Setting my sights on 2016

Paris. So many wonderful breads: croissants, baguettes, brioche… so many pastries: pain au chocolat, chausson aux pommes, mille-feuille… Last night Merideth and I shared a baba au rhum that came complete with the bottle of St. James from Martinique left on the table in case we needed to douse it with more rum goodness. Needless to say, getting fat on tasty carbs is a definite possibility in France.

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Baba au rhum to share. Oh yeah–along with a crème brûlée…

But it’s the New Year, it’s 2016, and I’m committed to not letting that happen. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made for being healthy was giving up breakfast cereal in 2014, and I stuck with it all through last year. I do have granola a few times a month, but no more corn flakes or raisin bran or chex or any other processed, ultra-refined carb bombs to start the day. More yogurt. Eggs. Protein. Whole fruit. It’s been great. And for us here in Paris, croissants or pastries for breakfast are an occasional treat, not the norm.

This year I’ve set my sights on lunch. Changing it up, that is. I love, love, love hot sandwiches, but I often feel lethargic afterward. And afternoons are already a low-productivity time for me. So I’m going to be experimenting with less bread at lunch. More fruit. Salad. Tuna (a wonder food!). Smaller lunches in general. It might mean bigger breakfasts.

Sticking to those goals

Americans love making New Year’s Resolutions—or at least talking about them. Everything I’ve read says writing them down is key. And then regularly reviewing them. A goal without a plan is a wish, right? And a plan that isn’t actually followed is a fantasy.

I’ve already spent hours working my novel-writing goals into shape for this year. Trying to make them specific and achievable. Setting a bunch of goals to achieve in a year’s time is challenging, so I’m breaking them up:

  • Plotting out what I want to accomplish in the first quarter of the year
  • What that means I’ll be doing in January
  • And what I’ll be taking on these first weeks

I know if I set all these goals and stick them in a drawer, they won’t help me in the least. So my intention is to review where I’m at at the beginning of each week to keep me on track and revise them as needed. For these first weeks, I’ll also be tracking closely my writing time: how long I’m working, how many words drafted or edited, etc. so I can make sure my goals are realistic.

Maybe as I check off my writing goals, I’ll treat myself to some of those great Parisian pastries… although then achieving my writing goals might come to be at cross-purposes with my healthy living goals… hmm…

Well, it’s a risk I’m willing to take.

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One thought on “Setting my sights on 2016

  1. I don’t mean to give the impression that I’m trying to be all ascetic or avoid good things. But there’s a difference between experiencing this wonderful culture and just mindlessly getting fat on pain au chocolate or store-bought waffles (which are tasty) or crêpes (available on every corner) just because it’s the path of least resistance. I think it’s possible to have the best of both worlds: to try everything Paris has to offer and to make choices that are healthy and make me feel good physically. I discovered early on here that after a few days of croissants I don’t even want to see another one–and eating bread constantly actually saps my energy.

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