New Year’s resolutions often include goals of improving one’s physical appearance, but is that really what we should focus on? This year, start with the resolve to respect the body that carries you through life.
Doesn’t it seem like the time is going by faster as each year goes by? For some, their lives continue to speed up as they push themselves to accomplish more with their bodies. By doing so, they spend an astronomical amount of time and energy trying to improve themselves physically.
They are trying to change themselves to be more ‘acceptable’ and live up to some self-imposed standard.
But what if it’s time to throw out the idea that your body needs to change this year, and celebrate the same you in this upcoming new year instead?
It’s common in the the weeks leading up to New Year’s Day to lose all mindfulness around their eating day-to-day and develop an all-or-nothing mentality.
“I’ll eat whatever I want now because in the new year I am going to [insert any unrealistic diet goal].”
And if you find that your traditional health resolutions don’t last and your goals tend to be forgotten by the end of January, that’s because they were set for the wrong reason.
However, your new year has the capacity to start off differently.
Your resolutions shouldn’t be the type that sets you up to feel worse about yourself as you realize micromanaging your body isn’t a sustainable goal. They must be realistic and attainable, and have more depth than simply wishing you had a different body. Those types of resolutions are militant and fill your precious brain space with a dialogue of self-criticism that you don’t need.
So what type of goals are realistic? Respecting your body as it is now.
Recognize that the new year is not about punishing yourself for what you ate over the holidays, nor about being at the gym every morning at 5am because you hate your body. Instead, reflect on all the ways you can honor your body by infusing more variety and joy into your life, and remove activities that you think you ‘should’ be doing.
Set boundaries around conversations that you don’t value, such as body shaming and diet talk. Take time to go through your social media accounts and unfollow anyone who does not make you feel better about yourself. Practice plenty of self-compassion and neutralize the language in which you talk about your body.
Acknowledge you are enough now, even without a New Year’s resolution that involves changing your body.
Make this new year different by leaving behind the ‘black-and-white’ body-related resolutions. Instead, focus on the nuances and opportunities that your intentions hold.
Be kind and take care of yourself this year.
Adapted from the original article.
HEADER IMAGE: IAN SCHNEIDER
Haley Goodrich, RD, LDN is a private practice Registered Dietitian based in Pittsburgh, PA inspiring others to have a healthy relationship with food. Specializing in disordered eating, intuitive eating, and digestive health, Haley’s mission is to show that healthy doesn’t have to be restrictive or defined by how you compare to others. To stay inspired to be your healthiest you, visit Haley at INSPIRD Nutrition.