Mino-oshki-biboon! Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  I love the first day of January, because not only does it coincide with the birth of someone very special in my life,  but it also denotes a fresh start. Plus I love filling in a new calender: each date new, full of hope and possibilities!

I love fresh beginnings, which is why I always like to make resolutions for solid habits for the coming year. I’ve narrowed mine down to five simple things I want to focus on in 2015: Increase My Yield, Eat Better, Be Present, Get It Done and Move More.

Increased Yield, Eat Better, Be Present, Get It Done, Move More.

Increased Yield, Eat Better, Be Present, Get It Done, Move More.

Increase My Yield In my work as an art teacher, we often talk about “yield” i.e. the number of complete projects that students can exhibit with at the end of the term.  The goal is to take on new art forms, and for better or worse, finish the project so they can show what they learned.  In 2015 I am going to apply this principle to my own work as a professional artist.  I want to create enough pieces that I can apply for the opportunity to exhibit with the Emerging Artists showcase through the Scarab Club, among others.  The first step to that end is making art, art and more art!  I also want to write more.

Eat Better I don’t get enough vegetables and fruit in my diet. There I admitted it,mom,happy? This is my number one f00d issue.  According to diabetes.org, at 16.1 percent, American Indians and Alaska Natives have the highest age-adjusted prevalence of diabetes among all U.S. racial and ethnic groups. I will use the national Alert Day as a check-point on my progress with this goal.  During this one-day “wake-up call” on Tuesday, March 25, 2014, Americans are encouraged to take the Diabetes Risk Test for type 2 diabetes.  Part of this resolution will include learning to create a variety of healthy and satisfying vegetable-heavy (or entirely vegetarian! maybe…we’ll see) dishes.

Be Present When I’m with my loved ones and colleagues, I want my attention to be 100% focused on being there. No cell phone in one hand, no computer in the lap; I truly want to just be with my friends and family. Real life trumps digital life, so I’ll capture costumes and art and fabulous fun event pictures when I can, but otherwise I plan on a lot less screen time in my free time in 2015.  This also includes “talking more NDN” aka using Ojibwe each and every day.

Get It Done The other day I saw a really great tip on Pinterest that I’ve been using around the house since then. If you can do it in 2 minutes, do it now.  Anything from picking up clothes, washing and putting away dishes, wiping down counters or making the bed. There are so many little chores that are so easy to cross off my list as I move about the house that will pile up otherwise. It’s hard for me to relax and be at my most creative when my physical environment is in disarray in the form of a mess, so it’s just something I need to do. So far, so good!

Move More When I am using my body as an instrument of joy, rather than a capsule for pain, I am much happier. Mind, spirit and the physical body need to be in alignment for one to be at peace and achieve their most full life.  My Nokomis bought me an old school (i.e. not attached to a smart phone) pedometer,and I LOVE IT!  I don’t like the idea of attaching my h34lth information to an online profile (a discussion for another day) but using just a simple standalone pedometer is a wonderful motivator for me to add in extra steps to my day. I love seeing my numbers creep up tp 10 000 every day, and wearing this little gizmo is a nice reminder to get up off the couch and get it done, with the added bonus is that it’s good for me too! This means more dancing, daily yoga/stretching sessions, strength training and more dancing!

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? What are they?

I’d love to see ‘em! Share what you’re focusing on for 2015 on my Facebook page!

Minoganawaamdig Nimkoodaading! [Translation from Ojibwe to English: “look at each other in a good way in the New Year.”]

Mi’iwi (that’s all!)

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