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Intentional Living – Plans, Pitfalls and Too Much Christmas Cake

Happy New Year. I hope that 2019 will be filled with even more progress towards a more meaningful life for all of us.

Today was my first day back at work after a blissful two and a half weeks away from my normal day to day routine.

As I emerge from the fog of a couple of weeks of not thinking about anything more stressful than making it to the airport on time or ensuring that everyone got enough helpings of Christmas cake, my mind is moving back into the planning stage of re-establishing my routine for the next few months.

In a previous post I talked about how a plan, however excellent, is not going to be enough to keep me on track through the seemingly endless pitfalls and setbacks that pop up on a daily basis. For example, we had a plan to spend some time at our section this holidays over two or three episodes. The first visit went pretty much to plan and we spent a wonderful New Year’s with family. From there, all our grand ideas went quickly by the wayside. The weather packed it in, the dog ended up at the vet and the younger daughter at the doctor. No one was in any state for caravanning and kayaking. It didn’t matter though. We still spent heaps of time together as a family, doing things we like to do, just not on the section.

Then there was my plan to avoid the pitfalls of holiday eating. Well, the less said about that the better really. Ironically, I wrote about this self same little problem in a holiday post I wrote last year. Obviously I am struggling to learn this lesson! Maybe if Christmas cake didn’t taste so good….Actually, I think it’s the absence of routine that leads me down the path of holiday snack temptations, or that the routine of holiday snacking is so ingrained for me that snacking on delicious goodies IS my routine at this time of year. Either way, the four pounds I put on are now an unwelcome physical legacy of not having a better plan for dealing with the lack of a plan. On the upside, looking back at last year’s post, I have again kept up my practice of exercising through the holiday season rather than just letting it all go by the wayside so it’s not all doom and gloom.

My husband, who is a personal trainer when he’s not being a full time Dad, managed the holiday season food problem in a completely different way to me. A practitioner of intermittent fasting, he just refrained from eating between the evening meal and the midday one and came out of the two and a half weeks in better shape than he started.

There’s a lesson in that I think. Our plans don’t have to be black or white, which is how I tend to see them. A grey plan has just enough restriction to keep you on track, while allowing you to enjoy the finer things in life when everyone else is.

The working year has now begun for me and in many ways I welcome the return of my routine. I am ready to review my plans, work towards some short term targets and in general carry on with living a more intentional life. I’ll do this in the knowledge that setbacks are just around the corner. There’s one thing that’s for certain though. I’ll be working a little bit more grey and a little less Christmas cake into my plans for this year.



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