Once upon a time, I used to make at least one New Years resolution, but always ended up breaking it within the first few weeks.
The last few years I have simply set goals instead, which I find that I usually achieve because they have a target or outcome attached to them.
Kim and I have been talking over the last few days about what we want to achieve this year, so to put it down on paper, so to to speak, I have listed them here and then revisit them every so often during the year.
Our first goal is to find a substitute for our fortnightly take-away meal. We are both fed up with the feeling we have after eating fat laden faire, that we are going to attempt to initially go 3 months without buying these types of meals. If we have a craving for fish and chips for instance, we will simply oven bake some potatoes, crumb some fish, make up a side salad, get a lemon off of our tree and treat ourselves to a low fat alternative. We think we have already perfected home made pizza, so no longer crave for these, so I reckon that this goal is quite achievable. Not only will we get rid of this occasional craving, but save a swag of money as well. We figure that @ $40 a fortnight X 26 will give us a saving of about $1040 over a year. That savings doesn’t include the one meal a week I buy when I travel to the office. I am also going to cut this out as well and try to save a couple of hundred for the year. Oh, I nearly forgot. I now know how to make sushi, after a successful meal the other night. It tasted fantastic and was so simple once I got the hang of it. I am going to attempt to source most of these ingredients locally, because a fair portion are imported. Not the best food miles around, but certainly something to improve upon.
Our second goal is to build a backyard oven, starting work in March. We want to be able to cook our first meal in it by the end of May. I am tossing up a few designs and over the next few weeks will settle upon one, and start to collect materials to begin in earnest when the weather gets a bit cooler. Finding a reliable source of wood might be tricky, but I am sure I can come up with a solution that is sustainable.
Our third goal is to join/start a local sustainable living group. We have enjoyed the friendship and success of starting a new veggie patch with our neighbours, and I figure that there must be many more people in our area who want to live sustainability, but don’t know where to start. As you all know, I am always willing to share the knowledge that I have accumulated over the last few years, so hope to have this goal at least started by mid winter (June).
So three personal goals are what we are setting out to complete by the end of the year. On top of this there is the regular fruit and veggie growing, poultry raising, political activism, volunteering, and the other stuff I do in my daily life.
I think that 2009 is going to one great year!
My family does not have regular take-away food, partially because we live in an area where take away options are very limited and partially because of dietary restricitions (gluten intolerance), but rather than eliminate our take away “option” (because we DO occassionally want the convenience on those “cant be bothered to cook, too much to do” rush-around days) what we have done is make healthy and “sustainable” choices in our take aways.
We do not eat at places which we have found to be politically or environmentally detrimental (e.g. Mc Donalds is NEVER an option!) and we choose to go to places which fit one or more of the following criteria:
1.)Locally owned (not a “chain”)
2.)Local products on menu (and we DO ask, because we have found the MORE you ask, the more likely they will start to GET some local products)
3.)”Happy” food – free range and or organic (the child sometimes asks “did this chicken have a happy life?”)
While our requirements are not ALWAYS met, we feel we are doing our part in keeping ourselves and our environment healthy….AND we are educating some others along the way! We can now find MORE free range, organic (and even gluten free) options because people have taken the time to ASK or REQUEST them!
Happy New Year and all the best for 2009!
Wonderful goals for your family Gavin. If it is an oven you are thinking about building there are some adobe oven plans under my “how to” section on my blog that are simple and effective.
Heres to a safe, healthy & happy New year for you and yours:)
Sharon J says
I also think goals are far better than resolutions. Good luck with yours although I doubt very much I could give up ‘proper’ fish and chips. I have cut back how often I have them considerably though 🙂
Gavin, I think you’ve done so well in 2008! Best wishes with your goals for the New Year.
For “take-away” we often have a meal from the freezer. So I have some vegetable curries in there, and just need to defrost and heat through, and cook some rice to serve. Chunky vegetable and lentil pasta sauce is another great stand-by – ready in the time it takes to boil up some wholemeal pasta. 🙂 Though your fish and baked potatoes sound delish!
I’ve found some wonderful like-minded folk through Seed Savers and LETS locally, perhaps there are existing groups near you?
Happy New Year!