My November and December flew by because of a couple of life projects that took up a lot of attention and efforts so I really didn’t get into the festive spirit nor did it feel like a break until a week from Christmas. I did put up the Christmas tree at the beginning of November so there’s that!
For me, January is a gloomy time of the year – it follows the high of the holidays and the thick of the winter season descends upon you with not much to look forward to. The days are dark, to-do lists are never-ending, and there isn’t something like the holidays to look forward to. The next long weekend (at least in Toronto where I’m based), isn’t until mid-February, making it a full 7-8 weeks from when you ring the new year until the next “break”.
I’m not sure there’s a lot to do to try to prepare or get ahead of the post-holidays blues, but I figured I’d try. To save myself the stresses of the new year, I’m going to try to get ahead of it with a little preparation.
1. Keeping a Little Piece of the Holiday Season
I got myself two advent calendars this year and I’ve saved one of them for January. Coincidentally, it happens to be the Nespresso x Johanna Ortiz advent calendar since it arrived late in December and I didn’t want to just open 15 capsules to catch up by the time it arrived. I’m looking forward to cracking them open daily in January and may even try to sneak another chocolate advent calendar purchase to add to the experience.
I’m also notorious for taking forever to take down my Christmas tree to keep the festive spirit going on for as long as I can. Given the effort it takes to get them up, you bet that tree is going to get is glorious time in the living room for at least a few months’ time!
2. Creating Little Moments to Look Forward To
I got into the habit of creating a weekly and biweekly countdown to look forward to in an effort to keep myself sane.
The biweekly things to look forward to is easier to figure out – it’s payday. While I’m not the type to be counting down the days to see the paycheque, it was important for me for the sense of accomplishment it gave me – the validation of my “No Spend” or “Low Spend” success or when I could do better the upcoming month because I came up short. For me, the process of putting away xx% of my pay towards different savings and investment accounts as well as cleaning the slate when it comes to my bills and credit cards feel really therapeutic. I love Reddit’s r/MoneyDiariesActive subreddit for their biweekly Payday posts where redditors share what they get up to with their paycheque that week!
The weekly ones is where it can get a bit tricky and requires a bit more effort to plan. Some weeks it can me catching up over drinks/dinner with friends or treating myself to takeout or allowing myself that splurge/purchase or cooking that special recipe I had been planning. Last year, this goal setting helped made my weeks go by faster and less stressful.
I’m hoping I can continue to make the monthly drinks/catchup with friends a regular thing or even more frequent, depending how the situation unfolds but here’s to hoping to cutting down the 4-6 weeks gap between the last time I see them.
3. Diversifying the Home Cooking
I’m excited to continue and up my “around the world” weekly menu – this was something I started last year and touched on in a recent post – preparing my weekly meal prep and menu around a specific regional theme from watching Youtube grocery shopping (those 7-11’s in Japan has pretty comprehensive food options!), cooking and vlogging videos makes food preparation more of an experience to look forward to!
I’ve also taken inspiration from takeout menu’s and recreating them at home. While takeout is a not something I expressly dislike, I want to have a bit more control over my takeout spending and what goes in them!
I haven’t really made the most of my Ninja Foodi since I got it last year – it’s mostly being used for the air-fryer function so I’m excited to find new pressure cooker, slow-cooker recipes to make the most of my Ninja Foodi. I realized that I also have a yogurt function here so instead of being worried of running out of yogurt, I can start making my own.
4. Keep up the 2021 Habits
Whether it was reading at least 22 books this year in addition to last year’s 31 books, maintaining the no-spend/low-spend months, cooking more at home, eating more greens/plant-based – I am keeping the monthly checklist up to date as much as I can. As your typical Type-A, checklist-obsessed, with a colour-coded planner and print-out calendar kind of person, I look forward to feeling of accomplishment when you cross off that month’s goals with these little wins!
I also splurged on a new Ninja Intelli-Sense Kitchen System ($199, available here), which is a dual blender and food-processor in one (Ninja, you can sponsor me if you’d like!) for the kitchen. I am a huge fan of the Foodi Air-Fryer which I’ve spoken about in previous posts and the impressive Master-Prep blender and food chopper (for less than $40) is still going strong four years later (even if the blade is a little dulled at this point).
I decided to purchase the kitchen system since Costco had this unit on sale and the 2-in-1 option (blender and food processor cups) makes it a convenient kitchen appliance to have. Normally, I dislike the “10-in-1” type of products as these appliances don’t often do a good job at what they’re advertised to doing but I’ve found the Ninja products to be fairly impressive thus far, and given my past experience with them, I’m hoping this will apply with this pricey new appliance!
How are you preparing for the new year? Do you have any tips or things you look in 2022