January 04, 2024

Goals for 2024

I've always written a post about goals for the new year on the first of the year, but time totally got away from me last month. (I don't like saying "New Year's Resolutions" because it sounds corny, but that's essentially what I do every January.) I honestly wasn't even sure what goals I was going to focus on this year. I like to try to learn from each year--what worked, what didn't, why it didn't, etc.

First, here is a look at how I did on last year's goals...

1. Get my weight back into my maintenance range of 125-135.

Haha! I'm in the same boat this year. I did, in fact, get back into my maintenance range and was at about 130 pounds for a long time until a few months ago--I was so sure I'd figured out how to stay there. But just like the end of 2022, I gained about 15 pounds. I've thought about changing my maintenance range, but I just don't feel physically comfortable when my weight gets to the upper 130's. I'm curious how things will go this year.

2. Run 500 miles (cumulative, of course).

How did I forget about this one?! I just looked at last year's post and this was written on there. I honestly do not remember writing it. Needless to say, I did not reach this goal--I only ran about 78 miles. However, I did start a daily running habit and I'm currently on a streak of 126 days. I only run a lap around my block (0.4 miles), but my aim was to build a daily habit. Even though I didn't hit 500 miles (or even 20% of that, haha), I'm very happy with the habit I've developed.

3. Complete one crafting project per month.

I may or may not have completed this. I do a lot of crafting, and I've been especially into sewing this year. I didn't keep track of what I was doing through the year, so I'm not sure if I hit this goal.

4. Expand my vocabulary.

I started this one by learning one new word each week, but I found myself completely forgetting about it. So, I decided to start learning Spanish on Duolingo instead. I do at least one lesson a day, and I'm on day 221 right now. It's kind of crazy when I think of how much I've learned in such a short time!

Despite not really hitting those goals last year, I am not even the slightest bit upset about it. The year 2023 was a crazy year and not in a good way. Just surviving was good enough for me ;)

I've decided to try a different approach with goals this year. I'm only going to have ONE goal and I'm going to put my focus on that one goal instead of several. I think having a solitary goal will make me more likely to achieve it. I'm still going to work on other things, as I always am, but I've narrowed down my list to just one.

Eat more vegetables.

So simple! Right? I've been vegan for almost two years now and my diet has gotten so much healthier. However, I still don't eat the recommended amount of vegetables each day. The more I learn about how diet affects health, the more I want to eat healthy. And vegetables are the healthiest food there is!

It's kind of funny--the one vegetable that my entire family likes is Brussels sprouts!

I know that the word "more" isn't specific, but I wrote it that way on purpose. I don't want to put a number on it because I don't want to measure out vegetables or have to hit specific numbers for variety or anything like that.

I've *really* liked reading and listening to "How Not To Die" by Dr. Michael Greger. He is an expert on nutrition and passionate about using food to prevent and even cure disease. Yes, those "experts" are a dime a dozen these days, but one thing that makes him stand out from the rest: He so badly wants to teach people about using food as nutrition that he donates every cent from his book sales and business to charity. His website is non-profit. He doesn't have any sponsors or ads on his site or anything that would suggest a hidden agenda. He's written thousands of articles with all of the studies to back up his research. He doesn't push products and he publishes only facts (backed by research). If there was ever an expert to trust in the diet industry, it's him (in my opinion).

He has a list of what he calls the "Daily Dozen"--a checklist of 12 things we should try to fit into our diet each day. It looks overwhelming when you see the list, but he said not to aim for perfection--it's just a guide to help make better choices. You can actually download the app with the checklist--it's free and there are no ads!--but here is the list (you should be able to click it to make it bigger):

I was surprised to see that I already get a lot of those things every day already. The missing ones are vegetables! To try to get more veggies this year, I'm going to do my best to follow this guideline for the Daily Dozen. That means eating leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, and other vegetables daily.

I started working on this last week and I'm inspired to keep going. There are a lot of vegetables that I like, but I don't cook them often because I'm the only one in my house who likes them. Jerry will try anything I make and he never ever complains, but I feel guilty making food that I "know" he won't like. He's always telling me to just cook whatever sounds good to me and he'll eat it. I try to do this, but I just feel too bad.

Dr. Gregor writes about how your tastebuds change as you change your diet (something I've noticed many times over the years) and so Jerry and I made a two-week challenge for ourselves. It doesn't sound like much of a sacrifice on my part, but I promise you it is HARD for me--I have to cook meals that sound good to me but that I "know" Jerry won't like. (I put that in quotes because we don't actually know if he'll like it or not.) And in return, he's going to eat only whole foods (including the meals I make) to see if his tastebuds start to change.

We only started this yesterday, but it's been interesting. While I have anxiety over it, Jerry is excited about it, hahaha. I made sweet potato taco bowls yesterday--roasted sweet potatoes with black beans and corn, taco seasonings, quinoa with lime, and a spicy cashew cream sauce. It sounded heavenly to me! But I would never have made that because it's not at all something Jerry would choose.

He has also promised to be completely honest about what he thinks of the dinners I make. I don't want him to tell me he likes something if he really doesn't. I was very surprised at how much he liked the taco bowls yesterday! He said it's something he'd definitely eat again.

The vegetables that I'm excited about eating are sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and mushrooms. If I can find a mushroom dish that Jerry likes, I'll be so happy! I want to make it clear that this wasn't my idea--Jerry is actually pretty excited about doing this challenge.

Anyway, I've been working on the daily dozen (and I love that I'm not striving to have a perfect checklist every day). It's only been about a week, but I feel good about it. Maybe by the end of 2024, I'll be able to tick all the marks on the checklist!


  1. Dr. Gregor is the best. So intelligent and love that he donates his money so you know he has no agenda except for truth, science, and people getting healthy. I met him when he briefly lived in my city- he joined my vegan running group for a little get-together and was so nice.

  2. I like your challenge. And sweet potato tacos sounds delicious 🤤


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