Well after 80 days, we finally made it through what felt like the longest January in history. Welcome to February, the month of straight-to-DVD Lifetime original romance movies, and wishing it were spring! Last month, we challenged you to take on some resolutions that are designed to help everyone have a more amazing year. This month is devoted to your own resolutions. Whether or not you're sticking with your personal goals for 2018, here are some suggestions for late add-on resolutions.
Eat Your Feelings in a Responsible Way
While one of the major cornerstones of February is sweets, where you source your chocolate can make all the difference in terms of its health benefits and impact on the earth. So how do you get that sweet sensation during your annual February 14th ritual while supporting sustainable business practices? The answer is not carob, so let's just leave that back in the 1980s where it belongs. The answer is fair-trade and bean-to-bar chocolate businesses. Fair trade and bean-to-bar chocolates are not only healthier and better tasting, but they are also better for the environment (Independent, 2017) and provide a living wage for cacao farmers and handlers (HuffPost, 2016). I understand that not everyone is celebrating love this February 14th, but there are plenty of reasons to drown your feelings in a few pounds of chocolate. Make sure your pounds of holiday chocolate are not only made of real chocolate, but also sustainably sourced in a non-exploitative way. Check out Missionary Chocolates, one of our favorite places to get chocolate, and click here to get two FREE truffles when you buy a box of five.
Get Your Heart Rate Up
It can be really hard to stick to your New Years resolutions, especially when it comes to exercise. If you're feeling intimidated by gym memberships and not having enough free or family time, biking to work might be the perfect alternative for you. If you can, biking to work can be a very rewarding and easy way to get your daily exercise in. If biking to work sounds daunting, try starting out by biking to a local Farmers' Market on the weekend. Click here to see our long list of offers at local bike shops and save on all the gear you need to get started!
Try Something New and Creative
Don't forget that your creative muscles need a workout, too! Try something less physically straining and consider mental exercise. Books, puzzles, and art are all really beneficial for mental health, especially creativity. If you think you're bad at art, I'm not going to tell you that "practice makes perfect" or "good art comes with time" because regardless of the end result, engaging with your creative side helps decrease the effects of depression, dementia, and isolation (PubMed, 2006). Do what you like and enjoy doing it, even if you can't paint like Rembrandt. Check out SCRAP PDX and save lots of money by buying used materials. Click here to save $2!
Ban the Bland
Had enough of your plain beans and rice? Plain chicken and lentils? Take it up a notch and get out of your comfort zone. 2018 is the year to try new flavors, so prepare your tastebuds because it's time to add some depth to your meals with spices! Apparently the next big foodie craze, Gochujang, is a Korean fermented red chili pepper paste, but if you're like us and fermented spices aren't your thing, check out Lao Gan Ma. Lao Gan Ma is a popular Chinese hot chili oil that is AMAZING on everything. Self care is important and spicing up your dishes is a surprisingly effective way to love yourself. Both of these products are available at Uwajimaya in Beaverton and when you click here you'll save $10!
Out With the Old, In With the New (For You)
So now that you're exercising, being more creative, and eating more responsibly, it's the perfect time to update your wardrobe. I know it's sad, but you know that it is time to let go of that sweater that you haven't worn in five years. The great thing about cleaning out your wardrobe is that now you have space for new things! Stop by Silver Lining and donate your unwanted clothes before checking out their wide selection of gently used and vintage clothes. Click here to save $5! Looking for brand new clothes that are still kind to the environment? Lizard Lounge has a wonderful selection of clothes that are all made from recycled plastic. Click here to save $20!
Lastly, the best way to keep yourself motivated to stick to your resolutions is to treat yourself. Exercise and eating right are important for self care, but so is just sitting back and relaxing. Take a breath, put your feet up, and get a massage. Click here to check out our long list of massage and wellness deals.
Power through February and onto the rest of 2018 with friends. Many resolutions are easier to adhere to with encouragement from your peers, so if you can find someone to join you on your renewal, you can look out for each other.
Keep on keeping on!
Warmest wishes from everyone at Chinook Book