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  • Writer's picturecathy king

Happy Sustainable New Year

Updated: Jan 19, 2022

Boston skyline picture taken from a boat cruise on the bay.
Boston Night Skyline

I am not really a person that makes big overarching resolutions for the new year, but I wanted to share with you what I am doing. I am committed to doing better: Every time I go out to buy something in the new year I will make a conscious decision to “do” better.

This “doing better” also applies to my daily habits, which get a year-end review and assessment. In other words, which small habits need to change, in order to make my next year even better?

I must confess that my New Year planning starts before January 1st. I like to take the Christmas decorations down before the beginning of the year, in order to start with a clean slate inside my house. There will be far less going back into my storage this year, as I donated more than four bins of Christmas decorations that had not been used for at least two years. All of the remaining inside decorations will be carefully stored and brought to the attic. I don’t take the

outdoor lights and decorations down until mid-January, as I feel such joy when I drive up to my home at night and see all the lights adding color to the winter darkness. By putting all the decorations away by December 31, it allows my space to feel new and expansive.

If you have been following me for a while, you know that I am a highly disciplined person. I usually start every day in the same way. I drink a cup of cold brew while writing in my journal, move onto cardio (usually spin), drink my shot of power greens, make my smoothie, and then turn to work on my business.

Morning Ritual includes cold brew (in a starbuck's cup that has been gifted), 5 minutes of journaling, Cardio and a smoothie
Morning Habit Ritual

The holidays derailed this normal, predictable schedule, so I am pushing the reset button to get back to a more healthy pattern.

As I write this in December, I have already begun to think about what I need to change in my own physical health maintenance program. For instance, I normally lift weights four times per week to keep my strength and balance, but that stopped happening during November. It simply got deprioritized on my list of activities. I got busy and I let it fall off the list, so that needs to be addressed and elevated up on the list. I physically feel the impact of not getting my weight lifting into my weekly health practices. It does no good to regret what did not get done. I just need to recognize what I prioritized higher than my health goals and organize a new plan for success.

Remember that only your best comes out when you prioritize YOU.

After I assess my exercise, I turn to any adjustments that might be necessary with my eating habits. I am not talking about the holiday habits that creep in, like chocolate and holiday party eating. I am talking about the normal eating between those holiday binges. I have decided that one change I would like to make is to be more creative in my primarily plant-based diet. The dark winter days and cold weather drive me away from clean eating, so I know I need to do a bit of a reset and figure out how to habit stack meals that will deliver sustainable energy and health. What I do know is that I love vegetarian chili and I can batch it, freeze it, and have it ready for me anytime, so making it is a priority.

Once my own physical sustainability practices have been addressed, I take a review of my home, by walking room by room to see if there are little areas that need improvement, in order to operate smoothly on a daily basis.

· Bedroom - I look to see if my closet and dresser need any small changes, but I can honestly say that since 2020, that has not been an issue as I have changed my clothing needs dramatically.

· Kitchen - This is also a good time to address any changes that need to be made in the pantry to support changes in my diet.

· Bathroom - I check for underused and outdated products that can be disposed of, as well as towels that can be donated.

· Living Room - Are there books to be thinned or magazines to recycle? Are there knick-knacks that could be thinned, donated, or tossed? Are those chachkies something that I want to dust regularly because they fill up my heart? If so, I am keeping them. Believe it or not, I have these in my workout room. I have a lot of breast cancer support items from all of the fundraiser walks I completed. I keep them because I love to look at them, and they bring back such fond memories. Also, I know that when I participate in future events, I will use them again.

· Basement and Garage are not part of the quick walk-through as they tend to be a project unto themselves.

With all the major pieces of my personal sustainability plan in place, I can now begin to focus outward. I then make a plan for what charity work I want to accomplish in the new year. These are the activities I will continue to make a routine part of my goals: Donate Platelets 2X/month,

Town of Mansfield – Keep Mansfield Beautiful committee, Breast Cancer support work, NAPO volunteer work, etc. Now is the time to really take a look at the causes that matter and how you want them to fit into your new year.

If we take the time to just stop and be mindful of how we want to feel and what success looks like in the new year we can put the best plans in place to realize the dream. It is easier than you might think and only takes one small action to get it going. If you need help, all you have to do is reach out.

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