One more New Year’s resolution…

Learn another language! I just don’t know which one yet…
January – decide which language
February – find courses/books/language exchange
March – December – study!

In December I want to have an A2-level of the language which means that I can have a daily conversation in present, some past and some future tenses.

Happy New Year to you all!

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My New Year’s resolutions

So what are my resolutions for the year to come? I actually have no idea whatsoever… As I said several times before, I prefer starting a new habit when I have the energy for it, not on a given day.

But, here we go:

  • Continue training 3 times a week, maybe 4, throughout the whole year
  • Achieve my goal with my personal trainer, by June 1st
  • Eat healthier and more organic, by take timing to go shopping in eco-shops and look up healthier recipes
  • Take time to cook at home, at least 3 times a week and cook for more days
  • Start my own business, in summer? Finish ideas and paperwork before July 1st
  • Help more people in general, by giving money to homeless, join a soup kitchen for homeless, help friends when they need help
  • Get another tattoo, just need to find the one that I want, but before summer 😉
  • Saving more money, count on how much I can spare each month and put it aside along with my other savings
  • Move to another apartment, contract ends in June, so start looking in April-May
  • Travel, I say this every year, and hopefully I’ll go to the States in summer, and I already have my first Sweden-trip booked for January
  • Be better at keeping in contact with people, by taking time to skype, call or send e-mails/letters to them

And yes, that’s it for now, but I’m sure I’ll figure out more things that I want to achieve during the year. Now I only have to sit down and adapt the SMART-model on each resolution…IMG_6465

How to accomplish your New Year’s resolutions

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Last day of the year, so let’s do like almost everyone else and write about New Year’s resolutions. Like I mentioned in an earlier post I’ve never really believed in having a certain date to start doing something new (or stop doing something) because I think it’s better to start when you’re ambition is high and your goal occupies your mind. But, then again, the idea is nice to start a new year with new goals, so I don’t despise doing it.

I looked up some common New Year’s resolutions and found a study from University of Scranton, USA, where they’ve listed top-10 in America for 2014 and also shows statistics of how many Americans that make resolutions, how long they last for and age success rate. You can find the link here.

So, the most common resolution is … *drumroll* … Losing weight! I think this is the most common one in the whole Western civilization because we get feeded with pictures of how the ideal body should be, all the time. The problem when saying that “this year I’ll lose weight” is that it isn’t specific enough. How will you lose weight? How much? During how long time? Make a plan and make sure you’ll stick to it, and it will be easier to not go off it and surely it’ll be more motivating!

When I studied marketing and leadership in Sport Science they taught us a technique called the SMART model. It’s used to make goals clearer and more achievable and works for every area; at work, gym, New Year etc. The SMART model stands for:
S – specific (target a specific area of improvement)
M – measurable (quantify or suggest an indicator of progress)
A – assignable (specify who will do it)
R – realistic (what results can be achieved,  given available resources)
T – time-related (when will the results be achieved)

So now we have our most common goal, lose weight, and if we use the SMART model it could look like this:
S – Lose 10kg during 2015 by going to the gym and eating less and healthier food
M – I will learn 1 new healthy dinner recipe every week, I will go to the gym twice a week, and by July I will have lost 6kg
A – I will do it by help from a personal trainer and my family
R – I will probably lose more weight before summer when the bikini season gives me more motivation and hopefully I’ll reach my goal before given time, but over Christmas I might gain some kilos again…
T – Goal will be completed after 1 year, but my sub targets will be completed by July 1st and goals with recipes and gym every week.

I could make it even more detailed depending on what my goal is. And no, this is not my goal, I used it as an example since it was the most common New Year’s resolution last year in USA.

I like this model because it gives you the chance to think about subgoals. I don’t believe in stopping doing something from one day to another without easen the way before. It might work for some people, but if you can stop in one day, you most probably can start in one day too.new-year-resolution

Here’s the complete list of New Year’s resolutions in USA 2014:

  1. Lose weight
  2. Getting organized
  3. Spend less, save more
  4. Enjoy life to the fullest
  5. Staying fit and healthy
  6. Learn something exciting
  7. Quit smoking
  8. Help others in their dreams
  9. Fall in love
  10. Spend more time with family

Number 9 made me raise my eyebrows. Fall in love – doesn’t it just happen? How could it be a resolution for a year? Maybe more like a wish? And how do you apply this goal to the SMART model?

And, if you wondered, only 46% maintain their New Year’s resolution after 6 months, but what’s more shocking is that only 75% complete the first week! I really think they need some help with creating a plan for their resolutions…

Chicken in almond sauce

For lunch today I made an old favorite that I used to do in Sweden, a chicken stew, but instead of using coconut milk, I used almond milk. It’s easy to make and takes maybe about 20-30min depending on how good you are at chopping vegetables.

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Ingredients:
• chicken
• onion
• carrots
• garlic
• leek
• almond milk
• salt and pepper
• olive oil for frying

Preparation:
Chop the vegetables and fry onion, garlic and carrots in a pan (1). I usually use a bit of extra oil that I later fry the chicken in. I like it when the oil takes on the essences of carrots and garlic and the chicken get a hunch of that flavor too. Once the vegetables are soft I take them out, leaving the oil in the pan, and I fry the chicken in it (2), which I chopped to smaller pieces. When they are fried I add the vegetables and also the leek (3). I stir it and let it cook for a few minutes and add spices. Today I used herbal salt (salt with thyme, rosemary and some other spices) and pepper. Finally I pour in some almond milk (4) and let it cook for a few minutes.

I served it with pasta, but you can also have it with rice, couscous, bulgur, quinoa or whatever you prefer.

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Eat more oranges!

Oranges

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Orange is at its best during the months with an R in it. They contain many important vitamins and has many health benefits.

  • The fruit is low in calories and doesn’t contain any saturated fat or cholesterol.
  • It contains pectin, a dietary fiber, which helps to reduce blood cholesterol levels and prevent colon cancer by decreasing toxics in the colon.
  • High levels of vitamin A and C, which both are antioxidants and helps the body to develop resistance against free radicals in the blood.
  • It contains minerals like calcium and potassium, which helps to control heart rate and blood pressure.

How to eat it:
Oranges can be consumed in many different ways. My favorite is just by slicing it and eating it the way it is, but also as a fresh pressed juice. It can also be used in fruit salads, to spice up your glass of water by putting a piece of orange into the water, in desserts, food, and the blossom can be used as herbal tea when dried.

I found one nice recipe here, from Gimme Some Oven, that I might try today.

¿Cómo te despiertas por la mañana?

Cada mañana es distinto y yo me despierto diferente cada día. Puede ser con un sentimiento, con ganas de hacer algo, con curiosidad, aburrimiento, alegría, o como ayer, en inglés. 😮

Creo que despertar con otro idioma es lo más difícil para mí, especialmente cuando es en inglés. Aquí todos no hablan inglés y normalmente pienso en español, pero los días cuando me despierto en inglés, me resulta mucho más difícil cambiarme. Ayer cuando fui al gimnasio era como mi mente estaba en otro mundo. No me enteré de lo que me dijo la gente, y hablar también me costó mucho. Luego durante el día podía cambiarme más al español, pero incluso cuando ví a mis amigos sobre las 7 de la tarde, me costó mucho hablar. Hablé muy mal. No encontraba las palabras, las expresiones salieron mal…

¿Hay alguien que me entienda?

Me gusta más cuando me despierto en español porque como es mi tercer idioma, me resulta más fácil cambiar al inglés o al sueco porque estos ya están en mis venas.

Y hoy me desperté, … hmmm… Aún no sé, pero seguramente con ganas del día!

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Qu’est-ce qu’on a fait au Bon Dieu?

Or in Spanish “Dios mío, ¿Pero que te hemos hecho?” or in English “Serial (Bad) Weddings”.

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Great movie! I went with some of my friends and I had heard good things about the movie, but I was also happily surprised. It’s about a French old-fashioned family with four daughters where they all find a man from a different culture. As you may have heard, French are quite conservative and not very fond of other cultures, at least not within their own family… (I know I’m being judgmental and that this is changing, but in the movie they present the stereotype of France). I don’t want to give away too much because I really think you should watch it if you have the chance.

My friends and I laughed and laughed. The jokes are hilarious and there are many typical things said during the movie. There were some parts I did not like, for example how some things and feelings can change that quickly, from one day to another, but it’s not for real, so I guess it’s okay to not make a real-time movie out of it that would last for days…

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My friends and I were very happy because there was only one other group in the hall so we could put our legs up on the chairs in front of us.