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Health

Therapist completes a 'year in review' for the past 5 years. Here are his biggest lessons.

The alternative to New Year's resolutions helps make goals based on self-reflection rather than lofty ideals.

past year in review, chris cordry
Photo by Paico Oficial on Unsplash

Imagine making decisions based on what has proven to make you happy.

We’re still fairly early into January, and definitely only into the early stages of 2023. And that means that New Year’s resolutions are still the topic of many conversations—whether they pertain to health, productivity or general satisfaction with life.

However, it’s no secret that the standard New Year’s resolution, however inspired it may be at first, often loses its luster after a short amount of time. Though there can be several reasons why, the common conundrum has many folks looking for more personalized approaches that they can actually stick to.

As it turns out, the best way forward might actually be a quick look into the past.

Those well versed in personal development might be already familiar with a common alternative to the New Year’s resolution called the “past year review.” This method was popularized by “The 4-Hour Workweek” author Tim Ferriss, and is often described as a more informed and actionable way to approach goals.


The idea is pretty straightforward—create two columns marked “positive” and “negative," then go through your previous year's calendar or schedule week by week and jot down the people, activities and commitments that triggered either positive or negative emotions for that month. Once you’ve gone through all 12 months, take note of what things most affected you, either positively or negatively. Lastly, schedule more of the positive things and less of the negative things. The whole process should take an hour or less.

past year in review

A simple list can reveal a lot.

Photo by Lauren Sauder on Unsplash

It’s a simple process, but it can offer profound insight. Take it from Chris Cordry, LMFT, who’s done it for five years now. Since 2018, Cordry has quit three different jobs, started his own business and taken extended travel trips—all “big leaps” he credits to starting this tradition in 2018.

For 2023, Cordry collected five years worth of data from his previous past year reviews (PYRs) and documented his findings in a blog post on his website.

Below is a quick recap of what he found to be the most powerful lessons:

Learning

Courses of all kinds were found valuable, although Cordry noted that taking more than one “online class at a time is a recipe for failure.” He also recalled that in-person classes were particularly “socially stimulating.”

Travel

Now that he’s older, Cordry finds traveling with friends or family creates a more positive memory than traveling solo—which he used to do for months on end, but now finds he gets lonely or depressed. Just goes to show that values change over time.

new years resolutions

Some like to travel in groups. Others prefer solo.

Photo by Felix Rostig on Unsplash

Creativity

Again, doing activities with people provided the most enjoyable experiences—Dungeons & Dragons, performing at poetry readings and going to movies with friends made it to the top of Cordry's list.

Work and Career

This area is where the “not to do list” becomes vital, Cordry warns, admitting that he continued several things from his list well into the following year, with “predictable consequences”—things like long draining commutes, long hours or working during important holidays. All of which stopped happening once he started his own business.

Though establishing a healthy work-life balance will look different to everyone, Cordry notes that time management is a major factor. “Having too much free time is just as bad as being busy and stressed out,” he writes. “All that time tends to get filled with low-quality activities like internet browsing, binge-watching, and overthinking.”

Relationships

The data was clear—moments with close friends and family yielded some of the most positive emotions and experiences, accounting for 80% during five years. Even attending parent-teacher conferences for his daughter felt “impactful.” Therefore, more trips and activities shall be scheduled.

Mental Health

Sunlight, fresh air and exercise can be powerful mood boosters. Cordry also learned that shorter, more frequent meditations as a daily practice made a bigger difference than long retreats.

Much to his surprise, COVID-19 didn’t affect his mental health at all, since he accepted that it was outside his control. What did make him suffer were the things he didn’t accept. Something I’m sure a lot of us can relate to.

meditation

Daily meditation can be just as impactful as long, less frequent meditation.

Photo by Ian Stauffer on Unsplash

Though this is a self-reflection, it’s easy to see the PYR’s universal appeal—this kind of insight can be hugely beneficial for shaping a life that aligns with one’s true values. Obviously there’s no foolproof way to achieve successful goal setting, but this approach at least takes into account previous patterns, rather than forcing someone to walk blindly into the future under the premise of a “fresh start.”

You might be thinking—great, cool, I didn’t keep a journal or planner this year, so this is all meaningless. To that, Cordry has a few suggestions, like going through photos on your phone, as well as reviewing books you’ve read, films and shows you've watched, classes you've taken, music you've listened to, sites you've bookmarked and posts you've made to social media.

“Even just picking a couple of these can give you some perspective on your year,” he told Upworthy. “This can surface fun moments you may have forgotten about, as well as show you who you're spending your time with, and how.”

Experience might be a great teacher, but we still must sit down to study it. 2023 has only just begun. Whatever your goals are, perhaps one of the kindest things you can do for yourself is acknowledging what has brought you this far, in order to move forward in a healthy way.

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O Organics make eating organic affordable

True

Friendsgiving might have started as a novel alternative to Thanksgiving, but today it’s an American holiday in its own right.

For many, especially millennials and Gen Zers, Friendsgiving offers an opportunity to get creative with their celebrations without being obligated to outdated, even problematic traditions or having to break the bank.

However, some of us might not want to go to the extreme of only having pizza and beer. What if there were a way to balance the decadence of a traditional Thanksgiving meal while still keeping it easy and laid-back? And could we make it healthy too?

As it turns out, we can.

Here’s a super simple breakdown of what your next Friendsgiving prep could look like. An appetizer, salad, side, entree, and dessert. All done in an hour—even quicker if you assign certain dishes to different partygoers. #spreadsheetsrule

But wait, it gets better—all of these meals can be made organic at an affordable price, using O Organics® at Albertsons. O Organics helps shoppers find quality ingredients at reasonable prices every day of the year. Friendsgiving is no different.

Without further ado, let’s get cooking!

Appetizer: Charcuterie Board


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Nothing quite hits like the fancy, grown-up version of Lunchables. Crackers, meats, cheeses, and various fancy toppings that can be combined in endless ways. The easiest form of culinary creativity there is.

You already know how to make one of these bad boys, but here’s a basic template if you’re needing a dose of inspo:

Meats: Some tasty choices here are salami, prosciutto, sausage, etc. I made a smaller-scale board and decided to go with salami. If you or your friends aren’t a fan of pork, sliced turkey or smoked salmon are some yummy alternatives.

Cheese: The possibilities are endless here. You can even opt for a dairy-free cheese option!

Bread or Crackers: Artfully arranged. Speedily snacked upon. Some O Organics options here and here.

Fillers: this is where the charcuterie really shines. Fill in the spaces with splashes of color and flavor. Be sure to go for both savory and sweet. That means olives, sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, nuts, and a vibrant array of fresh or dried fruit. A yummy fruit spread doesn’t hurt either.

Time: 5 min

Salad: Squash And Feta Salad

Ingredients:

(3-4 servings)

1 small red onion (O Organics sells them in a bag)

1 bag O Organics frozen Butternut Squash

6 cups fresh O Organics spinach, arugula, kale, or whatever salad green you like

1/4 cup O Organics pecans

1/4 cup O Organics Extra Virgin Olive Oil

O Organics Lemon and Olive Oil Salad Dressing

CrumbledO Organics Goat Cheese

Salt and pepper

Chop some onions. Sautee them in olive oil. Add a bag of frozen squash. Dress some salad greens with dressing. Add the onions and squash. Top with pecans, cheese, salt and pepper. Badda bing badda boom.

Time: 10 minutes

Side: Autumn Seasoned Air Fryer “Roasted” Potatoes

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As any millennial will tell you, we love our air fryers. Nothing quite ticks all the quick, easy and healthy boxes quite like one. And if you haven’t yet had a perfectly crispy on the outside, buttery soft on the inside air fryer potato, then what are you waiting for?

Ingredients:

One 3 pound bag of O Organics red or russet potatoes—honestly any potato will do

2 Tablespoons O Organics olive oil

1 tsp Italian Seasoning

That’s it. No really.

Cut potatoes into one-inch pieces. Coat with olive oil. Sprinkle seasoning. Cook in an air fryer at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Toss the potatoes in the basket and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes or until tender and crisp.

Time: 20 minutes. TOPS.

Entree: Coconut Chicken Curry

cravingsomethinghealthy.com

Because who needs turkey? This one pot piéce de rèsistance is the very essence of Friendsgiving—unique, versatile and not without a little spice.

Being the entree, this dish calls for a few more ingredients, but is honestly not much more demanding. You’re basically looking at 15 minutes for prep, and about 30 minutes to simmer.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon O Organics olive oil

1 medium onion diced

2 teaspoons ginger minced

2 teaspoons green curry paste

2 teaspoons curry powder

2 cups O Organics Thai Style Curry Chicken Broth

1 large sweet potato peeled and cut into 1-inch dice

1 15-ounce can O Organics full-fat coconut milk

2 ½ cups O Organics cooked chicken breast

1 8.8 ounce package O Organics 7 Grains & Lentils Blend

1 16 ounce bag of O Organics frozen peas

½ teaspoon salt or to taste

Lime juice

Cilantro

Chopped O Organics cashews to garnish

Using a Dutch oven (or large pot with a lid), saute the onion and ginger in olive oil over medium heat, for about 4 minutes. Add the curry paste and curry powder and saute for one more minute.

Add the Thai Style Curry Chicken Broth and the diced sweet potato. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then cover with a lid, reduce the heat to medium-low and catch up with friends for 20 minutes while the dish simmers.

When the sweet potato is tender, shake the can of coconut milk well and pour it into the pot. Add the chicken, 7 Grains & Lentils Blend, and peas. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and let the curry simmer for another 10 minutes.

Congrats! You are finished. You can add salt, lime juice, cilantro, extra curry powder/paste, or garnish with roasted cashews. Each bowl is customizable.

Time: 40 min

Dessert: Holiday Kettle Corn Bark

onbetterliving.com

Of course, you can always opt for pie, but sometimes people might want to opt for something a bit more bite-sized when it comes to desserts—especially after a hefty meal. This sweet and salty finger food does the trick quite nicely.

Ingredients:

1 bag (6 oz) O Organics Kettle Corn Organic Popcorn (about 9 cups)

1 bag (10 oz) O Organics Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

8 oz white chocolate, broken into small pieces

1 cup pistachios, roasted and salted

2/3 cup O Organics Dried Cranberries

2 tbsp O Organics Organic Coconut Oil

1 tsp salt

Line a 12x17-inch baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. Spread kettle corn on the lined baking sheet in one thin single layer. Put the semi-sweet chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Drizzle the melted chocolate evenly over kettle corn, reserving about a 1/3 cup for finishing touches. Sprinkle the pistachios and cranberries over the kettle corn evenly.

Follow the same melting instructions for the white chocolate, then drizzle evenly over the kettle corn. You can follow with any remaining semi-sweet chocolate for a layered effect. Let the kettle corn stand for 5 minutes.

Place the kettle corn bark in the freezer for 10 minutes to harden. Once the bark has hardened, break into pieces.

Time: 20 minutes.

OR…if you want to make life even easier…just grab some pints of ice cream and call it a day. No judgment here.

Time: literally a few seconds to open the freezer and grab some bowls.

And there you have—a no muss, no fuss, healthy and affordable Friendsgiving spread. Spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your chosen family.

Get to your nearest Albertsons today and find everything you need to make these yummy dishes! No Albertsons in your area? You can also find O Organics products exclusively at Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, ACME, Shaw’s, Star Market, Tom Thumb, Randalls, and Pavilions.

A young woman drinking bottled water outdoors before exercising.



The Story of Bottled Waterwww.youtube.com

Here are six facts from the video above by The Story of Stuff Project that I'll definitely remember next time I'm tempted to buy bottled water.

1. Bottled water is more expensive than tap water (and not just a little).

via The Story of Stuff Project/YouTube


A Business Insider column noted that two-thirds of the bottled water sold in the United States is in individual 16.9-ounce bottles, which comes out to roughly $7.50 per gallon. That's about 2,000 times higher than the cost of a gallon of tap water.

And in an article in 20 Something Finance, G.E. Miller investigated the cost of bottled versus tap water for himself. He found that he could fill 4,787 20-ounce bottles with tap water for only $2.10! So if he paid $1 for a bottled water, he'd be paying 2,279 times the cost of tap.

2. Bottled water could potentially be of lower quality than tap water.

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At this point you don't have to be a Swifty to know that Taylor Swift is dating Chiefs' tight end, Travis Kelce. You don't even have to be a Chiefs fan to have knowledge of this information because Swift's fans will make sure the word reaches the penguins in Antartica. While this obviously isn't Swift's first romance (she's had a long career singing about her love life), it is the first time where two she's merged two seemingly opposite worlds.

When Taylor Swift shows up at an NFL game, it's a newsworthy event which is sort of how Americans became aware of the budding love. For weeks you couldn't turn on ESPN without hearing about Swift and Kelce but just as things died down, Swift riled her base back up at a recent concert.

Kelce was in the crowd watching Swift perform her hit song "Karma" when she suddenly changed the lyrics causing the crowd to erupt in screams.

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This could be the guest house.


Inequality has gotten worse than you think.

An investigation by former "Daily Show" correspondent Hasan Minhaj is still perfectly apt and shows that the problem isn't just your classic case of "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer."

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@sadovskaya_doctor/TikTok, Canva

It just might be crazy enough to work

Around 4 million people in the United States suffer from frequent constipation (according to John Hopkins) resulting in 2.5 million doctor visits per year. In fact, constipation is the number one most common gastrointestinal complaint.

Constipation can actually be a complex issue to navigate because it can have a variety of causes, both big and small—a lack of fluids of fiber, reactions to medications, stress, abuse of laxatives. Even a sudden change in environment can trigger it. Ever suddenly have trouble going to the bathroom when you're traveling? You’re not alone.

Our position on the toilet can also greatly affect whether or not we have a healthy bowel movement. And while you may have never attempted this unconventional configuration, one doctor swears it’s number one for number twos.
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via Pixabay

A father reads with his baby.

The change from being without a child to a parent is a whirlwind that happens overnight. Babies demand so much care and attention that it’s easy to feel you’ve lost the life you had before and traded it for a little human who needs to be fed, rocked, supervised, played with, and changed 24-7.

Having a baby is exhausting, and it can be challenging for parents to admit that, for most of us, life pre-baby was much more fun than after the new arrival.

A 33-year-old Redditor named RCerberus90 took to the Parenting forum to ask if he’s ever going to be able to enjoy the life that he knew before having kids, and he received a lot of support from parents who told him it gets better.

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Overwhelmed new mother hears the perfect parenting advice from her mom on doorbell cam

Monica Murphy was just one month into welcoming her third child into the world.

@monica_murphy/Instagram

Sometimes mom knows just what to say

“How on earth can one person do it all?”

This is a question so many mothers ask themselves. Especially after giving birth, when life seems to expect them to take care of their newborn, get their body back, return to work and keep a clean house all at the same time.

It’s a question that had completely overwhelmed Monica Murphy, only one month into welcoming her third child, while still recovering from a C-section and taking care of her other children, who were also nursing, according to Today.com.

Luckily for Murphy, her mom had the perfect piece of advice to ease her troubled mind. And luckily for us, it was all caught on the family’s doorbell cam.
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