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How to End This Year on a High!

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How to End This Year on a High!

    Are you looking forward to the New Year or are you bogged down with unfinished tasks from this year?  No matter what sort of year you have had, you still have the opportunity to end this year on a high, and start the New Year on a positive note.

    You will have had a number of successes in the last twelve months and it is important to acknowledge them. At the same time, you can learn from those things that did not quite go the way you had hoped.

    Here are some simple ways of ending this year powerfully.

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    1. Review the year that is about to end. Write down some of the highlights of all the good things that happened to you. You will be surprised just how much goodness and happiness you have actually had this year. Write down all your achievements such as “I did more exercise”,   “I gave up junk food” or “I wrote a book”.

    2. Share and celebrate your successes this year with your family and friends.  This self acknowledgement and appreciation will be a great platform for the New Year. You deserve it. As usual, being grateful for the goodness already in your life makes it possible for you to receive even more. Celebrating your successes is also a key step in having the confidence to take on new challenges in the New Year.

    3. Send greetings of appreciation and thanks to those people who have helped make this year special for you. Use the normal Xmas paper cards, or better still, be economical and environmentally friendly and use email or internet ecards.  Express gratitude for your past alliances and at the same time, forge stronger friendships for the future.

    4. Review your current to do list for work. Be ruthless and eliminate as many tasks as you can, without doing them. Then choose just one task and get it done before the end of the year. Finally, throw away your unfinished to do list and do not write another one till next year. You will be surprised how great it will feel not having a list of things to do.

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    5. Finish off any unresolved matters. Look at completing any small unfinished and niggling tasks around the house, such as oiling any squeaky door hinges, and make sure that these things do not play on your mind early in the New Year

    6. Clear up some clutter. Go around the house room by room, collect those things you no longer want and either dump or give to a charity shop. Have a clear space so that the New Year can begin to bring you greater prosperity. Be ruthless and do not wait till spring time to clear your unwanted stuff.

    7. Go through your important paperwork and bring up to date as much as possible. You do not want to start the New Year worrying about mundane administration tasks. If you use a computer, then delete any old and unnecessary files and emails.

    8. Review how you have spent your time this year, and identify those things that have been draining your energy. Make a plan to eliminate those relationships that no longer work for you. Look at smarter ways of spending your time.

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    Begin to say NO this year to things that you don’t really want to do. Unsubscribe from newsletters, magazine, email groups so that your time is not cluttered up in the New Year.

    9. Be different and do something new. Before the end of the year, do something that you have never done before. For example, go and see a children’s pantomime on your own, take a city tour guide or dine in a restaurant you would have never thought of trying.  End the year on a new voyage of discovery and child like curiosity.

    10. Start walking every day for at least 20 minutes until the New Year begins. Not only will you feel great but you will be avoiding the weight gain problems so common during the holiday season. Also, you might just enjoy the walking so much that it could become a great new habit for the New Year.

    11. Rest and relax. Though you will get busy with some of the above suggestions, it is also important to take it easy now for a day or two and do nothing. Sleep in all day, or just laze about in front of the TV.

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    Recharge yourself before the New Year kicks in.

    No matter how the year ends for you, just remember that it has been a great year. And next year you can make it even better.

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    Last Updated on January 27, 2022

    5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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    5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

    Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

    “Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

    Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

    Food is a universal necessity.

    It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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    Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

    Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

    Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

    Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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    The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

    Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

    This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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    Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

    Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

    Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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    So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

    Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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