NewYear2016Happy New Year, everyone! I realized in the middle of my very busy day yesterday (lots of patients!) that this is the best, most hopeful New Year I’ve had in a while.

  • This time last year, I had a job that I enjoyed but was not providing me with a steady income, so I entered 2015 uncertain about whether I needed to start looking for something else.
  • At the beginning of 2014, I had just been laid off from the job I’d had for almost 10 years, was collecting unemployment, studying for the RD exam, and trying to start a new career.
  • At the beginning of 2012 and 2013, I was working full time and going to grad school, and trying to keep it all together.
  • At the beginning of 2010 and 2011, I was working full time while taking the hard science classes (chemistry, biology, organic chemistry, biochemistry, anatomy and physiology) that I had avoided all my life but needed in order to even apply to graduate school. I was hopeful, but faced with the reality that if I didn’t get accepted at University of Washington I was, to put it delicately, screwed.

This year, I have a job that I love and provides a steady income (and has a much better commute than my previous job). Plus, I’ve got a steady stream of freelance writing assignments, which was one of my goals for 2015. So I’m feeling pretty good about 2016! To make the year even better, I’ve chosen a few resolutions intentions for the New Year:

  • Sleep more. I am always talking about the value of getting enough quality sleep, but sometimes I find that I’m being a bit of a hypocrite by pushing the boundaries of bedtime working or reading. I’ve already started restructuring my evening to facilitate getting to bed earlier. I was watching a recorded lecture from a sleep doctor at my clinic, and something he said really resonated: “Sleep is free energy.” It is so true! When you don’t get enough sleep to “recharge your batteries,” you don’t have optimal energy, no matter how well you eat and how regularly you exercise.
  • Dance more. Before I went back to school, I had studied Middle Eastern Dance (aka bellydance) quite intensely for about 5 years. I don’t have time to go back to that level of training (plus my former teachers have moved on), but I have a huge pile of bellydance DVDs that I can easily work into my week.
  • Play with my food. I finally bit the bullet and bought a pressure cooker (hooray for Christmas money), and it should arrive tomorrow. I look forward to exploring it’s capabilities. I also am reexploring vegetarian cooking, since I’ve decided that other than fish and the high-quality local beef in my freezer, I’m going to eat less animal flesh. (I just finished reading The Meat Racket: The Secret Takeover of America’s Food Business, and let’s say it’s had an impact.) I’ve also enjoyed using Pepperplate to collect recipes online, which is making meal planning fun and easy.

What are your resolutions/intentions/goals?

P.S. Registration for the next session of my Healthy For (Your) Life online program closes tomorrow (January 2) at midnight Pacific Time, so don’t miss out on making 2016 the start of your healthiest life ever!