Five worthy goals for the New Year that anyone can accomplish! Let’s do this!
This year I’m kicking off January not with resolutions, but with achievable goals for the New Year. I went through a lot last year. From changing unhealthy relationship patterns, moving on from a not so pleasant divorce and learning how to manage a chronic illness so it doesn’t manage me. It’s been a doozy. With past challenges conquered, however, I’m super excited about all the new adventures in store for me in the coming months.
Following are some of the goals for the New Year that I’ve set for myself. I hope you’ll join me in on some of these endeavors to explore and try new things. I’d also love to hear what your goals for the New Year are. So don’t forget to share your plans for conquering 2019 in the comments.
Goals for the New Year
#1 Make wine.
I’ve always wanted to make wine. My first husband used to make beer from scratch. However, there’s typically a lot of equipment to buy for winemaking.
Just before Christmas however, Greg bought an Instant Pot pressure cooker. Our first dinner we made in our new Instant Pot for baby back ribs was amazing! (And yes! They do fall off the bone.) However, on our second dinner attempt we learned the hard way that the smell of chicken fat rendering challenges my nose in a very big way. That, and we didn’t realize until after the fact, you need to clean the seal with vinegar after every use and/or purchase separate sealing rings for different types of dishes/meats. (After dry heaving for an hour straight I’m never eating chicken thighs again.)
However, while chicken is permanently knocked off the Instant Pot menu, other things are still a go. Like making wine. Yes. For around the half the cost of a Bota box, you can make your own wine. You don’t even need fruit! Just grab a bottle of Welch’s grape juice, some sugar and yeast and you’re all set! (Plus you’re not fighting with those giant glass jugs so it’s perfect for small spaces.) You can find the instructions for making your own Instant Pot wine here.
#2 Focus on strength training.
I put on quite a bit of weight (for me) last year. I actually went up two full sizes. Part of it was stress, part was a prescription medication (I’m no longer taking) and some of it is just age. Hormone changes after 40 can really leave you struggling a bit with self esteem. However, I’ve finally gotten to the point where I’m okay with weight gain – or even the unfortunate redistribution of said weight from my butt to my gut – as long as I know I’m still eating healthy. So instead of cardio (which is nearly impossible to tackle with fibromyalgia) one of my top goals for the New Year is strength training.
As we age we start to lose muscle. According to Forbes, we lose about 25% of our muscle between 30-35. By age 70, it’s as much as 50%. Therefore, resistance and strength training is extremely important once we, as women, hit our forties. Especially if want to retain our independence throughout the later years of life. I’m starting out slow with knee push ups and yoga, but I’m getting it done! I’d love to hear your favorite ways (or video titles) that you use to help build muscle and strength. So please share your tips in the comments!
#3 Create less waste.
While it’s nearly impossible to achieve a 100% zero waste lifestyle, there are simple things one can do to minimize excess waste – especially in the kitchen. Last year I fell in love with Grove’s European dish cloths. I even got my BFF hooked on these. She’s always holding on to her paper towels and reusing them multiple times on the counter. Not only to reduce waste, but also to save money.
Not surprising, the European dish cloths were an instant hit in her home! Not only are they thicker and have a higher absorption rate than regular paper towels, you can reuse them over and over. Simply toss them in the dishwasher on your regular cycle when they get dirty. This, of course, also frees of some counter space if you have a small kitchen.
I’ve also made the switch to Grove Collaborative’s cleaning concentrates. Not only am I not having to repurchase my cleaning supplies in bulky plastic spray bottles, I’m also saving a ton of storage space. (Which REALLY matters when you live in a tiny apartment. Grove’s cleaning concentrates come in tiny 1 oz. containers to reduce plastic waste and lower your carbon footprint. All you need to do is add one to a 16 oz. glass spray bottle, then fill with water and shake.
I also love that they’re made with non-toxic, plant derived ingredients including natural essential oils. Paired with a microfiber cloth, my apartment is cleaner than it’s ever been. (Though Greg will tell you it’s somewhat more cluttered with all the soapmaking supplies.)
If you’re interested in trying out Grove’s cleaning concentrates, now is the time to make that leap for the New Year. For a limited time you can get a free set of three cleaning concentrates (for tub & tile, glass and all purpose cleaning,) a glass spray bottle, a cleaning caddy and walnut scrubber sponges with your first $20 order. They even throw in free shipping! Spend a little more and they’ll also send you a free stoneware tray. I use mine on our granite countertop for my dish and hand soap. It keeps the water from pooling on the granite so I don’t get those dark water marks. Shop now so you don’t miss out!
#4 Learn something new.
Last year I started taking art classes through a local event called Wine and Art Wednesdays taught by my friend, Hillary. I learned some pretty amazing new crafts while also enjoying the chance to meet new people with similar interests. (You may recall me sharing tutorials from of a few of these classes including how to make needle felted wine bags and suncatchers from upcycled CDs as well as how to create alcohol ink ornaments and gelli prints.)
This year I plan to attend even more classes to expand my experience starting with ribbon and macrame mobiles next Wednesday. I’ll also be (finally!) enrolling in an herbal course through The Herbal Academy. If you’ve been thinking about enrolling to expand your knowledge of herbs, now is a great time to do so!
Right now The Herbal Academy is offering up to 25% off all of their courses through January 6th, 2019. Not only will you save money by enrolling now, but The Herbal Academy just announced they will be closing course registration for the Introductory, Intermediate, and all herbalist packages on January 7th until further notice as they undergo some website improvements. So don’t delay! If you’re interested, be sure to sign up now!
#5 Take the opportunity to forage (and frolic!)
While living in an apartment doesn’t allow the luxury of the garden, I can still enjoy the outdoors and forage for common herbs and flowers. Last year I stumbled upon a patch of chamomile growing wild off The Greenway I walk on during warmer months. Natural herbs and botanicals like plantain and wild violets are also super common in my hometown. I often find them in backyards and growing along city sidewalks. So even if I discover a new plant that I’m not sure hasn’t been treated with pesticides, I can still use the experience to look it up and learn more about it. Not to mention the hunt for new plants means me getting outdoors and walking even more in the New Year.
(I’m also considering making a handmade book with local plants from our area. Something like my 4th grade project when I had to collect and identify 40 different species of trees in book form, smashed between sheets wax paper heated up with an iron.)
If your area doesn’t offer much of an opportunity to safely forage for wild herbs and plants to use in herbal recipes, then check out the organic dried herbs offered from Mountain Rose Herbs to use in your custom tea blends or homemade herbal salves. Or give this recipe for a homemade energy gel a try!
See. I told you these goals for the New Year would be easy! Now be sure to tell me what your doable goals for the New Year are in the comments. Or, share yourself in action working on your goals via instagram with the #soapdelishowoff so we can all inspire one another! (And yes! Soapmaking goals absolutely count. If you’re finally making cold process soap for the first time, I want to know!)
If you’re looking for more inspiration and DIY ideas as you head into the New Year, then be sure to sign up my semi-weekly newsletter!