Why I’m Making Habits instead of Resolutions

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Happy 2019!  I’ve gotta admit; it feels pretty good to be back in the swing of things (even if the first thing I marked in my brand new diary was a dentist appointment for today – the most Monday-est of Mondays…).  To be completely honest with you, this post was supposed to be a recipe for Thai Noodle Soup, buuuuuuut the truth is that I spent a little too much time on the sofa during the Crimbo Limbo scoffing cheese and chocolate and binge-watching You on Netflix instead of prepping Blog Posts.  NO REGRETS.  You’ll just have to stay-tuned for that recipe, but until then how about a good ol’ chin-wag about Resolutions instead?

For the record, I’m not a fan. I’m a pantser not a planner by nature with absolutely zero willpower (see Netflix and Chocolate binge above and the fact that I bought a five pack of jam donuts this morning ten minutes after my dentist appointment…) and so the prospect of waking up on the 1st of January a new and improved version of myself complete with a laminated list of goals for the year ahead in hand is not only enough to bring me out in a cold sweat but absolutely and completely bonkers.  For a start, I’m lucky if I even get out of bed on the first day of January, and who the hell wants to pile that kind of pressure on top of themselves on the very first day of a new year anyway?  It’s so easy to make those ambitious, slightly vague statements on New Years Eve with a glass of champagne in hand, isn’t it? Before you know it, it’s February and – just like the champagne – you’ve lost your fizz and all your grand plans have fallen flat.  That’s resolutions for you.

But hey – despite all of that – I still can’t resist that squeaky clean, brand spanking new, fresh diary feeling you get at the very start of a new year. Of course, there are a few things I’d like to change and try my hand at this year, but instead of making resolutions, I’m making new habits.

Why? Well, the problem with resolutions is that they’re usually a bit vague (I’m going to lose weight, I’m going to save more money) and/or a bit extreme (I’m never eating dairy again, I’m going to read 50 books) with no realistic plan in place to actually achieve them.  They demand perfection without a blink at the planning and hard work that needs to be put in; so it’s really no surprise when we flunk out come February. Habits on the other hand, are specific changes in behaviour that need a bit more thought and planning to put into practice.  Habits become a part of your daily routine – you have to actually make time for them – and so they’re much trickier to break and a more realistic way to achieve a new goal.  They’re more about the long road to perfection than perfection itself.

For example… 

RESOLUTION
“This year, I’m going to get fit.”

HABIT
“This year, I’m going to go to Pilates class every Wednesday night at 7pm.”

RESOLUTION
“This year, I’m going to find a new job.”

HABIT
“This year, I’m going to spend an hour every Tuesday night between 8 and 9pm applying for jobs.”

See what I’m saying? Think of it this way; the resolution is the goal, the habit is the plan you’re going to put into place to make sure you achieve it! …Or that’s the idea, anyway. 😉

So, which resolutions am I hoping to turn into habits in 2019? Honestly, they’re all really boring! Firstly, I want to read more books (she says, for the third year running… resolutions, ugh!); I love reading, but I’m terrible when it comes to making time for it. So this year I’m scheduling in an hour of reading time every day between 5 and 6pm. Be there or be square! Secondly, I want to add some more recipes to my midweek meal repertoire, especially some healthy ones. I’ve got a handful of go-to recipes that I’m getting bored of making all the time, so I’ve decided that I’m going to make it a new habit to spend an hour every Sunday researching a brand new recipe to cook for dinner during the week. And thirdly, I want a cleaner house (See? I told you they were boring!). Just before Christmas it became very clear that my old cleaning routine just wasn’t cutting it (the whole house was pretty much buried under a layer of Bungle’s fur…), so this year I’m going to try and set aside an hour a day to keep on top of the cleaning, one room at a time.  If I come up with something that works, I’ll let you know.  And that’s it! For now, at least…

So what about you? Are you making any changes this year? Also now’s the perfect time to let me know if there’s anything you want to see more (or less!) of here on the blog in 2019. Let me know in the comments! Hope you’re having a great start to the year! 🙂

Indian Potato and Cauliflower Fried Flatbreads

Other than a Chicken Jalfrezi, there are two dishes I’m likely to have a strop over if they’re not on the table when I go out for an Indian; Aloo Gobi, and Aloo Parantha.  Both potato dishes (Aloo Aloo!), Aloo Gobi is a vegetarian dish made from potato, cauliflower and Indian spices (my mother in-law makes great Aloo Gobi) and Aloo Parantha is basically a veggie flat bread stuffed with potato and fried in butter (yum).  They are my absolute faves – they’re such great comfort food, perfect for this time of year.  So why not combine the two and have the best of both worlds, eh? 😉

Aloo Gobi Parantha

Ingredients

  • 250g of Potatoes, chopped (I used one Maris Piper and one Sweet Potato)
  • 1 Echalion Shallot, finely chopped
  • 250g roughly chopped Cauliflower
  • 100g roughly chopped Green Chillis (the smaller, the spicier!)
  • 225g Atta Flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 100g Melted Butter
  • 125 ml Warm Water
  • 50g roughly chopped fresh Coriander
  • 1tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  1. First, make the dough: If you’ve got a bread maker then you’re good to go – pour in the water and oil first, followed by the flour and salt.  Run the “dough” program and then leave it to do the hard work! 😉
  2. Next make up the Aloo Gobi filling: boil the potatoes and cauliflower until soft, then pour out the water and mash.  Add the onion, green chillis, coriander and spices and stir together.
  3. Once the dough is ready, divide it into six equal balls.  Now the tricky bit; filling the parantha and then rolling it out without it spilling out the side, AND trying to keep it in a perfectly flat circle.  I’m RUBBISH at this part; I’m sure there’s a knack to rolling them out perfectly, but I’m still nowhere near figuring it out!  You’ve basically got to roll them out a little, plonk a spoonful of filling in the middle and then parcel it up and roll out the dough again until it’s flat and round.  Sounds easy, right?
  4. Heat up your frying pan with a little melted butter and cook the parantha on both sides, brushing with butter as you go.
  5. Serve hot with fresh yoghurt (I flavoured mine with a little turmeric) and tamarind sauce.

What’s your favourite Indian dish? 🙂