January is flying by at warp speed. Have you given up on those resolutions already? Maybe you just made the wrong resolutions. Instead of resolving to save more money, eat less cheese or work out for 3 hours a day, maybe you should resolve to find some new resolutions. And guess what? It’s not too late. Italians are “flexible” with their timelines and schedules so starting the New Year any time in the month of January, in my opinion, is just fine.
Ned inspiration? Here are 9 resolutions that are fun, Italian related and oh so easy to keep.
- Walk More – hitting the gym every day is hard but we all know how important it is to be active. Try being more active in everyday life. You don’t need to run a 6-minute mile or bike 30 miles a day. Take a walk. Everyday. It’s a perfect multitasker. Grab a friend or family member and “fare la passeggiata” – take a walk. It’s a great time to get some exercise and have (or be) a captive audience. Some of the absolute best conversations I have had with my husband have been on walks along the boardwalk by the water or even at the high school track. Try shopping in a town where you can walk from shop to shop. I know this is not possible for everyone but when it is, there is nothing better.
- Slow Down – we race from one thing to another. We take our coffee to go, we eat in the car, we are always looking to check something off the list and move on to the next thing. What is lost is the time to savor and appreciate the little moments in life. Try just drinking your coffee while sitting at a table. Drink the whole cup of coffee and then move on to your list of errands. Eat at a table, preferably in company when possible. Slow. Down. Or better yet, do nothing sometimes. It’s ok. It’s actually a good thing. The cafe culture is a huge part of life in Italy and virtually non-existent in the US. I think it’s time to make it “a thing”.
- Stop Snacking – Italians eat well. They eat a lot at meals. What they don’t do is eat in between meals. Aside from the occasional afternoon gelato or a sliver of focaccia in the mid-morning, eating takes place at mealtime. And so when Italians come to the table, they are actually hungry. And they enjoy the meal to its fullest. Just eliminating little snacks and constant noshing out of boredom or habit can make a huge difference.
- Appreciate the Arts – I love the Italian appreciation for the arts. Art in all forms: painting, sculpture, music, dance, architecture. Perhaps it comes from being born in a country that is so incredibly rich in cultural goods and history, from being surrounded by masterpieces on a regular basis. But there is art and beauty everywhere, in every small town, anywhere in the world. Make an effort to seek it out and make it a regular part of your life.
- Say no to Grigio – I know you love your pinot grigio. You sound sophisticated saying it and really, Italy is more known for its red wines than white. While this is true, there are actually many really wonderful Italian whites. Check out this blog post for some inspiration.
- Make time for family – there is nothing more important and it is the cornerstone of Italian culture. We need to make time for those who are important in our lives. For many, family is not just the biological people with whom you grew up. It’s a group of friends, a tribe, a village upon whom you can depend and who deserve your time and attention. Time with friends and family is restorative and does wonders for your well being.
- Drink more coffee – coffee is good for you. Science says so (trust me, there is a study out there somewhere). For some (who shall remain nameless), this is the easiest resolution in the world. #accomplishmentFor others, here’s a little primer on how to order coffee, Italian style.
- Eat more vegetables. No Doug, 5 more baby carrots does not count as eating more veggies. Half your plate should be filled with veggies, particularly dark green, leafy vegetables. Italian may eat a lot of pasta, but they eat a ton of vegetables. They are fresh and clean and usually cooked very simply with some garlic, olive oil, and red pepper. Delicious. Find ways to get more vegetables into your everyday diet. If you need inspiration, here are some of Italy’s great vegetable-based dishes.
- Travel – expand your horizons, see new places, learn about new cultures. Go to a completely new place or visit somewhere new in a familiar setting. I for one have a bucket list of Italian experiences that I hope to check off in the coming year. Believe it or not, there are still many adventures in Italy that I am eager to experience. Stay tuned for a full list on the blog next week.
Whether you are working on resolutions or not, finding ways to make your life a little more meaningful, a little richer, a little healthier, a little sweeter is something we can all embrace.
Happy New Year!