Back on January first, I gave a lot of thought to whether or not I wanted to make any New Year’s Resolutions. Last year, I made up quite a list of things I wanted to accomplish or create habits of my life, and to be honest I don’t think I achieved a single thing on that list.
I often struggle with personal goals, as being an Obliger means I generally need external accountability to truly hold me to something. While I have been able to get some healthy habits started in the last months (which are far from perfect, but still going well!), this is more the exception that makes the rule.
That being said, I did make one resolution that in the end has helped me both health-wise as well as financially – to no longer buy food from our company canteen.
When I first mentioned it to my colleagues (to get that external accountability going!) they naturally asked why I didn’t just take the healthier options available, like the salad bar. If only it were that easy… Despite many times trying to moderate myself on the canteen offerings, I’ve just learned when it comes to the willpower to resist the fries at the hot meal station, I just cannot consistently do it! For me and fries, it’s all or nothing. The good thing is, this decision comes with the added bonus of eating less meat from questionable origins and sauces with mysterious additives.
It’s not always been easy – we don’t have any alternate lunch options in the area, so by choosing not to eat in the canteen it means I have to bring my lunch every day. Some lunches have been more inspired than others, but so far I am on track, even if it means throwing together all the loose bits in the fridge first thing in the morning to achieve it!
Other than the external accountability of announcing my decision to my colleagues (because let’s be honest, they probably don’t remember this proclamation anymore anyway), I have one other lever to help ensure my success. At my company we have to load our security badges with money to then pay for the canteen or the vending machines. So by not putting any money on my card, I force myself to stick to my resolution! Or at least, if I were to break it, it would have to be much more intentional than just mentally trying to stay away from the fries 😉
This isn’t to say that I am suddenly eating amazingly healthy, in fact it depends on what our dinner was the night before. But we generally try to cook with high quality ingredients, and at least I know where my food is then coming from. But sometimes lunch is the leftover pizza we decided to pick up from the amazing pizza truck parked nearby on Sunday evenings. Or I’ll still eat fries sometimes if we go out to eat. And I’m OK with all of that!