We’re 9 days in, folks. How are your resolutions going? Did you make them? Are you doing them?
According to this Forbes article, only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions successfully do them. (It’s a slower drop off than you’d think, though—at six months, nearly 50% of people are still working toward their resolution.)
Like many other Americans, I made a resolution or two as I welcomed in the New Year. Unlike past years, though, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to do mine.
In the past, I’ve had resolutions like:
-Be a marathon runner!
-Don’t say anything negative about ANYTHING ALL YEAR.
-Become fluent in Spanish (I know French and English…not Spanish, not even a little bit)
-Look like a model by swimsuit season (nobody should ever have this resolution)
What’s wrong with these resolutions? I don’t even know where to start. First of all, I set astronomical goals that I hadn’t even started to accomplish. If you want to be a marathon runner, you should be willing to run more than three miles, something I absolutely refuse to do. So not only were my goals not realistic in the slightest, but I didn’t give myself a roadmap on how to accomplish them.
Another thing that I did wrong with these resolutions was hyperbolizing things I actually wanted to accomplish. When I said I wanted to be a marathon runner, the thing I actually wanted to do was be comfortable running a few times a week. When I said I wanted to not say anything negative for an entire year, what I really wanted to improve was my ability to not complain…and so on. But those goals of “running more” and “complaining less” seemed lackluster, not dramatic enough. So in order to make my resolutions as dramatic as possible, I took those goals, which I actually value, to extremes that were impossible for me to accomplish.
For comparison, here are my 2019 New Year’s resolutions:
-Every week, take a bath, and
-Do one hour of pilates
That’s it. So much simpler. While the bath resolution may seem silly, I made it because taking a long bath means I am deliberately relaxing for 20 minutes (or longer…my roommate’s not a fan) a week. By committing to taking a bath, I’m prioritizing relaxing in hot water over all the other stuff I generally feel I should be doing. It’s enjoyment for enjoyment’s sake, and I want more of that this year.
The second resolution is also short, and completely achievable. I know I can, once a week, do an hour worth of pilates. I made this a resolution because it’s something I know I enjoy doing, and just need to make time for. Instead of this resolution being the absolute extreme of the real goal I value (working out), this resolutions serves as a kind of launchpad for other goals. If I can find an hour to do pilates one day a week, I know I can find 20 minutes most mornings to do a quicker exercise. That isn’t my resolution because I know that’s something I’ll be working up to throughout the year, and I don’t want to constantly feel like a failure for not doing it.
If you want tips as to how to better stick to your resolutions, I found this cool post.
Happy 2019, and good luck!
A brief history, and health benefits
I’m going to be honest with you…I didn’t really think yoga was a hard exercise until very recently. I remember talking to a friend a while back. I asked her if she wanted to go on a run later that day, and she said no thanks—she didn’t like running. She preferred doing yoga, which she did a few times a week.
To me, doing yoga and going on a run sounded like very different things. I thought that running had to be the more serious, strenuous exercise. Then my other friend had me go to a one hour-long session of yoga at a studio and I was sore for days in places I didn’t know I could feel sore. So now I know that yoga is a serious exercise, I thought I’d share some of the cool history behind yoga, as well as the health benefits the (very intense!) exercise can offer you.
Although popularized in the Western world in the last century, yoga has existed for thousands of years. According to this article, yoga is a “5,000-year-old system of mental and physical practices originating in India, which includes philosophy, meditation, breath work, lifestyle and behavior principles, and physical exercise.” Basically, there’s yoga as an exercise, and there’s yoga as a holistic lifestyle. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where yoga was first created, because there’s records of different peoples practicing yoga in Ancient India.
Besides its rich history, yoga has really excellent health benefits. According to this Harvard article, yoga helps promote a better body image, becoming a more mindful eater, helps weight loss and weight loss maintenance, enhances overall fitness, and has important cardiovascular benefits. On top of that, yoga can help reduce stress.
I know this time of year can get pretty crazy, and a mind and body refresh might be exactly what you need. So get out a mat and get your yoga on—it might just be the exercise you need!
I’m thankful for green bean casserole, homemade mashed potatoes, homemade gravy, turkey, rolls, pumpkin pie….
Okay. I am thankful for those things, but I would be lying if I said those were the most important.
When I was growing up, I got to see my family all the time. Aunts, uncles, grandparents—it seemed like everyone was there around the dinner table, no matter if it was a weekend or weekday. My grandmother’s house was like a second home to me (a cleaner home).
Getting to hang out with my family so much when I was younger made Thanksgiving a treat, sure, but not so different from the other dinners I had with them. I mean, the food I listed above clearly marked Thanksgiving as a special occasion. But on any given Thanksgiving in my childhood, I had seen my extended family just a few days before.
Now that I’m an “adult,” the treat has become not the pumpkin pie (but oh boy, I love pumpkin pie). The treat is having four or five hours with some of my favorite people in the world. I drive back to my hometown and, for a few days, get to spend a lot of time with my family. Since I’ve started my own life, the memories I had taken for granted when I was younger are less common. I would say this makes me appreciate the ability to make new ones even more.
I love Thanksgiving because I get to see all of my family. We play charades after dinner, and we wait until we aren’t absolutely stuffed to bring out the dessert. These rituals are comforting to me, and I am thankful that I have the good luck of having family to do them with.
I know Thanksgiving can be stressful because of what comes after it. The next day is literally Black Friday, a holiday that’s a pain for worker and consumer alike. And then we know what comes after Thanksgiving—Christmas music, Christmas shopping, Christmas oh-my-god-I-didn’t-know-we-were-supposed-to-buy-your-in-law’s-friends-presents, so on, and so forth.
I’m not going to tell you that isn’t going to happen. It’s all going to happen. But that doesn’t mean that Thanksgiving is just the moment before the month of the year that stresses you out the most. It’s a full day that you get to have with your loved ones, that you get to take stock of all the different ways you’re lucky. So please do that this holiday. The holidays seem to be getting more and more about what we don’t have…so on this day, I hope we are thankful for what we do.
So take the day for yourself if you can, sit with your family, and watch the parade!
Like so many of the blog posts I write, I’m writing this not because I don’t think you know what gluten is, but because I know I don’t know what gluten is. All I know—or knew, before doing a little research—was that most bread and pasta have gluten, and that “gf” does not stand for “girlfriend” when written next to a meal on a restaurant menu.
According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, “Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale—a cross between wheat and rye. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. Gluten can be found in many types of foods, even ones that would not be expected.”
Basically, gluten is a form of protein that is often found in bread, but can be present in a wide variety of foods. According to Medical News Today, most people can eat gluten without suffering any health issues. However, people with certain health conditions, such as celiac disease, have to avoid gluten entirely.
So how does gluten affect us, if we don’t have celiac disease or a form of gluten intolerance? Harvard Health Publishing says you’re fine to eat gluten, as “There is no compelling evidence that a gluten-free diet will improve health if you don’t have celiac disease. The same is true if you can eat gluten without trouble. Of course, future research could change this. We may someday learn that at least some people without celiac disease or symptoms of intestinal disease are better off avoiding gluten.”
That is to say, if your doctor hasn’t advised you against consuming gluten, current research claims you’re fine to consume it.