What Pushing the Reset Button Looks Like for Me After a Hard Year

(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

2015 was not my year. I attended a few funerals for people I love (including a young friend gone too soon), went in and out of hospitals for a family member, and suffered from a heightened anxiety disorder. This year I’m not looking to make any radical changes, but I am looking for a reset. Here’s what that looks like for me this January.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

I’m particularly drawn to the idea of intention (instead of resolution), which Dana talked about in her post about resetting for January. Instead of simply checking something off another to-do list, I want to find something I can really carry with me all year and beyond – in hard times and in easier times.

My intention then, for this year, is to practice acceptance and self-care. I know that sounds corny; I promise I’m not going to turn into a morning person and only drink green smoothies. This intention is really about not being so hard on myself. I found when I was going through a hard time last year that I ended up stressing myself out more than I should have. I want that to stop.

This year I plan on saying “no” more, trying new relaxing activities (coloring books! Acupuncture! Travel!), and just doing more of the things that make me happy (short-term and long-term).

One of the things that makes me happy is food. It plays such a huge role in my life (including my job!), so it’s an obvious place to reset with my new intention for the year. This year I want to approach my kitchen with a more stress-free attitude. I don’t want to rush as much when I cook, I want to keep a cleaner kitchen, and I want to make more of the things I love to eat.

Taking mini steps toward this intention seems like the wise choice. I decided to set my eyes on lunch, which I find the hardest meal of the day to figure out. I’ve always liked the idea of taking my lunch to work for a variety of reasons, but I always set my goals too high. I wanted to take my work to lunch every single day, and when I failed to do so for a couple days, I just gave up and blamed myself for being lazy.

This year I’m trying to take my lunch to work four days a week, which means I eat out once. If I break this guide, that’s OK. I’m trying to make a couple lunches on Sunday night and a couple lunches on Wednesday night to change things up throughout the week. I even asked The Kitchn readers for their advice on the matter.

By taking small steps and setting up a cooking schedule, I feel much more comfortable with the idea of taking my lunch to work. It seems less like a chore, and more of something I want to bring into my weekly schedule. I’m hoping this more relaxed attitude can permeate throughout the rest of my cooking life.

How are you resetting in 2016? Have you ever had a bad year? What did you do to move forward?