Micro-Resolutions

It’s New Year Resolutions time, and I was dreading it until today! In the past, I’ve done pretty well by picking one small resolution and sticking to it – one year, I added a multivitamin to my daily routine, another year more fiber, and another year I started donating 1-2 items to the food bank bin at my grocery store each time I shop. I’m still (mostly) sticking with those new habits…but I feel a little bit lame for such small goals!

That’s why I loved the ideas I learned in David G. Allan’s article on CNN.com today about ‘micro-resolutions.’ It’s such a great idea! Last year, he committed to giving up one bad habit each month…but only for that month. His goal was to explore and better understand his habits, learn something about himself, and hopefully improve his quality of life. By making the resolutions short-term, they were easier to stick to…as he points out in the article, a month is just about the time most of us give up on our New Year Resolutions anyway!

Two insights I appreciated from the article – first, he invited friends to join him, and got a lot of extra insight and support from doing this with other people. That’s a life lesson this introvert needs to learn, for sure. Second, he noted that his first year was about ‘abstinence’ — taking away things that weren’t feeding his life. He’s making the coming year about sustenance, by adding things to his life that make it fuller. Bring on the abundance!!!

So… I’m starting my list now –

1. Share My Food: I’m an introvert, so invitations are hard for me to extend, and some of my friends and family are still a little skeptical of the green-tinted spiced nuts, drinks, and cookies I create, but when they try them, they are hooked! I resolve to share food with someone new each week.

2. Cut out disposable plastic: Living near the water, I’m constantly reminded of the damage that plastic does to our oceans and sea life, so reducing plastic makes sense. Did you see the new reusable bamboo straws we have?

3. Daily Mindfulness practice: The peace and focus I get out of a few minutes of mindful meditation each day is hard to beat, but I need some extra motivation to actually do it. Setting aside time for a Mindful Cup of Tea is both a treat and a way to recharge.

4. Get more sleep: I’m confused by people who say, ‘I need at least 8 hours of sleep per night, so I make sure I always get it.’ I mean, I understand the first part of the sentence…it’s the second half that baffles me! That being said, I KNOW that I would be more logical, empathetic, mindful and pleasant if I could find a way to get more rest. Maybe 7 hours?

5. Replace coffee with tea: #5 comes after #4 for a reason! While coffee does have some beneficial antioxidants, it doesn’t begin to compare with the powerful health benefits of green tea. And I can always keep some Matcha+ on hand for days when I really need a caffeine boost.

6. Re-set my sweet tooth: I’ve noticed that going ‘cold turkey on sugar (including low/no-calorie sweeteners and starchy vegetables) for a few weeks is a great way to re-set my tastes, and reduce sugar cravings. After a difficult first few days, it’s a treat to find out how intense and flavorful food really tastes.

7. No more after-dinner snacking: Again, doing these in order is key! This one goes AFTER re-setting the sweet tooth. My secret weapon? Flavorful, calorie-free green tea drinks (with stevia or just a touch of honey on special occasions) to satisfy and soothe.

8. Speech habits: as a working woman, I’m challenging myself to eliminate that ‘upward lilt’ at the end of sentences that makes every statement sound like a question. I want to speak with confidence about things I know.

Want to help me fill in the rest of the year? What are your Micro-Resolutions?

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