January 4, 2016

Starting Fresh with the New Year

Hello again. I hope you and yours had a merry holiday season and are having a happy new year thus far.

It's a time for new beginnings, and I thought I'd bring up a few of our fresh start goals for 2016. Some we technically started at the end of 2015, because why wait? Others we only started today, the first Monday of the year. Some may become new habits. Many are likely to morph or fall by the wayside. There's really no way to tell this early in the game, but still we try.

I have a horrible track record at keeping up with resolutions, so this year I'm trying picking a word keep at the forefront of my mind throughout the year. It's no secret I'm more than a bit scatterbrained, so I figure "focus" is a word I can use more of anytime. Therefore, it is my 2016 word of the year, and I intend to implement it in multiple areas of my life and the girls.

First and foremost, we want to focus on our health, especially when it comes to preventative measures. By that I mean how we take care of ourselves on a day to day basis. One thing the girls actually requested was to purchase and follow a food pyramid poster. Boo has been learning about it in her science lessons, and she figured we need to have a poster to follow. 

This was last night's dinner, just as an example.

I'm okay with the idea of a food pyramid chart, but between food allergies and sensitivities in the family as well as the fact the modern food pyramid as it has stood since the 1990s leaves a lot to be desired from a nutrition standpoint. Therefore I offered a compromise. We would make a corrected pyramid and use it instead. I'll include more on that if there's interest since it's a project we're due to start tomorrow afternoon, but suffice to say the food groups and their rankings in the pyramid itself will be a bit different.

We've already begun planning and preparing meals based around the corrected information. I actually just set a reminder in my phone to sit down and make out a weekly meal plan the night before our weekly grocery trips. I figure having a set menu in place might cut down on the wavering because I don't "feel" like eating something in particular or "feel" like cooking on a particular night. Those have been the bane of our mealtime existence for the past several years, and I shudder to think of the money we've wasted on unused ingredients and quick fix meals. After that, it's just a matter of drinking enough water and remembering to get up and move every day. Those I can typically handle. (I used to think I didn't until I took a desk job for two years and watched my weight explode due to the loss of activity. Thankfully I'm back home and resuming my old activity levels, plus some, now.)

This idea of focusing also applies to the spiritual and work sides of our lives. We've been reading the Bible for years, but we're taking steps to make our study less haphazard and adding two five to ten  minute periods daily where we take time out to meditate. We've also tweaked our schedule to better manage our time for lessons and specific tasks.

A personal favorite of mine is the two hours of scheduled writing time per day, which is why this blog post is up this afternoon. Every evening now between the time the girls finish their lessons and it's time to cook dinner is scheduled for writing, be it blog posts or my latest work-in-progress.

Also, the family and I have started a YouTube channel where we will be posting weekly vlogs. It's just a few minutes of the most interesting bits of our week uploaded over the course of the weekend. I'm enjoying the chance to learn more about videography and editing video clips together. The first few videos have been more than a little rough, but I hope to improve.

So what about you? How are you starting fresh in this new year? Tell me about it in the comments below.


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