2017 is wrapping up quickly, and it is time to think about the coming year. I look at New Year’s resolutions differently than most. I prefer to set goals. Goals that are planable, trackable, and measurable. Yes, that’s a lot of -ables. Yes, I made one up.
It’s Time to Plan Our 2018 Goals
The bottom line is that I am a huge goal setter. I am excited to be mixing it up a bit and doing it differently this year. Usually I plan out some rather lofty goals for myself each year, and I work at them rather diligently… for awhile. Much like my personality, I tend to switch gears when I get bored with something or just lose the required energy to sustain a project. I am sure many of you get my drift!
So this year, I have decided to set monthly goals. Each month of the year I will focus on one goal. Of course I always have a lot of embers burning in the fire, but this one goal will be my main focus for the entire month. And get this… I am not planning out all 12 monthly goals right now. Nope, not doing it. Because really, who is to say what I will be feeling come August or even April? Nope, I am only setting one goal right now for the month of January. I do have other ideas that I may choose to focus on with my other 11 months of goals, but for right now what I need most is to focus on my January goal.
My January goal for 2018 is to cut out all added sugar.
I am calling it my Sugar-Free January. So what exactly does Sugar-Free look like? Depending on your diet it could mean different things. For me, it means to cut out all refined and added sugar. It also means to limit food items that act like sugar according to the Glycemic Index.
The easiest way to do this is to eat whole foods and stay away from processed foods. I admit my last two weeks of teaching had me grabbing a frozen meal each day to take to work for lunch. If I don’t pack a lunch, I do not eat. With the busyness of work and prepping for the holidays, I simply resorted to frozen meals for lunch. While I feel like I made healthier choices, I don’t feel like that is the best daily option for me.
When resorting to processed or prepared foods I will not use a food item if sugar (or a form of sugar) is listed in the first five ingredients. This means double checking the peanut butter label and preparing all my own salad dressings and tomato sauces.
You might think that this means that the month of January will also be dessert free, that is really just a mind set change. A bowl of fresh fruit can serve as the perfect dessert. One thing I will need to think about is the glass of wine that I enjoy with dinner. While wine does not have added sugar, the grapes as they ferment create residual sugar in the wine. Red wine tends to have less sugars than white, and lucky me I prefer the reds in the winter months. For now I am not setting a hard and fast rule in regards to alcohol. With the holidays behind us, I am not worried about upcoming parties and alcohol consumption. I do know that If I choose to drink a glass of red wine with dinner, it will be one glass and only a few times each week.
My goal is to cut out as much sugar as possible without feeling completely deprived. It is about building a lower-sugar sustainable lifestyle. It’s about breaking my sugar cravings. It is about eating healthier and feeling better.
If you are interested, you can join me in making January a sugar-free month! I feel like the more we bind together in our shared goals, the more successful we will be. To help all of us, I will be sharing a few recipes and menu ideas to help us all lower the sugar consumption in our life.
I can guarantee that after 31 days of living sugar-free or nearly sugar free – I will be feeling a whole lot better!