Well, I think this is the first New Year's Day in recent memory that I awoke with a clear head and not even the faintest hint of a hangover. On one hand, that means we didn't have a wild and crazy party last night, but on the other, I believe it is a fitting start to a year where my primary objective is to be a healthier, happier, fitter and more productive version of myself. I made some changes in 2010 that started me on the right path, but this year is the time to "kick things up a notch" so to speak.
In my Christmas stocking this year, I found a copy of Chatelaine Magazine. One of the cover stories immediately caught my eye - "Change Your Life in 30 Days - A Step by Step Guide to Finding Real Balance and Boosting Your Health" Well, Santa must be a lot smarter than I give him credit for - this is exactly what I need! (Although, Santa was sending some mixed messages, as the cover of the magazine features a positively scrumptious looking chocolate cupcake - the very thing I am trying to AVOID in 2011, but his heart was in the right place).
I flipped to the article and noticed that it was a "to-do" list, of sorts. There were 30 items, all small and relatively easy to accomplish, and the goal was to do one item each day for a month. Hmmmmmmm......I think I can do that! I didn't finish reading the list (better to keep most items as a surprise!), but I thought it would make for a good experiment for the month of January. Every day, I will complete one of the items on the list and blog about it. At the end of the month we will see if my life has "changed" as the magazine promises it will.
Most experts say it takes 30 days to form a habit (some say 21, but let's not be nit-picky). My secondary goal with this little experiment is that it will force me to write something every day. As many of you know, 2011 is "The Year of the Book" for me. By starting the year building a "writing habit", I should be on the right path to making some real headway with my future novel.
Now, for my first "to-do" item:
"Aim for 80% of today's food intake to be fresh, real and unprocessed. Avoid any canned, frozen, pre-cooked or pre-packaged fare." *
Sounds easy enough, right? In our house, we very rarely eat anything that is pre-packaged or frozen (thanks to my Executive Chef and Partner in Crime). However, when I am out and about and working, I have a horrible habit of grabbing whatever is easy, fast and can be eaten in the car. If you actually sit down and take a look at the nutritional value of what I eat when I am away from home, it is truly appalling. This is one issue that definitely needs to be addressed - not only on Day 1 of my experiment, but every day going forward.
I'm off to a good start so far - just oatmeal for breakfast! I'm heading out to Square One shortly for a little new year shopping (thankfully item #1 on my list wasn't "cut up your credit cards". That would have stung a bit). The real test will be passing by all that food-court fast food crap in the mall. Good thing they say willpower is always strongest on day one of any new challenge!
"We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives, not looking for flaws, but for potential" - Ellen Goodman
Wishing all of you the very best for 2011! Make it count.
* Source: Chatelaine Magazine, January 2011 Issue.