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Good Riddance 2020!

Every year as we wind down from the holidays and look forward to the new year it seems there is a renewed energy in the air. An energy of excitement. This year however, the energy seems hampered as COVID still remains very present affecting our daily lives and our ability to predict the future. There is one thing that I think many of us agree on though and that is looking forward to saying “Farewell to 2020”!

Looking ahead to the uncertainty of 2021, I have decided to own my part in the upcoming year rather than waiting for the restrictions to be lifted and the vaccines to be distributed. I don’t believe in resolutions per se, but I do like to set goals and identify themes for the upcoming year. 2021 is no different and here is what I have outlined so far:

· Learn to cook. For most of my life I have gotten by with my limited kitchen skills but this year I am tired of scrounging for food when I am hungry and looking at pictures of completed recipes thinking how out of reach, they are for me. No more! This coming January I am enrolling in a cooking series offered through Kripalu. Jeremy Rock Smith, Kripalu’s Executive Chef, a graduate from the Culinary Institute of America is leading this four-part series where he will lead us through a series of recipes of winter comfort foods.

· Start the year off with a “Dry January”. I enjoy a nice glass of wine or two, as well as other adult beverages, and feel that in this upcoming year I want to start it off without alcohol as a part of my life. It’s as much of a gift to my body as it is the curiosity of setting a goal and sticking with it. I am not a routine person and setting a 31-day intention is more about follow through for me than avoiding alcohol.

· Purge extra items from my closet and home. 2020 has led me to more online shopping than I normally do and as a result a lot of excess clothes and home items. As I found new things to replace my older items, I have not found new homes for the older items. I have now collected the things no longer needed and have scheduled a donation pickup on January 7th. I have a long way to go but this is a good start!

· Be kind to myself (and to others). Sometimes I overeat. Sometimes I drink too much. Sometimes I get lazy. Sometimes I spend too much money. This coming year I will learn to pause more and to consider my actions before I do them. If I find that I acted in a way that was excessive, I will simply acknowledge my actions and let it go. My intention here is to learn from my actions and try not to not beat myself up.

Essentially, I will continue to practice self-care and look out for my future-self. I told my daughter once that I consistently try to be the best friend to my future-self. I shared an example with her about being a best friend to my future-self when I fold and put laundry away before going to bed, so my future-self won’t have the chore to do the following morning. She has adopted this principle as well and we often talk about how our future-selves like us better now. The same is true when opening a bottle of wine. I consider how my future-self would feel in the morning and when I take the time to pause, I have the option to make a choice. Another example is when I make something to eat. Recently I have been adding more whole grains to my meals and purchased some farro and amaranth. When cooking, I make enough to last for two or three meals so that I can simply add some vegetables or a protein to the grains and have a complete meal without added work.

If you want to try any of the products I use, and recommend, feel free to use my Amazon affiliate links below. I find it is difficult to find many of these products in our local stores and often buy them directly from Amazon where I get most things anyway!

As you transition from 2020 to 2021, recognize that you are in control of a lot of things. Consider those things that you are doing well and celebrate those things because they are worth celebrating. Then consider the things that you could do better and commit to them. Commit to yourself, whatever it may be. Make reasonable and sustainable choices and your future-self will thank you.

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