Saturday, January 1, 2011

Thoughts on living well in 2011

I've been thinking for several days what to write about to bring in the new year. This post has nothing to do with the gluten free diet, with recipes, or even really with food. This year I've been more contemplative than excited. My husband and I used to write out resolutions, but we decided several years ago it seemed rather silly since often those resolutions were broken by the end of January or at least by February. It wasn't out of a lack of discipline, or a sudden decision to revise our resolutions... it was often because they were unrealistic. 

Each January for several years I've attempted to follow new plans towards weight loss. Either by cutting out sugar, trying a vegan diet, trying a vegetarian diet, following a fast, going on a "South Beach" diet... you name it... and I've most likely tried it and blogged about it.

This year, this grand year of two thousand and eleven... we're choosing to be kind. Yes, I need to lose weight. I have healthy goals I want to reach, but I've slowly learned that setting unrealistic goals and having unrealistic limitations doesn't work for me.

Here are a few things I'd like to do this year. Not necessarily goals or resolutions... just a few comtemplative ideas to bring wellness & health into our lives:
  • Take more walks. Not even for physical health reasons... just to walk. To relieve stress, instead of baking every time I need to relieve stress... take more walks. Cookies are good and I will still make them, but it would also be nice to enjoy the fresh air a little more than I do now. 
  • Read more books. I love to read and I haven't spent nearly enough time doing so. Real. Physical. Books. (Well okay, if a kindle walks into my life I certainly wouldn't turn it away! lol) But I've got tons of books that have been rather lonely this year on our shelves. It's time to change that. Have you read any good books lately?
  • Have a little more grace towards others. Grace is huge to me. I wouldn't be who I am today without the absolute grace of a loving God... but more often than not I'm judgemental, petty, and have a hard time letting go of anger. It's a pretty lousy example of my faith. And it's not who I really am. It's time to be more willing to share the grace He's given to me.
  • Pen handwritten letters and cards. A real, personal, handwritten letter complete with spelling mistakes, sentences that may need a little work, and yet written out of true thoughtfulness can mean more to people than any gift ever could. When I was about 9 years old, our local postmistress, a dear, kind woman told me that if I wanted to recieve a letter, I needed to write one. She became one of my favorite people. She would ask me about the people I wrote too, she would even call me and let me know I recieved a letter if I didn't make it to the post office for a day or so. 20 years later, thinking back on those days some people might think that postmistress was just a bit odd or nosy... but I think she looked forward to those letters as much as I did. She was a friend. She cared about me. She was a vibrant part of my community and she cared about the people in her mail district. I miss her. So if you'd like a letter, write someone. They will appreciate the thought and time you put into it more than you will ever know!
  • Be a little more kind to yourself. While I'm running the risk of sounding like a self-help guru here... I need to be a little nicer to me. I think even without realizing it, I'm constanting beating myself up. Yes I know I'm overweight, I know I need to exercise more, I know I'm wear plus size jeans and I get really frustrated with the whole double chin thing. I always have a running "to do" list tabulating in my thoughts and I get frustrated with myself on the things I haven't done or haven't accomplished... (Hello? I'm 32... shouldn't I have made it further along in life by now? Shouldn't we have kids now? Be more prosperous? Know what I really want to be when I grow up?) Anybody with me here? But I also need to learn to be okay with that. Yes, there are things about myself and my life that I'd like to change, but I also need to accept myself right now, right here... plus size jeans, double chin and all. Because really, we're blessed just to be here. Right now. We need to remember that.
Do you make resolutions? Do you create new goals? What are you looking forward to in 2011? Welcome to the new year! Let's make it a good one!
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