New Year, New Us
By Erin C | Jan 5, 2017
Whether you loved it or hated it, 2016 is gone. Personally I didn’t love it; too many loved ones passed. As we move into the new year, as the days get longer, and as we get back into our routines, many of us are making resolutions. Some of us will resolve to be skinnier, some of us will resolve to be healthier, and some of us will resolve to be wealthier. Last year, my one and only resolution was to love more — basically to be more open to new things and embrace the good. It was vague, open-ended, and easy to achieve.
This year, I’m going for something a little more concrete. This year, the resolution will be more work and it will be more difficult, but I think I’m ready to try. OK that sounds wishy-washy; I know that I think that I might be ready to possibly, perhaps, try something new. There, that’s better.
I will go ahead and admit I am terrible at New Year’s resolutions, mostly keeping them. I strongly resemble Dory the fish with my resolutions: “Hey everybody, I’m on a diet, eating healthy, feeling good … Oh look! Cake.” Typically, I don’t even make it to February — yes, I’m that person. There have been changes that I’ve made in my life that have stuck, so it’s not that I can’t do it. The beginning of a new year is just not the best motivation for me. Change can happen and take hold any time of year. And honestly, this year may be no different. I’m not going to lie to you or to myself. I might be exactly where I started this year when February rolls around. But I am going to try. That’s better than nothing.
To kick off the new year, I plan on sitting down and, using the millions (fine, dozens) of homestead printables I found, I am going to put some organization to this house and homestead. While it’s probably better emotionally to not know exactly how much my beautiful chickens cost me in feed, financially it is easier to plan when I keep track of feed costs, eggs laid, sick chickens, and anything that has to be replaced.
I also need to go back and do a freezer and pantry inventory. This time last year, my hubby and I got out a spreadsheet and inventoried the freezers, but at some point it got misplaced. So, every time we used something, we didn’t write it down. Now we find foods we forgot we had and go digging for foods that we used up long ago. I started buying bulk baking supplies this year and currently have a bunch of things we don’t use regularly. But, every time I go to make something with them I buy a new supply, because I forget that I shoved it to the very back of the cabinets. If I knew what I needed and what I really don’t need, it would be easier, more cost effective, and less stressful shopping for some food items. In a nutshell, Resolution #1 for 2017 is to make a homestead binder, keep up with it, and update it. And that means long-term, not just until February when I lose it.
OK, whew, that was a lot of work just thinking about all that. Can I be done? No? Alright, fine.
Resolution #2 for 2017 (drum roll please) is we are giving up sodas. This has been a resolution, plan, idea, whatever for me for as long as I can remember. Probably about as long as I have been binge-drinking sodas. I don’t have a soda every day, or even every week, but then I have a rough night at work and I drink three. Or we go out for dinner and instead of getting water or a coffee, I order a soda. We don’t keep soda in the house, which is not difficult for us; frankly, we don’t even really like soda. When we haven’t had any for a while, it tastes like overly-sweetened chemicals. But for whatever reason, I still drink them.
For the longest time I thought it was a willpower issue. I came to the realization this past month that it is an attitude issue instead. I personally believe that willpower is kind of a myth. We have to convince ourselves not to even think about Thing A, lest we crave it. Because we all know once we crave it, it’s all over. You know that’s true; that’s why diets fail, why diets have cheat food or cheat days, why people abandon resolutions. But instead of giving myself an out by saying, “Oh well, obviously I just don’t have any willpower,” I’m going to change my attitude. It is no longer a willpower problem for me, because I’m taking soda off the metaphorical table. It is not a comfort food, it is not a treat, and it is not an option. I have started using this tactic for anything toxic in my life, and it has worked really well so far.
There are more resolutions that I want to try to keep: put money in the savings account, raise more of our own meat, learn a new skill, and try out a Couch to 5K. I want to grow our homestead, I want to grow our health, I want to grow the love we tackle any new project with, and I want to try new things. I want to take more steps towards sustainability and towards being debt free. I want to eat good food, and I want to build my physical strength.
It’s kind of funny, looking over my New Year’s resolutions. I’m resolving to do the same thing that I did last year. Except this year I have a plan.
Train Children to Hunt, Forage, and Identify Plants
Our world has never introduced more technology into our individual lives, offering our children so many roadblocks to natural learning. That’s why it’s so important that parents make a concentrated effort to train our children in almost-forgotten skills of plant identification, foraging and harvesting wild game. Not only do traditional skills provide learning that cannot […]
Letter from Editor Caitlin Wilson emphasizing the need for community, neighbors, connections and communication.
Timeless Chicken Advice
Check out these letters from Grit readers on timeless chicken advice, ventilation, building transformations, classrooms, pickled okra, and Polish Top Hats.