If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that our plans must be held loosely. But we still believe in the value of creating meaningful resolutions in the new year, even if we don’t have complete control over our circumstances.
So in 2021, Olin and I hope to:
- Travel more
- Remodel a couple of areas in the barn
- Plan more dinners with friends and family to enjoy the company of these valued relationships
Need some ideas for your own resolutions?
We’ve put together a list of New Year’s resolutions that go beyond the typical set of diet and exercise. These resolutions embrace the whole self—and they’re fun, too!
Learn a new skill.
If learning a new skill is on your 2021 to-do list, you’re in luck. With affordable online learning platforms like SkillShare and Skillpop, you can learn tons of new skills from the comfort of your couch. Heck, you can stay in your PJs if you want. Learn Crayola Calligraphy through Skillpop or Fundamentals of DSLR Photography through Skillshare—and those are just two of the hundreds of classes available for you to choose form.
Or how about a skill that can be passed down to future generations—like baking sourdough bread?
Learning to bake bread became a popular activity when everyone was at home last spring (does anyone remember the empty flour shelves at grocery stores?), but this is a lifelong skill that shouldn’t stop once the world returns to normal. I first learned to bake bread from yeast when I was in my mid-20s after I received a bread making machine as a gift. I loved how the aroma of fresh-baked bread filled the house! Eventually, my Aunt Susan started making sourdough bread and the entire family fell in love with her bread (if you’ve had homemade sourdough bread, you get it!). After I jumped off the corporate ladder in 2013, I asked my aunt to teach a class on sourdough bread at the farm… and the rest is history!
Multiple times a year at Stoney Creek Farm, we offer my Southern Sourdough Bread & Cinnamon Rolls class. And every time, the class sells out. So we decided to package up this popular class into a learn-as-you-go online course accessible to anyone, anywhere!
If you want to learn to bake bread in the new year, this course will teach you everything you need to know to get started. Take a look at my Sourdough Bread & Cinnamon Rolls Online Course here.
If you prefer in-person learning and are local to Middle Tennessee, we also offer classes right here at Stoney Creek Farm several times throughout the year. Coming up in February we have classes teaching you how to make your own dairy products and how to grow your own mushrooms through log cultivation.
Embrace your inner artist.
Folks, crafting isn’t just for kids. Studies show that making time for creativity isn’t only a fun alternative to Netflix binges, but it’s good for your brain, too, as it helps to ward off cognitive decline.
So resolve to turn off the TV and connect with your inner artist in the new year.
Make a list of crafts to work on throughout the year with these ideas:
Consider implementing a craft night as a weekly or monthly activity for the whole family!
Lower your grocery bill by preserving your garden bounty.
We don’t stop enjoying our garden bounty after the first frost. Nope, we’ve got an entire pantry full of our preserved veggies that we can whip out all winter until the next summer harvest rolls around.
Not only does this reduce food waste, but we estimate that we save at least 60% on our grocery bill each year through growing and preserving our own food. As an added bonus, our cousin, Keith, provides for us pasture-raised pork and beef, and we save at least 30% for healthier meat by buying in bulk.
Get started preserving your own healthy food with these two recipes from my family.
Start an herb garden.
Fresh herbs plus saving money equals a happy cook in the kitchen. An herb garden is an easy way to save some bucks at the grocery store. Plus, no more throwing away spoiled, unused herbs when you can snip a few sprigs from your own herb garden.
Apartment dwellers, fresh herbs are not out of reach for you, either. Learn how to grow an indoor herb garden here.
And you might know what we’re going to say next: preserve, preserve, preserve. With these 2 methods, you can preserve your homegrown herbs for up to a year.
Reclaim the lost art of letter writing.
The typical American spends 11 hours staring at a screen each day. And while Zoom and Facetime have helped us stay connected to our loved ones in 2020, our eyes and our brains are in severe need of a tech break.
Turn off the screen and resolve to send some happy mail this year through a handwritten letter. After all, who doesn’t love a surprise in the mail—a note beyond a stack of bills and ads? Your letter-writing resolution can be as simple as aiming to write one letter a month to let a loved one know you’re thinking of them.
Make your mail sustainable with a seed paper envelope. When planted, the seeds embedded in the envelopes will germinate and grow wildflowers!
Embrace minimalism in your wardrobe.
I’m a big fan of a capsule wardrobe—a mix-and-match compact wardrobe that can transition between styles and seasons all year long. My goal is to have 10-12 key pieces that I can dress up or down with accessories.
My other rule of thumb when it comes to clothing: if something new goes in my closet, something old goes out—I either donate or repurpose this clothing item.
If you work on a farm like me, I suggest getting your “farm” clothes, like t-shirts, from a place like Goodwill or a local ministry thrift store. Why buy new when you know it’s going to get dirty the moment you get to work?
Learn more about embracing wardrobe minimalism with these 5 Ideas for Repurposing and Recycling Your Clothing.
We at Stoney Creek Farm wish you a happy and sustainable New Year full of blessings, community, and joy!