Many of us end the year with reflections upon how we want to become someone nicer, thinner, healthier or in the new year. We wish it was as easy as picking up the newest, shiniest, flashiest car model from the dealership. How does the saying go? “Out with the old, in with the new!”
Well, healthy resolution-making is much more challenging than trading in your old clunker. The problem comes when you set unrealistic goals for yourself (such as becoming a new person) so that you are doomed to fail. Yet, we keep hoping for that better version of ourselves and so we make the same resolutions every year, making ourselves feel worse and worse every year.
This year, at the start of a new decade, why not be a bit more creative? Dig deep, spend some time really thinking about what a “healthier you” would really look like. It is time to move beyond the “#newyearnewme” mindset (yes that is a hashtag). I am sorry to disappoint you, but you are who you are. Maybe the biggest gift you can give to yourself is to be more accepting and, god forbid, loving of yourself.
In the words of Albert Schweitzer:
“To me, good health is more than just exercise and diet. It’s really a point of view and a mental attitude you have about yourself.”
And this is where some of the really hard work comes in. Because it is so much easier to beat up on ourselves. I give you permission to be kind to yourself this New Year’s Eve. Recognize your own challenges and limitations. Come up with some resolutions that build upon the strengths you already have inside of you.
As author Rachel Macy Stafford writes, “As you assess where you’ve been and where you want to go, you are BECOMING the best version of yourself. Be gentle with yourself; be gentle with others. WE are doing life’s most important work right now.”
Why make New Year’s resolutions?
1. You are more likely to keep them if you make them on the occasion of a new year.
2. You will never realize how successful you can be, unless you try. The only way you will learn is from your mistakes. Don’t be afraid of failure.
3. At the end of the year you are in “reflection mode” and better able to take stock of your successes, failures, goals, and aspirations.
Three keys to making good resolutions:
1. Be specific
2. Be realistic
3. Pick a goal that means something to you
4. Choose a change that you will be willing to make for life (or at least a long time)
5. Follow my grandfather’s KISS strategy: Keep It Simple Stupid!
Another piece of advice for successful resolution-making is to make yourself accountable. You can do this by either writing down your resolutions, or even better, telling other people so they can help support you through this time of change. So, following my own advice, even though it makes me feel a bit squidgy inside here they are!
My 2020 health resolutions:
1. Make one meat-free meal a week for my family.
2. Make one day a week a social media detox day. No Facebook or Instagram for 24 hours.
3. I will try to mentally list 3 things that I am grateful for every night before I fall asleep.
4. I will practice yoga at least twice a week.
Do you need some inspiration for making 2020 your healthiest year yet? The researchers and writers at Healthline media came up with this list of 23 healthy New Year’s resolutions you can actually keep.
I wish you a very happy new year filled with health and wellness. I hope you have the courage to aspire for change- in you, your health, the world. Never give up on what you hope for or dream of. Some of the best days of our lives have not even happened yet. It is up to you to make sure that they do. Happy 2020 and a new decade everyone!