Happy New Year! We hope you had a fun and relaxing break with family and friends.
As always, the holidays flew by, and we’re already into the first weeks of 2015 wondering where the time has gone. Which is why, when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, we knew we had to keep it simple. Here’s what we’ve got:
Cut back on sugar
Everyone has a bête noire in their diet, and mine is sugar. In the warmer months, it's easy to reach for yogurt with fresh fruit when I get the munchies. In the winter, I'm way too likely grab cookies or pumpkin bread or hot chocolate. So I'm going back to a rule that's worked for me better than any sort of official diet: No more than 25 grams of added sugar a day. That basically means that I don't drink sweetened beverages and that if I want a dessert, I choose carefully and have only a small serving, or better, make it myself and use less sugar than the recipe calls for. Totally doable. -- KW
I will not be rushed
The last three months of 2014 were ridiculously busy for me. In that time, I realized that most of the stress in my life comes from people who are trying to make me do things faster. At work, that's unreasonable deadlines. At home, it's toddlers who are so eager for me to get out of the shower that they ram the bathroom door with their riding toys.
Let me explain something. I am not a procrastinator. I am a parent who works full-time. The only way I can get everything done is to do it. The kitchen elves, the housekeeping elves, the editing elves -- they all live in someone else's house. If I am not working full-tilt, not totally focused on the task at hand, it is because my mind desperately needs a rest before it can become functional again. Telling me to hurry up is a complete and utter waste of time. All it does is irritate me. So I am not going to let people do it. I am going to tell them to take a number and get in line. They can fold my laundry while they wait. -- KW
I have tried running. I have tried the gym. I do not like it. What I like is to walk, for hours on end.
Unfortunately, it’s increasingly rare that I get the chance to walk. Before I had kids, a day spent hiking was not unusual. Now it's a once-a-year treat -- maybe. But I've got to clear my head somehow. So every day that I work from home, I am going to find a full hour to walk outside during daylight hours (the 9:30 pm walk, after the kids are asleep, is just not as good).
As of January 16, I have blown this resolution repeatedly. I am undeterred. -- KW
My friend filmmaker Tiffany Shlain and her family have “Technology Shabbats,” turning off their devices and unplugging from Friday evening through Saturday night. “Unplugging for a day makes time slow down and makes me feel more present with my family,” Shlain says, in a short film she put together about the idea. This is something I can get behind. After averaging 10 hours a day on my computer last year, with time in between spent checking my smartphone, the idea of a tech-free day at least once a week has a lot of appeal. Goodness knows I’ve earned the right to unplug. -- CG
Get some fresh air
I’m amazed at how often I spent the entire day inside last year, with the only time spent outside either walking into the office in the morning or heading home at night. No more. I am now making an effort to be outside for least 10 minutes of every workday, even if it’s just standing in the courtyard in front of my office building. I know that 10 minutes doesn’t sound like much, but it’s enough time to listen to Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major and Bohemian Rhapsody, or Danzón No. 2, as conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. Good enough. -- CG
Don't stop me now
I have adopted a theme song for 2015. It’s Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now.” I’m using it is a reminder that every day can be an adventure, filled with opportunities to have fun and try new things. I don’t know if every day will turn out that way, but I’m trying to be optimistic here, and if a 3.5 minute song can help me through even a third of the days ahead this year, how bad can that be? -- CG
January 16, 2015
Missed our last issue? Here you go:
Ditching the Holiday Stress
If you liked this story, you might also like:
Resolved: 2014 Will be Awesome
New Year's Resolutions That Might Actually Work
You'll Never Regret...
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Photo courtesy of flickr user Moyan Brenn
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