Resolution Solutions: Barriers To Your Goals

Even well-written goals can fail. And that failure may not come from the goal itself, but from life circumstances that get in your way. The key is to acknowledge that there are barriers, identify what they are, and then plan a fix for them.

There are so many kinds of barriers that it would be impossible to list them all in a blog post. It would be easier to have a method for finding yours.

Get into the practice of looking backward when you find that you did not complete a goal and reconstructing just what happened. This sounds simple to do, but it’s really not because you can be so rushed to get things done that you really never take stock of what happened!

When you pause to find that you missed a goal for the day, piece together the events that led to the moment when that incompletion happened. Think about the reasons why, and what would need to change in order for it to be complete the next day.

Making this a practice will help you be more self-aware of your goals and your own efforts to achieve them. It will also help develop the vital life skills of self-reflection and correction, which you could use in many aspects of your life!




Resolution Solutions: Face Forward

The new year is a time when people often reset expectations for themselves, to have a brighter future.

One great exercise in facing forward is to answer the following:  Life is short, so today I will [fill in the blank].

Take a moment each morning to reflect on what you can do to get the most from the time we have.

This simple exercise can be a potent daily reminder of what is truly important, and what may be simply a distraction.

Not only does this help our mental peace of mind, but can also improve our current and long-term health.



Resolution Solutions: One change solves two problems

In the new year, many people make resolutions to better manage such things as their finances and their health. But there is one activity that can allow you to do both: make your own food in your own home.

For example, eating out might cost $10 for breakfast, $15 for lunch, and $25 for dinner. Over a week, this equals $350 each week! What could you purchase for $350 per week!? Compare this to your weekly grocery bill, and think about how much you could save by simply making your own food in your own home.

For your health, eating at home is far better for you. For example, 80% of sodium and 70% of sugar consumed is obtained through foods purchased outside the home. When you make your own foods, you’re automatically eating better foods because zero people add hydrogenated oils and synthetic food ingredients to their plate — let alone those pounds of salt and sugar!

So, making your own food in your own home is a total resolution solution that not only kills two birds with one stone, but is super tasty too!



Crockpot Chili

Chili works well for a afternoon meal while the football games are on and family and friends have gathered.

You’ll Need

  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup chopped mushrooms
  • ¾ cup chopped onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce
  • 28 ounces stewed tomatoes
  • 15 ½ ounces kidney beans, cooked
  • 1 teaspoon red cayenne pepper


  • Brown beef, drain fat and put in Crockpot.
  • Add rest of ingredients, except kidney beans.
  • Cook on low 8-10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours.
  • Stir occasionally.
  • Add beans about 1 1/2 hours before you serve.

Pumpkin and Ginger Scones

Holiday scones anyone? Give this wonderful recipe a try and it’s great way to use leftover pumpkin puree.
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée, well drained, canned 
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup chopped candied ginger
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Sift together the flours, salt, ginger, baking powder and baking soda. Place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade.
2. Add the butter to the food processor, and pulse several times until it is distributed throughout the flour. The mixture should have the consistency of coarse cornmeal.
3. Beat together the pumpkin purée, buttermilk and maple syrup in a small bowl, and scrape into the food processor. Add the ginger, and process just until the dough comes together.
4. Scrape onto a lightly floured surface, and gently shape into a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick. Cut into six squares, then cut the squares in half on the diagonal to form 12 triangular pieces. Place on the baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on a rack.
Yield: 12 scones.


Pomegranate Carrot Salad

This is a unique salad that incorporates in season fruits and veggies and also makes a nice complement to a variety of holiday meals.

You’ll Need
  • 4 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon scallions, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, toss and serve.


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Pecan Pie

You’ll Need

  • 1 pie crust
  • 2 cups pecans
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 stick of melted butter
  • 1 TBSP all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 cup bourbon or brandy (optional)

Beat together the eggs, sugar, salt flour, and butter to make a custard

Warm these over a barely medium flame for about 10 minutes, stirring fairly frequently. Make sure it doesn’t approach boiling.

Remove from heat, add pecans, vanilla, and bourbon or brandy if you choose to add this. Pour into pie crust.

Bake at 325 for 25 minutes until custard is set. Be sure to set your rack up in the middle third of the oven or you might curdle the eggs.

Let it cool until you can.

Golden Fruit Cake

With the holiday season upon us many goodies are being made, shared and enjoyed. Sometimes when people here fruitcake they run. But this is one that will redefine fruitcake. This has been tested and enjoyed many times by family and I and so I wanted to share it with all of you.

Yield: Makes 4 loaves


• 1 7-ounce package marzipan, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

• 1 1/4 cups chopped dried Calimyrna figs (about 6 ounces)

• 3 cups combined chopped dried pears, dried apricots and pitted dates (about 15 ounces total)

• 1 cup golden raisins (about 5 ounces)

• 1/2 cup brandy

• 4 8 x 3 3/4 x 2 1/2-inch disposable aluminum loaf pans, 8 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 2-inch corrugated paper baking loaf forms*or 8 1/4 x 4 1/4 x 2 1/2-inch metal loaf pans

• 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

• 1 1/2 cups sugar

• 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

• 8 large eggs

• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

• 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

• 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 3 cups all purpose flour

• 1 1/2 cups pine nuts (about 6 ounces), toasted


Place marzipan on plate; cover with plastic wrap. Freeze overnight. Combine dried figs and next 3 ingredients in large bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter baking pans or forms. Beat 1 1/2 cups butter, sugar and brown sugar in large bowl until light. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then vanilla, cardamom, nutmeg and salt. Stir in flour in 4 additions. Stir in pine nuts, dried fruit mixture and any soaking liquid from bowl. Gently stir in marzipan.

Divide batter among prepared pans. Place pans on baking sheet. Bake until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool cakes completely in pans on racks. Wrap in plastic. Let stand at least 1 day and up to 3 days at room temperature or chill up to 2 weeks. Serve at room temperature.

Reference: Bon Appetit 1998