Story — 30.08.2018

Don’t even waste your New Year’s resolutions The question is how?

New beginnings mean new decisions. So, what can we do to make these decisions feasible?

The tradition of making new resolutions for the new year goes all the way back to ancient Rome. The first month of the year was dedicated to Janus, the god of beginnings and endings. People would promise to be good and expected this god to protect them.

We make any number of decisions we believe will be better for us at the start of a new year, a new month or even a new day. We feel good about ourselves even in the process of making these decisions. However, research has shown that we actually follow through on very few of these decisions. One reason is that we make resolutions that are difficult to achieve. For example, it might not be very realistic for a person who doesn’t exercise at all to decide that they will suddenly exercise five days a week. More realistic resolutions are easier to measure. Witnessing our own success makes it easier to follow through on our resolutions.

Experts recommend doing the resolutions we make with others instead of on our own. This makes our resolution more than just a private promise to ourselves and, of course, having people in our life who push us to do better things helps us to follow through on our resolutions.

Do you forget your New Year’s resolution by the time February comes around? Instead of making new resolutions once a year, we can remind ourselves of them at more frequent intervals. We can also divide the time frame into smaller pieces instead of trying to doing a resolution in one go. Are you having trouble following through on your resolution to write a book this year? It might be more feasible to say that you will write ten minutes every day.

One way to keep the promises you make and follow through on your resolution is to make an action plan at the same time that you make the decision, by making a roadmap with weekly and monthly goals.

With these in mind, here are some ideas we hope will inspire your New Year’s resolutions.

  • Declare one day a week as a day of no wasted food. Instead of making a new dish, use ingredients that are going off and any leftovers.
  • Get a water bottle and free yourself of the graveyard of plastic bottles that litter your desk. Take a reusable bag and a shopping list with you when you go shopping.
  • Cook food at home. Learn the story behind the ingredients that you use. Learn where they come from and how they were produced.
  • Learn the rules of the fridge. Keep track of the sell-by dates on your food and prevent waste at home.
  • When you go out to eat, don’t be shy or lazy about getting a doggy bag for the food left on your plate.
  • Experience the seasons surrounded by nature. Learn to recognise and forage naturally growing plants and use them in the kitchen.
  • Eat more vegetables. Try new vegetables, herbs and edible plants. Use every part of your fruit and veg – from the stalk to the root.
  • Make music a habit. Listen to music for at least one hour a day.
  • Go to farmer’s markets regularly. Get to know your food and those who produce it.
  • Make pickles and sprout beans… Life is a race; remember to rest.
  • While we are talking about pickles, make fermented foods a part of your life. Make pickles at home, make yoghurt and eat tarhana.
  • Support art and craftsmen. Learn to do something practical this year.
  • Go to the book shop and get lost in the shelves.
  • Use what you have at home. Turn putting on make-up into an activity that feeds your soul.

Share your decisions with others. Make them partners in your promises.

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