Musings

Set Yourself Up for Success – Easily

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”

Lucille Ball

Happy 2020!

I don’t know about you, but it has taken me a few days to come to grips with not only a new year, but a new decade.

I hadn’t even thought about it until it came up in conversation after Christmas.

Twenty years ago I lived in a different part of the country. By the end of that year, I had left a job, moved house, taken a new job and embarked on a different life. At the time, it was a no-brainer move. Upon reflection, there could have been (should have been?) a tad more thought, but <shrug>.

As I mentioned to my newsletter subscribers, when I started thinking about what I wanted to do in 2020, I began thinking about a more intentional life that starts in the kitchen and flows into other areas of not only my home, but my life.

What does it mean to be intentional? It means you are purposeful in word and action. It means you live a life that is meaningful and fulfilling to you. It means you make thoughtful choices in your life. Being intentional means you actively interact and engage with your life.

This comes at a time when many people are dealing with New Year’s resolutions and pressure from many sides to <cough> encourage you to lose weight, improve your health, spend money to not spend money and the like. Why? Because it is a new year, right? Fresh start?

The problem with all of this is that some folks, for many reasons, jump into what they think is a great swimming pool only to discover that (a) they can’t swim, (b) they don’t know which end the exit stairs are at, or (c) they weren’t really interested or invested in the exercise to begin with.

In other words, to make absolutely certain you will fail at a resolution, set yourself up to fail.

We do it all the time. We broadcast our endeavors with excitement and flair only to discover that we weren’t sure what we were doing in the first place. This, after being certain to notify those souls in our lives that, intentionally or not, sabotage our efforts and make us feel worse than we already felt by not succeeding.

Many of us have played “Kick Me” in various forms for many, many years. We are so good at it, we have no idea that we are even doing it.

What is “Kick Me”? It is a psychological game where we set ourselves up for a fail and, to make things even more interesting, be sure to include those people or functions that will make us feel even worse. Sort of like going through an engagement, marriage and divorce on social media…all within 6 weeks.

It Is Time To Stop Playing The Game

A few years ago I went back to what was called Weight Watchers at about the same time I embarked on a Dave Ramsey course on financial management. What I learned from both was not only useful, but inspirational.

Weight Watchers started with the premise of paying attention to what you eat. Counting points, watching portions, making choices.

Dave Ramsey teaches paying attention to what you spend, noting everything you spend in order to get control of where your money goes, making choices.

I’ll never forget the day I found myself calculating that one piece of dark chocolate as “one penny a piece” as I marked it off my food budget for the day. The penny was actually a point, but you get my drift.

I learned that I could control my food intake the same way I controlled my budget. And it worked.

If you always do what you always did you’ll always get what you always got!

One Day At A Time, No Guilt and Move On.

Dotti’s Weight Loss Zone

Let’s be honest, many of us approach “diets” as temporary states that will eventually (soon) be replaced by real life.

Weight loss, health and financial health are not temporary states, they are a way of life. A lifestyle, if you will.

I haven’t been a paying member of WW in years, but I do follow their plan. I found that it worked for me and I was able to do it without feeling deprived or punished.

I say “plan” because what I follow is several years old. I was amazed and astounded to discover that there are quite a few folks who do the same, but with different versions of the plan.

Learning that was a game changer!

I’m not promoting any particular program or food plan or whatever. Why? Because there are far too many and there are far too many other people who devote their time to doing exactly that. It is also the reason I don’t devote my time, or this blog, to recipe development and the like. I simply do not have the time, money or interest to go that route when there are thousands (literally) of other blogs that do exactly the same thing.

What I do want to do with this blog is to provide you with a quiet space to find encouragement, support, ideas that will help you help yourself.

I talk about a lot of things here, not just food, and that will continue. Life is more than just one thing, after all.

Why am I doing this? I find I need to focus on these things for myself. I recently did a pantry / kitchen audit that, frankly, surprised me. I had a bit of an epiphany as I cleared out shelves and took stock of my equipment. The afternoon I spent perusing cookbooks in my library got me to thinking about the resources that I already had in my own home, that had never been explored.

As I began thinking about this process, I realized that it would not be covered in one day, week, blog post or whatever. It will be a day by day, step by step, endeavor that will hopefully succeed more than it fails.

What I propose is not difficult or costly in monetary terms. It will require some effort (i.e.: Intention).

I will be working with small steps. Some parts of the process could be quite emotional. There are things we don’t want to deal with and having to come to terms with them may take some time. That’s okay. Be kind to yourself.

First Step: Inventory

The first thing to be done is to know what you have to work with. So, grab a pencil and some paper and head off to the kitchen. What is in your freezer, pantry, cabinets, etc.?

There are several apps that you can get to help with this, but it is important to actually do it. You need to know what you have on hand before you think about hitting the market.

Also, take stock of the equipment you have on hand. Do you have a slow cooker, food processor, blender, set of cookware and good knives?

This is enough for this week.

Next week we’ll dive into step two, but for now, have a great week.