I don’t like “resolutions” because often they aren’t realistic. Goals are something we aim for, but they seem to have a little less guilt involved. More of a “work in progress” mentality.
So, what are my/our 2012 goals?
1. Have more fun.
The last 3-4 years have been hard in so many ways for our family. When Chris and I first got married life seemed interesting, light, and more adventurous. I’m sure he would agree with me when I say that the last few years have, on many occasions, felt heavy, difficult, trying and serious.
I’m feeling like we’re in a place where we’re leaving some of that behind us. We’ve come to a place of acceptance on some Haiti/mission life things, our adoption is done, our sweet little boy is a part of our family, we don’t have travel restrictions, and the mission feels like it’s moving into a new phase. I’m feeling hopeful and excited about the future rather than like I’m just trying to figure out how to get through the day. I’m excited to see what God has in store for us, what new adventures he has for us. What new life lessons. What new joys. It’s amazing when you move from that place of survival to feeling like you’re living again. I kind of feel like I’m waking up after a long slumber. I want to be doing certain things. I’m more enthusiastic about homemaking and taking care of my family. I’m feeling creative again for the first time in a couple of years. I have more energy than I have in a while. It feels good. I feel blessed.
So, on that note, this year is about having more fun. Saying good bye to the heavies that have weighed on me, and doing things, deliberate things, to enjoy life more. Being crafty, laughing with my family, choosing a better attitude, enjoying my kids and spouse more, finding joy in things that I would normally see as work. I want to laugh more. I want to look forward to getting out of bed in the morning. I want to look back on this year and see that it was a turning-the-corner year.
2. Lose weight.
This is a goal for both Chris and I. I am lousy at losing weight. I keep wanting it to just melt off in my sleep. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to work that way. I have used a lot of excuses over the years. What I know to be true is that it’s an all encompassing package. I am choosing to eat a certain way, I am choosing the amount of activity I do or don’t partake in, and I’m choosing my attitude about all of it.
The biggest thing for me is that I want to be healthy. I’ve gained a lot of weight in the last 5 years. I know that a large part of it was probably due to stress. Stress makes me seek comfort, and I seek comfort in food. I give myself excuses as to why it’s okay to indulge in something, even though I might not be hungry or really needing it then. Then I have excuses as to why I don’t need to exercise. Vicious cycle.
The problem now is that I have back and foot problems, and I know a large part of it is related to my weight. My frame wasn’t meant to carry what it is right now. I want to be able to be active with my kids. I don’t want to worry about things like whether my butt is going to get stuck in a chair. Isn’t that crazy? It’s true though. How’s that for gut level honesty? I want to set a good example for my kids too. I don’t want them to struggle with what I struggle with. I want them to make good choices about food and exercise. The way they’ll do that is by us modeling it.
I have no excuses anymore because I do all of our cooking, and I have a means to get exercise. The only thing holding me back is me. It’s time to make some changes for the better.
3. Eat Better for Less.
This piggy backs off of the last goal. If I want to be more healthy then I need to work at putting good things in my body. As the main cook in our home, I want my family to be eating good food.
In the fall I saw a friends copy of a cook book that I knew I wanted.
More With Less was written by the Mennonite Central Committee. Anyone who knows any Mennonites can tell you that they know how to cook! We have some Mennonite friends here and I’m always challenged and inspired when we visit them. The food we share together is simple, yet delicious and satisfying. They also have a priority of living very simply amongst the people they’re here to serve.
Chris and I have been feeling convicted lately that our food budget should be more on target with what we live in. Any missionary in Haiti can tell you that food is one of the most expensive things about living here. I have already been making changes to try and spend less, such as making menu’s for each month and shopping for that. We don’t buy much processed food. We try to buy all of our veggies, eggs, fruit and milk locally, which saves a ton of money.
More With Less is all about cooking good food and taking advantage of the nutrients in the food you prepare. It’s about getting more bang for your buck. Using different sources of protein rather than always eating meat. Being more creative with basic things like beans, eggs, and vegetables. Avoiding processed foods as much as possible, not only because they are less healthy, but because they cost more.
I’m loving the cook book so far. The recipes have been collected from people that have lived all over the world, so they’re great in situations like ours where you don’t have access to certain things easily. You can adapt them and they often offer suggestions of how to do so. I’m making an effort to cook according to the recipe and cook the right number of servings for our family rather than having a ton of left overs. We haven’t loved everything we’ve had so far, but they’re good foundations to build on.
Another thing we’re trying is kefir. Kefir is a by-product of fermenting milk, and it sounds kind of gross, but that’s exactly what yogurt is too. Kefir has a lot more pro-biotics and good nutrients in it though. Sheena has kefir grains and is using them, so it peaked my interest. I bought some while we were home for the holidays.
Not only is it good for you, but in our situation it can save us a lot of money. We can drink a bit every day for health reasons, but we can also use it for making other things. What you ask? Well, things like yogurt replacements, sour cream, soft cheese like cream cheese, buttermilk, sourdough starter, smoothies… you get the idea. There are a bunch of recipes online for what you can do with this stuff. It’s so good for you. And for us, a huge help economically. Things like sour cream, cream cheese etc are really expensive. We were still buying them, but very conscious of the cost. Now we can make our own and I’m really excited about that.
Those are my big goals for this year. What are yours?