New Year’s Resolutions, Month by Month: January

This is a very belated post, but I did something different with my New Year’s resolutions this year. Instead of one big resolution, I decided to try 12 limited-term resolutions instead — one per month of the year for 2017. This seems like enough time to build a new habit — experts say it takes three weeks — but not so long that you’re deprived of something forever. It also offers a chance to pause and reflect to see if that new habit is one I actually want stick with or not.

The last time I talked about a New Year’s resolution on the blog, we ended up cutting $20,000 out of our annual spending, so I am expecting some interesting results — and success — with these mini-resolutions as well.

To play a bit of catch-up...

January: Giving Up Added Sugar

For starters, I opened 2017 by giving up added sugar from my diet. After a long holiday season of lots of eating and drinking — and a whole lot of sweets! — this was a significant change. For my purposes, added sugar meant sugary drinks, desserts and anything made with sugar that didn’t really require it. There is a shocking amount of sugar in everyday foods, so Kirk started making all our bread and salad dressing again, and I passed on dessert pretty much all the time (lots of clementines, though). I also had to be that annoying person in the restaurant grilling the server about how things were made, which wasn’t very fun. Luckily, Mexican food doesn’t have much sugar in it as a matter of course, so we stuck with a lot of that. 

This was not a very fun resolution, especially since January is Kirk’s birthday and we still had delicious New Year’s Eve dessert leftovers:

This challenge also left me feeling ravenous for the first week — and with a bad case of brain cloud, too. I succeeded, and am definitely more aware of the sugar in my food. I’ve permanently switched to plain shredded wheat for morning cereal and no longer put sugar in my coffee. As for any "added sugar" treat like dessert, toast with jam, or any processed foodstuff, I typically limit these to once per day now. One other change: We buy seltzer for a fizzy treat now instead of soda — though I reserve the right to enjoy the occasional Mexican coke.

So that’s the tale of January’s resolution. Next time, I’ll get you up to speed on what I did for February.


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