitary goal will make me more likely to achieve it. I’ll continue to work on other things, as always, but I’ve narrowed my list down to just one.
Eat more vegetables.
So simple! Correctly? I have been vegan for almost two years now and my diet has become much healthier. However, I still don’t eat the recommended amount of vegetables every day. The more I learn about how diet affects health, the more I want to eat healthy. And vegetables are the healthiest food there is!
|It’s kind of funny — the one vegetable my whole family likes is Brussels sprouts!
I know the word “more” isn’t specific, but I wrote it that way on purpose. I don’t want to put a number because I don’t want to count vegetables or hit certain numbers for variety or anything like that.
I *really* enjoyed reading and listening to “How Not To Die” by Dr. Michael Greger. He is a nutritionist and passionate about using food to prevent and even cure disease. Yes, these “experts” are a dime a dozen these days, but one thing sets him apart from the rest: He wants so much to teach people to use food for nutrition that he donates every cent from book sales and business of charity. His website is non-profit. It has no sponsors or ads on its website or anything to suggest a hidden agenda. He has written thousands of articles with all the studies to support his research. He does not push products and only publishes facts (backed by research). If ever there was an expert to trust in the diet industry, it’s him (in my opinion).
He has a list of what he calls the “Daily Dozen” — a checklist of 12 things we should try to fit into our diet every day. It seems overwhelming when you see the list, but he said don’t aim for perfection — it’s just a guide to help you make better choices. You can actually download the checklist app — it’s free and has no ads! — but here’s the list (you should be able to click on it to make it bigger):
I was surprised to see that I already get a lot of these things every day already. What’s missing are the vegetables! To try and get more veggies in this year, I’m going to do my best to follow this Daily Dozen guideline. This means eating leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables and other vegetables every day.
I started working on it last week and am inspired to continue. There are many vegetables that I like, but I don’t cook them often because I’m the only one in my house that likes them. Jerry will try anything I make and never complains, but I feel guilty making food that I “know” he won’t like. He always tells me to cook whatever sounds good to me and he will eat it. I’m trying to do this, but I feel really bad.
Dr. Gregor writes about how your taste buds change as you change your diet (something I’ve noticed many times over the years), so Jerry and I set ourselves a two-week challenge. It doesn’t sound like much of a sacrifice on my part, but I promise it’s HARD for me — I have to cook meals that sound good to me, but that I “know” Jerry won’t like. (I put that in quotes because we don’t really know if he’ll like it or not.) And in return, he’ll only eat whole foods (including the meals I make) to see if his tastes start to change.
We just started it yesterday, but it’s been interesting. While I’m nervous about it, Jerry is excited about it, hahaha. I made sweet potato taco bowls yesterday — baked sweet potatoes with black beans and corn, taco seasoning, lime quinoa, and a spicy cashew cream sauce. It sounded heavenly to me! But I would never do that because it’s not something Jerry would choose.
He has also promised to be completely honest about his opinion of the dinners I make. I don’t want him to tell me he likes something if he really doesn’t. I was very surprised at how much he liked the taco bowls yesterday! He said it’s something he would definitely eat again.
The vegetables I eat most enthusiastically are sweet potatoes, cauliflower and mushrooms. If I can find a mushroom dish that Jerry likes, I’ll be very happy! I want to make it clear that this was not my idea – Jerry is actually very excited to be doing this challenge.
Anyway, I’ve been working on the daily dozen (and I love that I’m not trying to have a perfect checklist every day). It’s only been a week, but I feel good about it. Maybe by the end of 2024, I’ll be able to tick off all the ticks on the checklist!