Intentionally Living the New Year
By Christie Caggiani, RDN, LDN, CEDRD
The New Year naturally ushers in an urge to do things ‘new’. We may have a surge of energy to re-new many aspects of our lives: our organization, our sleeping patterns, our cooking talents, our parenting skills. And just as quickly, our intense expectations overwhelm us, creating a feeling of failure before we even begin! So how can we make improvements in our lives without setting ourselves, and our families, up for disappointment?Photo Credit: kevin dooley via Compfight cc
Start by moving out of a goal-driven mindset, shifting instead into living with more intention. Many goals are number driven, putting the focus on reaching a set number, rather than making manageable and implementable changes. Not meeting that goal creates a sense of inadequacy, even if there was truly improvement. If, for example, we stress our kids eat at least three veggies / day, they quite likely will meet us with more resistance than if our overall intention is to include more color in their lunchboxes and on the dinner table. Some days they may have 1 veggie; other days they may try 4! Neither makes them a failure or a success.
Being intentional includes being mindful. We can’t make any changes if we aren’t aware of what is and isn’t working for us. Take note of how many nights a week you eat dinner as a family. Be aware of how hungry your children are after school. Notice how repetitive your grocery shopping feels. Once you tune into the eating rhythm in your home, you can begin to identify areas you’d like to consciously and gradually improve.
Then resolve to focus on the positive. When we have more of a ‘get to’ attitude, we demonstrate that healthful behaviors are not an obligation, or a ‘have to’. The kids get to help with dinner, get to set the table, get to put away clean dishes, or get to pick out a new fruit at the store. That even goes for trying a new food – they get to have at least one ‘no thank you’ bite.Photo Credit: dr.coop via Compfight cc
Some general areas to consider as you intentionally move into the New Year:
- Plan out some of your meals for the week
- Plan to include leftovers
- Jot down meal ideas as you see them on a menu, in a magazine, in your inbox (or download Plan to Eat, where you can collect any and all recipes found online), and keep a running list of your favorites
- Move cut fruits and veggies into pretty glass containers, visibly in your fridge
- Have your kids pick out a veggie or fruit to add to the week’s grocery list
- Set the breakfast table the night before
- Include your kids, as is age appropriate, in kitchen help
- Have after school snack options ready to go
Wishing you a fun, mindful 2015, filled with learning and adventure!