Simplify: Thanksgiving

standard November 20, 2017 Leave a response

For many of us, Thanksgiving is a big production of food, football, family gathering, laughter, fights, and lots of pie. It can be an easygoing, laid back affair or it can be a stressful nonstop event. My memories of Thanksgiving growing up involved family vacation, since my family didn’t see the point of cooking a huge meal for just four people. I look back on those trips and see all the fun, all the experiences, and none of the stress (though I know some was probably involved for my parents in taking a vacation anywhere with kids).

Once I grew up and was making my own decisions about where to go for Thanksgiving, would we host, would we cook, where would we go, it started to get a lot more stressful. Then I switched to a plant-based diet, and things got even more complicated. I started making big productions myself, full of vegan dishes I was determined everyone would love. Family came, friends came, everyone helped out. It was fun and fairly low key (except for my cooking madness). But over the years, I started feeling like I had to keep topping each year’s menu and activities and things easily got big and stressful. FOR NO REASON. It was all in my head.

This year, I decided to go back to the basics. The menu is getting shrunk. The visitors are increasing. The activities are staying the same. Exactly as I want it to be.

Ready to get your Thanksgiving back and enjoy every minute without going crazy? Try these tips:

Cut the menu in half. Yes. Half. Take a look at each dish you traditionally make and ask yourself, “WHY do I make this?” Is it a food you love, that your family loves, that your one child loves and insists upon? Great. Keep it on the menu. However, if you find you are making something just because you’ve always made it, and no one will miss it, cross if off the list this year. There is no reason to make something people don’t care about that much. It just adds to your cooking list and provides extra time and stress.

Invite the people who matter.  We are all used to having family at holiday gatherings. But also think about those friends and coworkers and neighbors who might not have somewhere else to go and who have a big impact on your daily life. Yes, this is adding people to your day, and we’re trying to simplify here, not make things harder. But people can also bring food. Fill your table with the people that matter most to you. And give them a dish to bring to round out the meal without you having to do all the cooking.

Put guests to work. Have a friend or relative who always shows up early? Let them help! Even guests who aren’t as savvy in the kitchen can pop rolls in the oven or toss a salad together. Have someone stir cranberry sauce, mash potatoes, check on the pie, pour drinks, set the table. Even kids can get in on the prep work. And giving everyone a role to play will make guests feel more at home and included.

Make it fun. Thanksgiving isn’t about spending the day in the kitchen while your guests lounge around watching football. Add some fun activities everyone can participate in to your agenda for the day. Join in the annual Turkey Trot in the morning before coming home and cooking up your feast. Go out and play a round of tag or flag football. Have a family game night tradition after dinner. And make sure the host or hostess also participates! If you’ve cut recipes off your cooking list, asked people to bring food, and put guests to work, you have plenty of time to join in on the fun!

Looking for some menu and recipe inspiration? Check out these past holiday posts:

What are you doing this year to simplify Thanksgiving? 

Be Present: November

standard November 3, 2017 Leave a response

I’m convinced that the later into the year we get, the faster the months fly by. Although, October started out well, with a lot of tasks getting completed and crossed off the very first week, which helped propel me through the rest of my list.  November is about slowing down a little. Simplifying more. Being more focused and intentional on how I spend my time and doing the right things well instead of all the things okay.

October in Review:

1. Update editorial calendar for Neat & Nutritious.

Since the start of Celebration Nutrition, I was running two blogs, which, combined with having a baby, meant content was sporadic on both sites. In order to streamline and make life simpler, I merged the two and am migrating content over to Neat & Nutritious. Which means more access to nutrition-related topics, more consistent content, and more recipes (down the road!)

2. Finish my first postpartum/stroller race.

My goal was to finish my 3rd Run Free Texas 80s 8k in under an hour/beat my pregnancy time from last year. Right at the end I realized I could even beat 55 minutes if I pushed hard enough, but ended up barely missing that and finishing in 56:10. Still, with a stroller and monster hills, I am super pumped with that time. Ready for another one soon!

3. Complete phase 2 of Celebration Nutrition services updates.

This got completely scrapped. Going in a whole different direction. My focus right now is on doing a few things well and not ALL THE THINGS, even though all the things are super awesome and I really want to do them. They will come, in time.

4. Plan WEEKLY date nights.

The husband ended up being gone for half the month, so this did not happen. But the weeks he was home, we snuck out, even if just for a quick lunch to catch up.

5. Walk 10k steps every day (work days make this surprisingly difficult!)

Averaged about 5 of 7 days each week, which I will take. Some days are so taken up with client appointments that I don’t get a run in, let alone a stroller walk. And I’ve noticed my body loves having one day completely off, so on Sundays we rest.

November Goals:

  1. Pick and sign up for Marathon #6.
  2. Set up a new meal prep routine that works.
  3. Network weekly to build brand awareness.
  4. Donate milk to Mother’s Milk Bank.
  5. Outsource and time manage better to maximize work days.

Ready to start intentionally goal setting in 2018? Grab a set of Powersheets and plan with me next year! The big 2018 goal setting prep week is happening December 4th.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases from these links may result in a small commission used to support neatandnutritious.com. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Present 2017: Rethink Goal Setting

standard October 25, 2017 Leave a response

I started goal setting back in 2012 and have been actively sharing yearly and monthly goals on this space for over 3 years now. As someone who has always loved the idea of goals, I somehow never managed to make, keep, or share them until I began blogging. Outward accountability has some perks by publicly posting even the seemingly smallest of things.

The holidays are approaching, and before we know it, the year will be over. A shiny fresh new one will start. We will plan ALL the things we want to improve, change, cut out, altar about our lives. And then February will hit, and our excitement will wane, and we will slowly get busy, forget, give up, move on.

So how to we actually make goals for the year we can actually make STICK? By working on them little by little, every day, every week, every month, every season. Revisit and reshape as life happens, as it inevitably does, instead of letting circumstances take over. We adapt with them. And by doing this we can actually look back at the end of the year and see the progress we made, even if we don’t feel like we did anything worthwhile.

2018 PowerSheets Collection

So how do I do all this year after year? With POWER SHEETS! I love, love, love these. And they keep getting better and better each year I’ve used them. Both due to HOW I’ve learned to use them and because the awesome Cultivate What Matters team keeps improving them year after year to make them the best they can be for users. I just got my 2018 set and they’re AWESOME. The prep pages especially get better and better each year, really letting you hone in on what is important and at the heart BEHIND the goals.

Intentional goal setting is at the heart of how these work. Making progress, little by little, instead of driving for perfection. As someone who procrastinates because of perfection, I NEED the accountability to keep going, one step at a time. Otherwise, I just see the huge big picture, get overwhelmed, and end up on the couch with Netflix and a pint of (non-dairy) ice cream. Powersheets are the reason my business happened. They’re how I managed to do full-time school and full-time work and travel all at the same time. They made me feel like I accomplished something after my daughter was born, because that month my goals included showering and resting (and YES, those are good goals for a new mama!) Powersheets don’t help you make it all happen, they help you make the RIGHT things happen. Even when that thing is simply surviving new mamahood.

2018 PowerSheets Collection

Every month, I set aside time to look ahead and make a plan, for my business and for my life, all in one space. There is space to brain dump, brainstorm, scribble, get messy, be creative, dream, and discover. I use my power sheets in conjunction with my paper planner to make sure that progress happens instead of gets forgotten about. And I honestly love having it all on paper. There is something about WRITING IT DOWN that helps make it real, make it stick.

Powersheets WORK. You will feel the impact right away if you are faithful to the process. They will help you prioritize with confidence, giving you more time for what’s truly important in your life.

I love these so much, I became an affiliate partner for them. So yes, I do get a small commission for purchases made from links on this post. But I’ve loved and used these for years, well before an affiliate program existed. And I’ve purchased my powersheets every year myself. It is helpful to be able to bring in income to support my blog and my business from promoting products that I love, but I will continue to purchase and use these, regardless, for many years to come. Thank you for your support of businesses that support Neat & Nutritious! It is part of the reason I’ve been able to keep this space ad free.

The BEST part of this entire post? 2018 Power Sheets launch TODAY and are available to order for anyone who wants to get intentional with goal setting next year. I’ll be sharing my 2018 goals here later this year and would love to stay accountable with you! Grab yours here! And happy goal setting!

2018 PowerSheets Intentional Goal Planner

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases from these links may result in a small commission used to support neatandnutritious.com. All thoughts and opinions are my own.