We’re a mere seven days into 2016 and I’m wondering how many of us are actually sticking to our New Year’s Resolutions? And how many of us are already mentally consigning them to the trash?
Well, either way, it’s not too late. It’s never too late.
There’s something irresistible about the hopeful shininess of a new year. It’s a do-over, a chance to make good on all those goals that died a quiet and ignominious death the previous year.
I’ve always been one to have a list of goals – immediate, short-term and long-term — so the beginning of a new year is an ideal time to revisit them.
In my twenties I used to write a one-page list of goals and stick it on my bedroom wall. In recent years I’ve used a combination of goal setting and mood boards to help me stay on track.
Are you familiar with mood boards? I don’t know what other people do but I cut out pictures from magazines of things I want in my life and pin them to a physical pinup board in my study. I’m a sucker for a virtual pinup board aka Pinterest but when it comes to mood boards I want a physical, daily reminder that I can see from my desk no matter what’s happening on my computer monitor.
I pin all sorts of inspiring pictures to my mood board – famous and not so famous women and men I admire, things I want to do, places I want to visit, settings I want to recreate, food I want to eat, books I love, interiors I lust after and groups of people that represent family and friends.
Each picture on my mood board symbolises something that I want in my life. It’s like the ultimate shopping list except these are things that have to be earned, rather than bought. Nothing on my mood board can happen without some effort on my part, which is why I then spend some time considering and setting my goals.
This year my list of goals spans a record six A4 pages and is divided into four tables covering career, health, family, finance and includes KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), expected timings and colour coding.
I’ve printed my goals out and stuck them with my mood board on the wall next to desk, as a constant reminder that I need to do the work if I want the rewards.
This might seem somewhat excessive (and yes, a trifle anal) but the mood board and list of goals help keep me focused and accountable. They work because if one works consistently towards one’s goals then they start to become one’s reality rather than a mere dream.
That’s not to say that the journey is swift and trouble-free. I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way and plenty of detours, too – some detours I made deliberately and some were thrust upon me as circumstances changed. I’ve also adjusted my goals numerous times as new information came to light. And yes, there were plenty of nights I chose ‘Netflix and chill’ instead of working or writing, too. Weirdly, my boyfriend does not feel guilty about this at all.
All of this is merely part of the journey. What’s ultimately important is your long-term resolve, determination and actions. Good things don’t happen by accident: you get out of life what you put into it.
A case in point: one of my goals this year was to start creating my own recipe videos. That is, I wanted to try to conceptualise, style, cook, light, shoot, and edit my own recipe videos without any outside help. So I’ve spent the last two days working in my studio and I’m now thrilled to share my very first recipe video – Raspberry Smoothie Bowl. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments.
So what are your plans for 2016?
PS The song in the video – ‘Pins and Needles’ – is by my brother’s sadly now defunct band, Alpha Beta Fox.
Raspberry Smoothie Bowls
During Summer the kids and I don’t always feel like eating that much in the morning. And yet a healthy breakfast is always important so I came up with these Raspberry Smoothie Bowls. For extra ‘cool mum’ points, I make the smoothie base and then let the kids decorate their bowls themselves. Enjoy! x
- 1-2 frozen bananas, cut into chunks
- ¼ avocado, peeled and stone removed
- 3-4 dates, chopped roughly
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean extract
- ½ punnet fresh raspberries or ½ cup frozen raspberries
- Desiccated or shredded coconut
- Banana slices
- Berries - strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
- Fruit - kiwi fruit, grapes, pomegranate,
- Melon - balls or chunks of watermelon, rockmelon or honey dew melon
- Dried Fruit - sultanas, raisins, figs, cranberries, goji berries, apple, apricot,
- Seeds - toasted pumpkin seeds, pepitas,
- Nuts - roasted almonds, cashews, hazlenuts, peanuts
- Muesli - toasted muesli or granola
- Chia seeds
- Blend all of ingredients until smooth and then spoon into a bowl.
- Top with any combination of the suggested ingredients.
Refined sugar free
Can be made nut free
KitchenAid Hand Blender gifted by KitchenAid.