New Castle News

December 27, 2012

Lori Brothers: Set joyful goals for the new year

Lori Brothers
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Wouldn’t it be nice to have a tool bar in life, just like on your computer, with an “undo” button?

Think about how handy this would be in situations like when you lock yourself out of the house, forget to pay your cell phone bill, or over-indulge in high-calorie foods.

Just a click of a button and you’ve deleted the most recent action and make the immediate correction.

When it comes to setting your intentions, you may not be able to “undo” what you accomplish — or failed to accomplish. But it’s never too late to re-claim your hopes and dreams.

This time of year, as individuals, we look to the past and set goals for the future. If you are hard on yourself, I urge you to relax your self-judgments. Even if you haven’t hit the bull’s-eye when trying to meet your goals, you can still make it happen.

The fact that you are still thinking about your goals means that you are willing. The desire to change or create something new is the seed that holds the results. Your desire holds the whole blueprint for making your wishes so.

I love the symbol of an acorn for this purpose. Find an acorn. Carry it with you and remind yourself often that you are holding the blueprint for a mighty oak tree. Very inspiring.

Work on creating your personal “undo” button by looking at the circumstances or patterns in your life that limit you. The undo button is also the key to unlock your hidden power for change.

All that it may take to unlock the constraints of your success is to look with different eyes for the clues to free you from limitations.

Instead of focusing on a usual goal, such as losing weight — which is so popular this time of year —  maybe it would be more powerful to set a goal for this year that will bring you joy. When you bring more success and fulfillment into your life, you water your seeds. Jumping on the popular bandwagon to lose weight, for example, may stunt your growth, especially if you’ve repeatedly intended this goal before.

Statistics show that 44 percent of U.S. women and 29 percent of American men are on a diet.  A staggering $109 million is spent in the U.S. every day on diet and weight loss products.

My suggestion for 2013 is that you step out of the diet frenzy. Studies are clinically proving that lifestyle and habit changes create the real impact on health and also much more positive on how you feel psycho-socially. Consider making just one consistent change this year.

Don’t focus on losing weight, focus on moving your body 20 minutes a day, every day (if you don’t currently have a regular exercise program.)  Or eat one more serving of veggies daily than you every have before.

Make your New Year’s resolution consistency. When you practice a new pattern you’ll experience something you’ve never experienced before: Positive change with a sense of accomplishment. Discouragement turns into encouragement.

Reach for the stars instead of a different number on the scale this year. When you find more fun, joy and freedom you may be surprised at the impact it has on your overall quality of life.

Hoppin’ John

Make this dish on New Year’s Eve or even the day before. Flavor improves over time and Hoppin’ John is great reheated. Serve with hot sauce for a happy, lucky and abundant new year.

 1 cup canned black eyed peas, drained and rinsed

3 cups of water

6 cloves garlic

1 dried hot pepper

1 bay leaf

2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup brown rice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 jalapeno, chopped

3 ribs celery, chopped

1 big bunch collard greens (or sub kale or mustard greens), sliced into thin ribbons

Juice of 1 lemon

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

In a large pot over medium heat, combine black eyed peas, two cloves garlic, brown rice and vegetable broth. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, but leave the pot on the burner.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, jalapeno, celery and the remaining 4 garlic cloves, chopped. Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring, until the vegetables are softened.

Reduce heat to medium. Add greens by the handful, and cook until wilted, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Fluff rice and beans, remove whole garlic, dried pepper and bay leaft. Fold in greens mixture. Squeeze in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Serves 6.