February Resolutions, Cause I’m Always a Little Late

I generally wait until February to make New Year’s resolutions. I tell myself that it has something to do with my birthday being in January, but really I’m just slow at making decisions. Allowing myself some extra time after the holiday rush to consider the next year helps immensely.

Some years I have selected a mantra. Once, this was more yoga, with no expectations as to what that would look like. Some years I have made 25-before-25 style lists of specific, achievable goals to accomplish.

Last year, I selected three categories (Health, Fears, and Fun) and chose two things to work on within each of those. While I often set health-related goals, I wanted to be sure I had a few goals that were purely for fun, and a few goals surrounding some of my fears that spur a fair amount of anxiety in my life.

Today I’m sharing a couple of my goals for 2016. I’ll add more, but I’m learning that I do best when I give myself the time and space to focus. So for now, a month late, here are two things that I’m working to turn into habits.

1. Finish things.

Finish books, use up lotion, eat food before it goes bad. There are several ways this goal will manifest itself in my life. And there’s one caveat: if I don’t want to finish it, let it go.

Sell the half-read books that I don’t want to read. Throw out the never-used perfume with the terrible scent. Donate the blouse that was a gift and has never matched my style.

Marie Kondo touches on these ideas in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (which I’ve nearly finished!). I particularly love the way she talks about gifts, that the purpose of a present is to be received. Once it’s been given and received, don’t feel guilty parting with it if it’s not something you can use with joy.

Also on my list of books to finish:

2. Plan meals.

I always have good intentions with meal planning, but have never developed any consistent habits in this area. As the person primarily responsible for putting food on the table, this one is important to me. Planning meals cuts down on decision fatigue, and cuts down on waste.

Wasted food is a huge pet peeve of mine (#cleanplateclub over here). We compost, so it’s not the contribution to a landfill that bothers me so much as the wasted money, time, and effort that gets thrown away. And, of course, the fact that there are people going hungry closer than we think.

For now, my goal is to take time on Sundays to plan four meals and grocery shop. Friday and Saturday meals will be flexible, as they generally need to be. I’ll have one open weeknight to go out to dinner, eat leftovers, or make spaghetti or a frozen pizza (cause let’s be honest, I could eat pizza every meal if it had no effect on my waistline).

This week I planned for:

On Tuesday, while making pesto soup, I realized that I had mistaken a can of garbanzo beans for great northern beans leaving me one can short. On Wednesday, when attempting to make quinoa enchilada casserole, I realized that I didn’t have any cans of black beans.

So this week’s lesson: check the beans (even if you always have beans).

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