I don't normally do resolutions, though I want to and it is certainly in my personality to be that type of person. But what has happened the past few years is that I know New Years is coming up and I keep telling myself to do some resolutions. I put it off, put it off, and then before I know it, it's a week into New Years so I half-heartedly make a resolution or two that doesn't really matter to me or that I'm not passionate about. Not this year! This year I have a TON! I don't know if they are true resolutions or more just things that I need to do and want to change. But either way, here they are:
1. I want to focus on drinking more water. I want to get back in the habit of purposefully drinking 64oz of water a day. This is mainly because at night I eat a lot of high calorie snacks. If I can replace that with water maybe I can finally loose these pesky 5 lbs that are a souvenir of Libby. I have the actual girl-I don't need a souvenir.
2. We continue to do well with eating humane meat and eggs. I firmly believe our meat is 100% humane. We order from Wallace Farms located in IA. Even though they are probably 3x or more expensive than grocery store and conventional meat they are fairly comparable to Whole Foods organic meat. Since we don't eat meat even close to daily it's okay. I'd say our average is about $100 or less a month on meat. My guess is that's not too far off from other families-we just get less but so much higher quality. For our eggs we use Phil's Eggs, which I believe are the most humane eggs (or at least one of maybe 2 or 3 brands) we can buy. Again they are about 3x the price of conventional eggs. But to pay and extra $5 a week on eggs is worth it for me personally. So, we've got meat and eggs under control, now this year I want to focus on dairy, specifically milk. I've done some looking and while it's pretty hard to find humane milk what I've found seems to be the best I'm going to get. It's Organic Valley Milk. My local wal-mart sells it as well as a health food store only 10 minutes from me. Once again this milk will be about 3x the price of conventional milk-I believe a gallon is about $7. Our family goes through maybe 2 gallons of skim milk a month (yes month, not week) and 1.5 gallons of whole milk a month (for the kiddos). I don't drink much milk straight and the kids actually hate it. We have to force them to drink it. So I figure out total extra cost for milk will only be about $15 a month. We have done very well with buying our meat and eggs nearly exclusively from humane sources for at least 2 years so I'm confident we can make the change and start buying our milk exclusively as well.
3. On the theme of food, I want to try-maybe just for the month of January-not eating meat out. I know for a fact it's not going to be humane so I want to try and avoid ordering meat dishes when we are out at fast food or restaurants. I'm hoping it wont' be too hard since most fast food places have a decent veg option-Burger King has a great veg burger I love, Wendy's has great side salads and baked potatoes I love and Taco Bell has great bean burrito options. The one problem is McDonalds which almost has no veg options that are filling or tasty. So maybe we just avoid McDonald's next month! For eating out, I'm sure I can find at least one veg option for the couple of restaurants we'll go to next month. I just really want to put my money where my mouth is and stop saying I believe in humane animal products but continue to make exceptions. I am not going to become a vegetarian soon so this is at least a step I can take to be more authentic.
4. I want to continue to work on our budget and try and get our monthly spending under control. I want it to become more automatic and routine. I want to continue on with the ways I've been trying out this winter because I think they can work.
5. I want to complete two projects I've been putting off for years. Making a nice photo gallery/wall in our family room and making a nice wall in our hall for the kids art. Fortunately I know exactly what I want to do I just need to do it.
6. I want to start reading my Bible more regularly. I have no misconceptions that I will magically go from no Bible reading to every day. So what I'm hoping for is quite modest. I found a plan that gives you an overview of the Bible with 100 readings. My goal is to finish that list this year. That averages out to only 2x a week of reading. For me personally, that would be huge, so I hope that I can actually do it this year.
7. John and I want to go on regular dates. We want to go out once a month (currently we go out every other month or maybe every 3 months) and we want to start doing "home dates" 2x a month. Home dates are where we do something purposeful at home-maybe just a board game, maybe cooking a meal, etc. But something where we are doing something together that does not involve the TV.
So that's it! Most of these-if not all of them-are quite near and dear to my heart so I feel pretty good that I'll accomplish all of them. I'll try and keep you updated! Esp the Jan challenge of no meat out.