It probably doesn’t surprise you that losing weight consistently tops lists of common New Year’s resolutions. After December, a month a month full of holiday parties where most of us have eaten more than our fair share of festive sweets and calorie-rich comfort foods, it may feel like a natural time to “cleanse,” to “work out five times a week,” to “only eat whole, natural foods right off the vine,” etc…
Healthy intentions can be beneficial, but all of the hype around diets and fitness can also make us feel less than stellar about ourselves, like we need a beauty overhaul. Here’s some resolutions that you can make that have nothing to do with losing weight.
Resolve to be less self-critical.
Notice how news articles, TV segments, and advertisements are encouraging you to diet and hit the gym. How is this making you feel? Probably not awesome. Focus less on what you need to do to change, and focus more on your personal strengths, what you’re happy about right now, and what you did well last year. Expressions of gratitude are clinically proven to improve your well-being and can have positive effects on your self-confidence and your ability to achieve your goals.
Resolve to make a resolution only if YOU want to!
If you make a resolution, make it because you want to make it, not because you feel like you have to. And if you decide to be healthier next year, remember that you don’t have to go to extremes just because it seems like others are. You can decide what your New Year’s resolution is, and you can decide how you are going to accomplish it.
Resolve to set realistic intentions and goals.
Setting realistic milestones for yourself makes you more likely to achieve them and can have a positive effect on your self-esteem in the long run – especially if they’re about weight loss. Setting lofty goals like “a six-pack by February” or “learn a new language by summer” and then missing them can make you feel like you’re failing, and this can cause your confidence to dive. This is part of the reason many people abandon their resolutions all together. Set small goals you think you can achieve and build from there.
Resolve to make a resolution that doesn’t involve “fixing” yourself.
Remember that we have additional options when it comes to our dreams for the New Year. Think about goals that will contribute to your happiness like more time with friends, volunteering, or trying an activity you’ve been wanting to try (starting a YouTube channel, fashion design, cooking, hiking, anyone?)
So, what’s your plan for the new year?