The importance of being goal-oriented and always checking after you flush

Some unhappiness found its way into my life today. I woke up to another storm warning (not sure what the tally is since January) and I walked into a stall in the ladies lavatory this afternoon only to discover that one small nugget had been left behind by its owner. It wasn’t on the seat or anything, but there’s just something about looking at someone else’s poop that kind of puts a damper on your day.

In order to flush away the disgust I felt following these incidents, I decided to share some thoughts I had on setting personal goals.

Chris Hadfield

Chris Hadfield, Commander of the International Space Station, hero to all Canadians

A few months ago, James and I had the amazing opportunity to attend a presentation by All-Canadian superstar, Chris Hadfield. The man is not only a genius; he’s kind, approachable and fun! One of the things he talked about during his presentation really stuck with me – the importance of having a goal, doing everything you can to achieve it and to make sure you celebrate the little successes along the way.

Having a goal

Dang - we all fall prey to this a little bit, don't we?

Dang – we all fall prey to this a little bit, don’t we?

Earlier this year, I established some goals for myself and I’ve been doing fairly well at keeping up with them. I am living a healthier lifestyle and regularly seeking out other ways to be happier and to spread happiness. I’ve had a chance to share the results on the Scooter Project. So far, things have been progressing and the outcomes have been positive.

Unfortunately, my new goal-oriented outlook has not extended to the weather and as much as I’d like to, there’s nothing I can think to do about another impending snow storm!

It’s been a very good year and I know if I keep things up, I will achieve my goal.

Doing EVERYTHING you can do to achieve your goal

Mr. Hadfield talked about doing all the things you can possibly do to achieve your goal. He talked about his personal goal to become an astronaut and travel in space – this was not done overnight. In fact, his journey started when he was just a kid when he began taking school more seriously, eating better and including physical activity in his daily routine.

I think the first step is to write down your goal. Once it’s written down, you’re a little more committed to it – if you can share that with someone who can encourage you along the way, even better.2015-03-17-Goals

Some of the things I’ve done to help achieve my goals include trying a new recipe at least once a week, writing a grocery list (and staying away from those middle isles as much as possible), keeping track of healthy blogs and sticking to a regular exercise routine.

My other goal is to write more, and I’ve been working on that through this blog and by doing a bit of creative writing on the side as well. I’ve been trying to read more (a variety of authors and genres), so I can learn different styles. I entered into a writing competition earlier this year as well – something I would never have considered before.

The little successes

2015-03-17-SmallThingsHaving the Scooter Project at my disposal definitely helps to celebrate the successes. And, in general, I’ve been trying to focus my thoughts and energy into good things. It’s so easy to get lost in complaints and you don’t really realize until you’ve made the situation worse (headaches, sleeplessness, social issues).

In an effort to celebrate some of those, I wanted to share with you two recipes I tried this weekend that received RAVING reviews from James and myself. The curried cauliflower soup meets all the requirements for food: 1) It’s home-cooked, 2) Inexpensive to make, 3) It’s delicious AND 4) It’s healthy.

And, for the first time ever, I cooked up a mango chutney, which we used in the soup and on a pork loin Jimmy made Monday night. I wish I could have capture the smell in our house last night and made a candle with it – we’d make millions (or at least a few tens). The only things I changed in the recipe were: 1) to replace ½ cup of the granulated sugar with ½ cup of pineapple juice and 2) I didn’t add raisins (Jim can’t seem to digest them). DEVINE.

Mango chutney and curried cauliflower soup - YUM

Mango chutney and curried cauliflower soup – YUM

This week, we’ve decided to have two MEAT-eating nights, since we’ve been so good for the last few months. Our next carnivorous meal will be steak marinated in the homemade mango chutney. I’m thinking we might need to start looking into opening our restaurant, Chez Bear!

Before I start thinking about setting another goal, I think I’ll just stick with what I want to achieve and keep finding new ways to get there. I’ll make sure to celebrate and share successes as well as things I’ve learned, to minimize the chances of further poo-related incidents in the lives of the Scooter Project patrons.

How are you doing with your 2015 goals?

Bear says: "My goal of remaining a lap-dog albeit my 70+ lbs remains within reach. My cuteness is irresistible."

Bear says: “My goal of remaining a lap-dog albeit my 70+ lbs remains within reach. My cuteness is irresistible.”

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Make eating an experience (preferably a good one!)

Another day, another post about one of my favourite activities – eating.

Eating is something we all do and it can be very comforting and rewarding. By choosing the right foods to eat, you can improve your health, your attitude and your overall happiness and outlook in life.

I was always of the mind that food is about the moment – the taste and the satisfaction you get from mowing down (or inhaling without really tasting anything). Since I’ve made some changes in my life, food has become more about the experience – not only what I feel while I’m eating but also what I feel when I’m cooking and afterward, when I enjoy the benefits of what I just ate.

I was chatting with a friend about this recently. She explained that she takes time to cut up her morning fruit, admiring their textures and colours. We talked about how preparing food can be just as rewarding as eating it. Taking the time to admire what you’re working with, and to know what you’re putting in the meal you’re about to eat puts your brain on the right track (not quite the same track you head down when peeling back the plastic film of a Hungry Man dinner.) A friend shared the picture below on Facebook and I thought it was pretty neat. You never know about information that circulates on social media but this seems legit from the little I know (and I think we can all agree that eating any of this stuff can only benefit you!)

Fruits and veggies - benefits

I just want to eat all of this. And is that man’s middle name seriously ‘Avocado’? Must be related to Gweneth Paltrow…

To me, eating better is not about cutting out everything you find delicious and replacing it with a salad. It’s about striking a balance and making sure you stick to nutritious foods more often. It’s so easy and I wish I had started sooner, but there ya go.

Jim and I experimented with a one-pot noodle recipe this past week that was so EASY and so delicious, it is a MUST share. The one-pot sesame peanut noodle & vegetable took me about 20 minutes to prep for and cooks in 9. This is a perfect meal for a busy family looking for something healthy, hearty and just plain delicious! And I love the idea of throwing everything in one pot – it’s easy for people like me who aren’t great multi-taskers and it also makes for an easy clean-up!

I actually made this recipe on Saturday night, rather than ordering a pizza. I can’t explain how much more satisfied my belly, mind and wallet were after this meal was consumed!

On the subject of food experiences, my brother wrote to me this week about a happy one that I thought I would share with you:

I worked a legit 13 hours yesterday and I invited a few random people over for spaghetti. I assumed because it was late, nobody would show – but they all did. I made them dinner and watched them socialize in my living room. When it came time to serve, I didn’t have enough plates and cutlery so I had to ask my neighbour for some. I was exhausted but watching those people enjoy my food and hospitality was phenomenal. Nothing beats doing good things for others – and with good food to boot!

There are countless benefits to food when you make it an experience instead of a chore. I promise you that you will feel better if you eat an orange for a snack instead of a doughnut or granola bar. And you might just feel a little better too if you share your snack or dinner with someone you enjoy. 🙂

Share your happy food experiences below – I would love to hear them!

Oh and, just because, here’s a pic of two of my favourite animals on the planet, Bear and Athena. Enjoy the cuteness overload!

Bear and Athena enjoying a lazy Saturday

Bear and Athena enjoying a lazy Saturday

*******Change is good, Donkey*******