02 January 2015

New Year's Resolutions

Making resolutions for a bright new you in 2015 can be an exercise in guilt and futility.  Or, you can do what one person I know does and make ridiculously simple resolutions you know you can follow, like (I'm quoting an actual example here) "brush my teeth at least once a day".  The former style of resolution feels like a rather slavish acceptance of what all the popular mags want you to do (with heavy emphasis on improving your outer beauty), the latter is just so stupid there's no point. But what if this exercise serves not as a reminder of what you're not, but merely as a refocusing of the things you already plan to do with your life? We all get bogged down from time to time and forget about long term dreams we have that we really could fulfill, right?  Over the years I have certainly gone through more than one cynical phase regarding New Year's resolutions (also Valentine's Day, but that's another story), but I'm embracing the ritual this year to remind me of the all the aspects of life that are exciting and fun, and totally attainable.  Maybe some of these are on your list, too:

TRAVEL MORE.  For me, that means doing it economically.  Besides reviewing my old tips for booking flights and planning road trips, there are some great sources for keeping costs reasonable so that you can get out and see more of the world. 

Budgettravel.com is a great way to search specific locations you're interested in for deals and off-seasons.
And I always trust good ol' Rick Steves when heading to Europe.

NURTURE CREATIVE THINKING.  You don't have to be an artist to do this. And while I'm not sure you can stop at reading someone else's article on the matter, this one might get the thought juices flowing.

MAKE TRULY DELICIOUS ROASTED CHICKEN.  Why?  I have no idea.  It just seems like a comforting classic worth being able to make for family and friends. And it sounds a little daunting, because everyone knows what it's supposed to be. But these recipes looks perfect, with some variations thrown in:

Emeril's Moroccan-Style Braised Chicken Thighs with Preserved Lemons and Green Olives Spanish Chicken and Potato Roast

BE NICE.  No link needed.  And demand that other people be nice to you, too. Here's a pleasant little empowering article if you're struggling. 

DRINK MORE CHAMPAGNE.  Oh, but that's expensive. Follow this link to some great alternatives. And remember, it goes flat quickly, so best to finish the bottle in one night. Call me if you need help.