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Resolutions: lean and clean in ’18

January 3, 2018

Happy New Year, party people! My gosh, there were times during the last 365 days when I wasn’t sure we’d see the ball drop again, but we got there. Somehow. And thank goodness, too, because Mariah just couldn’t leave things like that. I rang in 2018 with the two oldest chicks (Sloppy Joan passed out to Spirit about an hour shy of the mark), my in-laws and my bro. It was everything you’d expect from 35 … a well-glazed ham, a counter full of Crock-Pots and a red wine hangover that began before I even went to bed.

I’m sure it comes as a shock to no one who reads this thing regularly that I am a huge sucker for the new year. As a seasoned ball dropper myself, I relate to the ceremony of it all. Admittedly, I get super romantic about the promise of a fresh start; the optimism, the possibility, the lies I can tell myself in the two weeks leading up to January 1, and the way I almost totally believe them.

I spend a lot of time plotting out my resolutions. I take them seriously, and I love stumbling across other people who take them seriously, too. It makes me feel validated and more secure in my ill-fated hopefulness. But to find those people, you have to kiss a lot of frogs first. You have to hear eight thousand times, “resolutions are a joke,” “I don’t believe in that shit,” and “My resolution is to stop making resolutions.” (So witty, that last one.)

Goal-setting is not everyone’s glass of Sunny D. I get it. Far be it for me to hate on someone who’s satisfied with the way their life is rolling along. That’s commendable! Grab a cup of joe and cuddle up with that joy, I say! Just don’t be a dick to those of us who still consider ourselves a work in progress, k?

So, what’s to become of this desperate little seeker in 2018?

After much deliberation and polling my social circle and complete strangers alike, I have arrived at my list for the year ahead. There are always some repeats from previous lists, either because I didn’t get the job done last year, or because I’m enjoying it so much, I want to keep going. This year’s no exception. I’ve already walked a bit down the path on some of these and, either wandered off into the woods to drink moonshine with the natives, or have miles yet to go.

2018 Resolutions

  • No sugar + No dairy
  • Very little meat + fish
  • Meditate at least 15 minutes a day, every day
  • Exercise in some fashion 6 days a week
  • Write something (non-DSS or work related) and put it out into the world
  • Less things, more experiences
  • Create space to love myself and my life

No sugar + No dairy.
We’ll hit this one right out of the gate, starting January 2. The hope is, we can really focus on these big bad guys for 30 days and then just carry that momentum forward. Not new information here, but the sweet stuff is public enemy No. 1 for this mama. Sucrose, fructose, maple, honey, cane, corn, brown, molasses … you name it, I’ll roll something in it and eat it. I can’t get enough. The butter, the cheese, the milk, the ice cream, I can tackle those lovely temptresses. Especially with so many semi-palatable replacements.

Very little meat + fish.
This one is also at the top of the list, but we’ve already started tiptoeing down the vegan path. I’d say our carnivorous consumption is down at least 50 percent. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that sometimes, a juicy burger or BBQ pulled pork sandwich just really gets my cavewoman heart a pumpin’. But, I will also say that, after going 14 days with no animal products, eating a pound of cow feels like swallowing a sofa. The sooner we can all get on board with easing up on things that moo, squeal or cluck, and being more mindful about the care they were given when they roamed the earth, the better off our planet will be.

Meditate at least 15 minutes a day, every day.
I’m phasing this one in after 30 days so I don’t completely fall apart before we hit February. I’ve had Headspace on my phone for months, that orange circle taunting me every time I see my home screen. When I make it happen, it makes me so happy. I have this recurring meditation. My mind just automatically plays it. It lives somewhere deep inside me and when I let some quiet in, it surfaces like a hug from my calmer self. The problem is, I rarely let the quiet in. I’m going to get better about that.

Exercise in some fashion 6 days a week.
Between Beachbody OnDemand and my gym membership, it should be harder for me to miss a workout than to get one in. But nevertheless, I often find 500 excuses to sidestep the sweat. For my sanity, I need to get back into a routine and start moving. I’m toying with trying a trail race in 2018, and would also love to find a spin class that fits into my schedule. Working toward a goal is always the best motivator so we’ll see what my fitness journey looks like over the next 365 days.

Write something (non-DSS or work related) and put it out into the world.
By far the most intimidating resolution on my list, I have a few ideas I’m staring at from a 3,000 foot view. I would love to do some research, get some words on paper, and send them out into the universe wrapped in lots of genuine love and intention. We’ll see, we’ll see … the thought is both exhilarating and nauseating.

Have you ever seen the movie First Knight? So good! Well, in it, King Arthur of Camelot (Sean Connery) dies and a bunch of knights, including Lancelot (Richard Gere) float his body out to see on a bunch of twigs and then, once he’s far enough away from the shore, shoot flaming arrows at it to light him on fire as Guinevere (Julia Ormond) looks on. In my mind, those twigs and body are my work and the flaming arrows are the publishing world. Clearly I have some issues to work through.

Less things, more experiences.
A favorite returns in 2018! I love, love, love this idea. I have stuff. I have a house full of gadgets and gizmos and garments and groceries. When I look around, i feel both blessed and burdened. To be honest, I would give most of it up in exchange for the chance to stand on a mountaintop with my tribe. I love smelling the air in a space I’ve never seen and seeing the reflection of the world in my daughters’ eyes. No blanket scarf or super juicer can top those moments. When it comes to spending money, insert a pause and consider putting your pennies toward places rather than pieces.

Create space to love myself and my life.
This is obscure perhaps, but also, so clear to me. I jam pack my days with the tiny functions of my family. Lunches and ponytails and bus schedules and Instant Pot recipes and baths and pajamas and Judy Blume books. I can easily fill the five waking hours a day I spend with my husband and chicks with tasks and caretaking. This does not make me unlike every mother in every corner of this planet. But between the morning, work and evening rush, there has to be a little room to breathe. There has to be some unscheduled space. I need to create a place to play. I don’t know what that looks like, but I know it’s lacking right now.

I can only explain it by sharing the way I feel when I hike. When I don’t have cellular data, or an agenda, or a plethora of first world amenities, I feel liberated. Like I’m opening my wings after keeping them under a lead jacket for months. But I don’t think it’s just the scenery. I think it’s cutting the tether to my everyday. I’d love to find a more convenient, accessible way to achieve the same freedom.

What are your resolutions for 2018? If you’re into that sort of thing. Whatever the goal, I hope the next 12 months are full of tender, sweet moments and joyous, soul-stirring triumphs. I wish you loud giggles – from your own belly and those of little ones – and restorative quiet. Glennon Doyle always says, “We can do hard things.” And I think I’d like to do some of those hard things this go around. Giddy up!