Since we have successfully reached the middle of the year, I thought I would write a post revisiting my 2014 Intentions to see how far I’ve come and what I have learned. I am very glad I only planned five for this year, since life has been busy, especially with our move to Georgia and my husband starting his residency. One of the great things about living more on a rhythm than on a set schedule of events, is that there is much more leeway when it comes to a timeframe to reach goals and complete activities.
To recap, here are the Intentions I set for myself this year:
– 30 Days of Simple Meals
– 30 Days of Early Rising
– 30 Days of Digitizing
– 30 Days of Less Shopping
– 30 Days of Meditation
To date, I have successfully completed my Simple Meals and my Early Rising intentions. I say successful, in that I actually made it through a consecutive 30 days of planning and making simple meals, as well as rising early. Digitizing and shopping intentions I only made it through about 3 weeks in the months I gave those a try, and I haven’t attempted the meditation, yet. Both the Simple Meals and Rising Early have benefited me so much, that I have made them permanent habits in my daily life.
30 Days of Simple Meals- We have always had fairly simple breakfast and lunches. Breakfasts consisting of oatmeal, yogurts, fruit, toast, eggs and sometimes pancakes for a treat. It usually takes me less than 20 minutes to put either breakfast or lunch on the table, so when it came to this intention, dinner was my sore spot. With some planning, I was able to cut my time down in the kitchen to just a half hour for dinner, and still turn out some really tasty, healthy food. If you’ve ever noticed in restaurants, the dinners usually include a protein, a carb and a vegetable. They will throw in some bread as filler, but it is not usually part of the main meal. Overall, meal selections at restaurants tend to be very simple and are a good example of ideas for at home cooking; you just need to make a healthier version. As I was thinking about this, I decided to do the same thing for my dinners at home, minus the bread.
For the month, I prepared dinners that included a large portion of vegetables or salad, a protein, usually fish or chicken or beans. We eat red meat only a few times a month. Our carb is almost always quinoa, couscous or brown rice. Once in a while, normally with beans, we will have some bread or on occasion we will have some small red potatoes (they are so good!) as a carb with any of our other meals. Planning my weekly menu has become quick as well as the time spent in the kitchen. I completed this intention early on the year and have been living this way ever since, so I have decided it was definitely a good one for my family and myself.
30 Days of Early Rising- This intention has served me well from the first day I started. I have always enjoyed getting up early, it is a matter of getting to bed the night before so I get enough sleep that seems to be the problem. At any rate, for 30 days I decided to get up early (5:30am) no matter how late I was up the night before. This was pretty difficult for me, especially the first two weeks while my sleep schedule was shifting, and I found myself hitting the snooze button a couple of times. I still counted it as a success, even if I got up a few minutes late, I was always up by 5:45am. What I found to be the most beneficial about this intention was that it allowed me to have some quiet ‘thinking’ time in the morning before the day really began with the kids. I was able to do some reading, write down my thoughts and go over the coming day’s activities so I would be more aware of what the rhythm would be, and as a result I felt less rushed mentally throughout the day.
Once I got through the first couple of weeks, my body adjusted to the schedule and waking up early feels more natural now. If I don’t have my alarm set, I usually wake up on my own by 5:40am at the latest. I look forward to the time I have to myself to consider the possibilities for the new day and to get in some inspirational reading. This intention is definitely a keeper.
As I said earlier, I didn’t quite make it through the other three intentions, at least not completely. I love the fact that I still have half of the year left, and I am definitely planning a ‘do-over’ for the Digitizing and Shopping, as well as trying the Meditation for the first time. If they are anything like the two I completed, hopefully I will have three more great habits in my life by the end of 2014.