Why I’m not making resolutions.

Happy New Year!

New year, new you? Catchy as this phrase is I’m not buying into it. As much as I want to support everybody’s enthusiasm about starting a new year I’m too realistic for that. Some might say pessimistic but I would beg to differ. I’m not saying it’s impossible to change your life with the start of a new year. In the end, though, this time is no different from the beginning of any other new month or even just week. No lies here: with everybody [in the blog world, not real life in my case], every magazine and website talking about I’ve been thinking about goals lately, too. So yes, I might have some. Changes of the kind I should have been making in previous months already. However, I’m fully aware that the point that also has many people fail their goals is true for me, too: Resolutions aren’t solutions. They don’t solve the inherent ‘problems’* that have held us from making changes before. Those ‘problems’ being that we are who we are. With our habits, personality traits and all the other bits and pieces that make us us. If we want to create lasting change the motivation has to arise intrinsically not bound to a certain date.  Why not throw a big party at the beginning of April? August? I hope you caught my drift here.

*I want to stress that I’m saying ‘problems’ because they’re not actually bad. We simply are who and how we are and that’s okay.

Okay, after that heavy introduction let’s take a look at the past week of life as inspired by Meg.

Week in review

 

Here’s some of what happened in the final week of 2016 for me. I …

Worked three days, taking Friday off to get a few things done before New Year’s Eve and to spend a little more time with my mum, sister and P.

Published two posts: a week in review and my – at least for a while – final weekly good good links. Stressing the weekly because – oh the irony – since making the decisions to stop doing these posts great articles have found me rather than me actively searching them. So I do think the links will be back eventually/later this month.

Read the latest Harry Potter book. It’s a quick read – a day or two – and I definitely recommend it. I admittedly wasn’t expecting it to be this good.

Whipped up a new batch of peanut butter. It never gets old. And – killing two birds with one stone – used the peanut butter remainders in the Vitamix to …

Prepare my healthy No-Bake Millionaire’s Shortbread Bars for New Year’s Eve with friends. From what I could tell they went down well. I say from what I could tell because we were in the midst of a game of “Who am I?” when I put them on the table. Not to brag but I was [one of?] the first to guess their character – just out of luck, though, pure luck here and it still took me a good while.

Healthy Millionaire's Shortbread Bars - only eight ingredients, vegan and gluten-free.

Changed the sheets on my bed – thinking of Cora here. The heavenly scent of fresh- and cleanliness when I slipped under the blankets at night was well worth the struggle of wrangling with the fitted sheet.

Took a nap on Friday evening. For some reason I was beyond tired all of a sudden and decided to give in. Granted, I should have let myself go to bed as early as 8.30 but my mind wouldn’t have it.

Started a little early Spring cleaning. I don’t want to think about the whole work ahead yet – going through all the rooms and closets – but starting out was a good decision.

Took my dad’s car – that we share – to the car dealer to get the replacement second key fitted. Holy heck expensive. We’re talking close to 200 €/~210 $ here … Needless to say I decided to keep that shiny new key to myself ;).

Went on a long walk in the winter sun with my mum, sister and P. I will miss these now that my sister and the little one have left again. Good company lets you forget about the cold outside.

Orchidee_flower_orchid

Read every afternoon after work and at least a little every morning, too. This has truly been such a wonderful addition to my days in the past year that I’m definitely going to keep.

Finally cleaned my electric water kettle. It had been a while and I’m honestly not quite sure why I don’t clean it more often. On the note of electric kettles: is it true these aren’t common in the US/Canada?

In full disclosure I wasn’t going to write this post. I’m a little anxious to share the next few lines because opening up is scary but I feel I should to explain things a little. The past months haven’t been easy for me [mentally] but even I was surprised by my mood dipping harshly after my sister and P. had left. It’s not something I want to talk about in detail – a mix of heavy post holiday blues and an overall internal mess I have to work through. This isn’t to say my life was awful – there are always silver linings – and my mood definitely doesn’t dip like this on the regular. As if she had known my mum knocked on my door in the late afternoon asking if I was up for a walk and this honestly saved me. I’m not exaggerating here. Yes, I might be in my twenties but the fact that mum’s the best just doesn’t change. We have our rough times, too, but today I was eternally grateful for her being part of my life. While I might not feel 100 % amazing now I was able to see the light again.

If you read the whole post: thank you. Really.  I’d send you a cookie but I’m afraid it wouldn’t keep too well over the distance. Once again, though: I’m not asking for sympathies here. My intent is simply to be honest about what’s going on and also excuse for my lack of blogging and commenting activity.

Now that you listened to me rambling on for ages tell me about your past week! What happened? How did you spend New Year’s Eve? Did you make any resolutions or monthly goals [I’m thinking  about picking these up again]?

 

Happiness-inducing today:  The walk with my mum.

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Tell me three [or more] achievements from your past week!

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My [non-]resolutions for the new year

First and foremost: Happy New Year! I hope you had a great New Year’s Eve with family, friends and fireworks. Oh, and food. Because there’s always food and it’s What I ate Wednesday so let’s talk about it a little more.

wiaw fall into a good new year

Out with the old, in with the new: While I haven’t made any real resolutions [yet?! – who says you can only resolve at the start of a new year?] I noticed some changes in the way I eat that I’d like to keep up in 2014. I haven’t talked about recovery on here in some time as I don’t want to focus on this alone on my blog. However, it’s the first What I ate Wednesday of the year meaning we’ll talk about food in anyway. So why not share some of the progress I’ve made during the last year? Additionally, there’s quite some backload of pictures from last year after taking some time off from blogging during the holidays.

Keep trying new foods and switching it up.

Strudel

Like my first [savoury at least] Strudel as part of a family dinner. Krautstrudel [cabbage strudel] with bell pepper cream sauce to be more specific. Getting my mum a vegan cookbook for Christmas I’d simulatenously gifted her to prepare a meal from it [clearly totally altruistically 😉 ]. In case you’ve ever prepared strudel pasty you know the works that goes into it … but totally worth it. Admittedly, the recipe called for store-bought phyllo pastry yet I couldn’t get it so subbed puff pastry and The whole family – this time involving not only my parents but my sister and her husband, too – raved how good it was. My dad’s only ‘complaint’ was that we [or just he?] could have done with a second strudel.

Altwiener Krautstrudel

There are already plans of another strudel appearing on the table soon – and on the blog afterwards, obviously. Overall, trying new dishes is important as I have a tendency to get stuck in ‘safe’ routines eating the same dishes over and over. Not like I didn’t enjoy them anymore. But life is only so long and boredom – be in with food or any other part of life – is just not desirable. Here’s to changing it up more often in 2014!

Enjoy meals with others.

Rotkohl_dinner

Christmas dinner was a meal completely prepared by my grandma and mum so I didn’t have any control over what went into the dishes. And I didn’t care. While I’d have liked to be involved in some kitchen action just for the fun of it and cooking for myself and others it was nice to just sit down to a great meal. Featured alongside my grandma’s Rotkohl which I can’t stop gushing about were potatoes and my mum’s first homemade seitan turned into a hearty hash.

dinner

‘Twas a lovely feast. In contrast to last year’s Christmas Eve dinner I was yet more relaxed and I didn’t fuss about vegetables completely lacking [the Rotkohl is on the sweeter side]. No prepping an extra side of them to fill up on but simply eating what everbody else had.

Just eat.

No labeling foods as ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’.

Flips

[Note: I don’t always plate my snacks but in case you ever did you’ll know that even something as simple as chips tastes even better when making the extra effort. We’re worth it.]

No fretting over indulgences.

Christmas_cookies

 No fussing about macros. No ‘making up for it’ if I eat a little more just because it tastes good at times. Though I’d been randomly snacking around earlier, too, it’s only been during the last few months [or weeks?] that I relaxed more about them. Not trying to add them up or cut down on my intake at another point. It’s also the first time in years I’m keeping a bag of Erdnussflips [think peanut Cheetos] around – they’re a kind of trigger food for me so I hadn’t trusted myself around them before. Basically, I’m trying to eat more intuitively again. I’ve started re-reading the book sometime ago. Actually, though, it was because I’d already noticed some positive changes in my mindset and simply felt like refreshing the reminder that it’s all okay.* Because it really is: food and eating can be so simple if we don’t give it too much attention and …

most importantly:

Just live.

Just live_2014

No matter how awesome food is I don’t want to let it be something it isn’t. During the past years there were many opportunities I passed because I let food become the focus. My ‘plan’ for 2014 is to easen up, accept that there won’t always be the most incredible food offered at get-togethers or other chances to socialize. It’s truly the people that should matter most and that’s what I want to prioritize. Maybe I’ll still pass on some invitations – here’s to setting realistic goals – but even if I manage to get out a little more and embrace what life has on offer it’s progression.

* [I plan on posting about my thoughts on Intuitive Eating sometime soon.]

Happiness-inducing today: Heading out for the first walk in 2014 with my mum in a minute.

 

Did you set [non-]resolutions or goals for 2014?

What are some of your favourite memories from the past year?

What were your most memorable foodie moments? Just because it’s Wednesday and there has to be a food-related question, right?! [And maybe I’m curious.]

Happy New Year and setting [realistic] goals

Happy New Year to all of you! Orchids

First off, I want to thank each and every one of you. 2012 was the year I finally brought up the courage to start a blog – I was afraid nobody would want to read – and I don’t regret it a single bit. The blog community is full of amazing people. I’m so thankful to have gotten to know all of you. Thanks for your sweet, supportive, encouraging and inspiring mails and comments! Each of them brought a smile to my face, made me feel understood and gave me strength when I needed it. Especially following through with my Christmas bucket list was a lot easier knowing I had your support so thanks once more.

Christmas starts

Yes, I know I might be a bit late but I’d still like to chime in on that one topic: New Year’s intentions. Making resolutions and setting goals to work towards isn’t per se a bad idea in my opinion. It’s the details I needed to rethink.

In the past I’d set goals like “getting rid of my ED” or “become an organized person”. I’m an all-or-nothing person: It’s either doing it all the way or not seeing it as an achievement. Unsurprisingly, I failed on them. Striving for smaller goals never seemed enough for me. But too ambitious or unrealistic plans set you – or at least me – up for frustration. You can’t plan on when to be fully recovered or when to reach a satisfying degree of organization.

Garden

 

Does failing to achieve your goals at the end of one year mean I’ll never reach them?  But really, what else but the beginning of a new month does January 1st mark? Yes, way back in time somebody decided that it also marked the start of a new year. But like Amanda said in yet another great post: I’m still the same person in this new year. The goals I set still exist and can be followed over the course of however long it takes me to reach them.

Granted, I won’t be able to make up for my failed attempt at winning an Olympic Gold medal in 2013 ;). [Hey, nobody told me procrastination wasn’t an Olympic discipline yet!] But at least I got to interview an Olympic Gold medal winner while interning at a fitness magazine so maybe that counts :D?

Leaving the safe harbour to get to know new sights and places.

Leaving the safe harbour to get to know new sights and places.

Also, I might not have gotten rid of my ED yet but I did move on in recovery. It’s the little steps that count. Every one of us has his own speed in life and that’s perfectly okay. Comparing how far I’ve come with somebody else who had a completely different initial situation won’t get you anywhere but closer to frustration. Take your time to achieve your goals. Falling back into old habits temporarily is normal and okay. Just keep pushing on.

My plan for 2013 is to set smaller, realistic goals for each month which will include tackling a food bucket list. I know I’m up for a lot of change [which I’ll talk about another time] so setting huge goals for the whole year wouldn’t work out in anyway. Let’s see what 2013 has on offer for us!

 

Tell me: What did you do on New Year’s Eve? I spent mine very low-key at a good friends’ house catching up, eating delicious food and watching her family’s 30-minute firework shenanigans :D.

Did you make any resolutions or what’s your take on them?

Do you have any big plans for 2013 already?