With the holiday season upon us and a new year bearing down fast, I find myself making plans for turning over a new leaf, becoming a new person, or making big changes in the year ahead. I’m sure that most of us have a list of New Year’s resolutions that are strangely similar from one year to the next-lose 10 (or 20, or 50) pounds. Eat more healthfully. Exercise more. Keep my house cleaner. Be more organized. Then we start out like a house on fire for the first two weeks of January. By mid February we’ve lost all momentum and revert to just being…ourselves.
I’ve done this more times than I can count. I don’t know about you, but every time I make these resolutions and fail, I feel just a little bit worse and my self esteem takes another hit.
Well, I have a newsflash for you-RESOLUTIONS DON’T WORK!! They are rarely realistic. We bite off more than we can chew and expect a complete lifestyle shift and look for huge results very quickly. They seem to be more about what NOT to do, than what TO do, which to me feels more like punishment than anything else.
This year I’m doing something different. I’m making a whole new and different set of resolutions that just might be more realistic, and at the very least will be more fun. Here’s what I’ve come up with:
DO MORE THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY
For me, this means spending time with friends. Going to more movies. Playing with more puppies. And yes, sometimes it means lying around watching the Food Channel. Find the things that make you happy, no matter what they are, and do those things more frequently. Of course destructive habits don’t fall into this category. Please don’t take up smoking or drugs; they won’t make you happy, believe me.
SPEND MORE TIME IN NATURE
I love hiking, even in the winter. Walks make me feel wonderful, and when I can’t garden I pore over seed catalogs and dream of all the fresh veggies I’ll be cooking with in the summer. Lakes and rivers abound here in Minnesota, and I resolve to visit more of them. Nature has so many ways to make us healthy-mentally and physically. Even just a few minutes a day is enough to boost your mood.
EAT MORE FOOD THAT I LOVE AND THAT LOVES ME BACK
Being a nutritional therapist, I know what foods are extremely nutrient dense and healthful. As a chef, I know how to cook those foods so that they’re extremely tasty and fulfilling too. Foods that don’t fit these criteria are easy to find and easy to eat, but they don’t make me happy. And doing things that make me happy is my number one resolution!
MOVE MY BODY IN WAYS THAT ARE FUN FOR ME
Exercise can feel like a chore. Time has to be carved out to go to the gym, and you have to keep track of your heart rate, how much weight you’ve lifted, how many reps and sets, and all that jazz. I resolve to move every day, but in ways that I love-like dancing, walking, and hiking (spending time in nature kind of takes care of this resolution. The whole two birds one stone thing). I’ve never been much of a sports person, but a few years ago I started learning to fence and swordfight. I highly recommend it-great exercise and so much fun! I resolve to find a way to get back to that. If you’ve ever wanted to try a new sport, do it! You’ll feel wonderful, I guarantee it.
STOP BEING SO HARD ON MYSELF
I have a tendency to set unrealistic and unreachable goals for myself. When I see that I will never attain them, I get depressed and start saying very mean things to myself. I have an extremely unfriendly voice in my head and I need to make that voice quiet down. A new, kinder voice needs to start being heard. How many of you out there have this problem?
SPEND MORE TIME WITH LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE
When you are a solo business owner, it’s easy to become isolated-sitting in an office alone writing a blog, for instance. It’s so important to have people around to support and encourage us, and that is one of my biggest life goals at the moment. I also really love being part of a support system for other people, particularly those people who are looking for help with their nutritional needs. It is very fulfilling for me to teach people how to nourish themselves, and watch them start feeling better!
Has this list been helpful for you? What resolutions are you making for yourself this year? Whatever they are, make them fun and life affirming!
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year!
See you in 2018,