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A Challenge For the New Year


I’ve had an interesting relationship with “New Year Resolutions” down through the years. I really enjoy contemplating and crafting purpose statements and reflecting on potential changes for different areas of my life. And that time to think deeply about my “ideal life” has definitely borne fruit. But I usually get too complex in setting up corresponding changes for the new year, and my well-intentioned efforts have a hard time surviving January.


This year I’ve been reading a fascinating book titled Essentialism. The premise of the book is that many of the areas where we place our efforts in life don’t create much of a lasting impact in our lives. Therefore, if we want to create lasting change, we need to determine what are the vital issues. What are the areas where a simple incremental change will yield large benefits?


I’ve been asking myself that question in regard to various areas of my life, and this past weekend I came to the area of cooking/eating/nutrition. There are a lot of issues that I want to pursue in this area to lead to a healthy and enjoyable relationship with food and the whole food cycle:

  • What types of food do I want to eat, considering both health and enjoyment?

  • Does where I get my food make a difference?

  • Are there ways to “simplify” the food preparation process to aid in the goal of making food enjoyable and healthy?

  • Are there things that I am doing, without thinking about them, that are sabotaging my goal of making food healthy and enjoyable?

I know, I overthink things. But some of the “thought trails” that these questions are generating will, I think, pay dividends … if I am willing to complete the process all the way to specific action steps.


So what’s my challenge to you this second week in January? Take the time to do some basic thinking about what you want your relationship with food to look like in 2023. If you want to eat in a more healthy manner, take some time to think through what that might look like. What are the healthy ingredients you want to stock in your pantry? And what are the unhealthy ingredients you need to get out of your pantry so that you won’t be tempted in a weak moment? If you want to make the process of cooking more enjoyable, do you have the right tools? Or do you have way too many tools so that you have a hard time finding what you need when you need it? What are some incremental “next steps” that you could take now to make the rest of your year easier and more enjoyable?


Send me your commitments for 2023 when it comes to food and cooking (robby@kneadedkitchens.com). And I’ll keep you up to date on where my thought processes lead.

By Robby Richardson
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