New Year, New You?
New Year, New You? Recently, there has been much conflict over whether “resolutions” are healthy to set. More often than not, resolutions are a great idea. As long as your resolutions are accessible, maintainable, realistic, and healthy, they will be great motivators that bring positive thoughts. It is important to make sure that whatever goals you set for yourself in the new year are important to you deep down; and it is also vital that your goals are realistic, and that they are not harmful or unhealthy to your mind or body. Sometimes, people can get carried away. You don’t need to cut out entire food groups, go on a restrictive diet, or unrealistic workout routine. Other times, it’s the smallest goal or statement that people tell themselves that works best. No one said you have to revamp your entire life when a new year begins, although there are some personality types where that tactic works best.
The end of a year should include a lot of reflection – this allows ourselves to understand what is important, or what bad habits we would like to get rid of, and commit to it in the new year. If it involves fitness, then talk to some work buddies, friends, roommates, siblings, or your significant other, so that you are not alone on this journey. If you prefer to do so alone, find a gym, a trainer, or an at home program that sparks your interest and is varied enough so that it will not bore you.
People always assume that resolutions must be fitness related, but that’s not always true. It can be something totally different. It could be to eat less sweets, consume less alcohol, spend more family time, read more often, find the job you truly enjoy, think more positively, love yourself and your body more… this list goes on and on. It doesn’t always have to be something negative that you need to cut out of your life, it could very well be something positive that you want to include more of in your life.
Think of all of the positive things this past year has brought into your life, large or small. Think of ways you can enhance these aspects, or think of things you can eliminate to make these things even better. You don’t have to change your whole life or make multiple goals; one resolution is perfectly okay. If you don’t like the idea of resolutions, just pretend it is a new day or a new month, and you are planning your schedule ahead of time. Sometimes people can feel trapped by the pressure to maintain a resolution, so make sure it is something that can become natural to your mind, body, or routine. In school, they always emphasized making SMART goals, for business, but this can very easily be applied to your personal life. SMART goal are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. When setting your concentration to something, these are all important aspects to keep in mind. Don’t make a goal that is vague, because then it is easy to cheat yourself, or go too far. If you are able to measure your goals, then the progress is motivating, or a stagnant outcome will allow you to asses what needs to change in your life.
Achievable and realistic are the two most important things for a New Year’s Resolution. If the goal is too far out of your comfort zone and completely unattainable, then that is when people have a yoyo effect, or backwards spiral. This is where the next factor comes in, if the goal is timely. Is it likely to lose 10 pounds in one week? Probably not. Is it possible to lose 10 pounds in a couple of months, or by a specific date for a function coming up? Most likely, and then you have something precise to work towards, and you can gauge your daily goals based off your measurable progress. With the idea of weight and fitness in mind, weight loss does not always mean health for people. If it is done in an unhealthy manner, then you will do more harm than good to your body. Body Mass Index is another option for measurable fitness progress. Your goal can be something as simple as attending a certain number of yoga classes a week, or walking a specific number of miles a week for overall metal and physical health. Your mind and your body have a meaningful connection that will impact your daily life, so it is important to nurture yourself along the way, no matter which path you choose.
Moving forward, here are some things to keep lingering in the back of your head:
Make sure you change for yourself, and don’t let the influence of someone else impact your goals.
Be aware of what you are signing up for if you choose a resolution that can have an effect your everyday life. Keep it realistic.
Progress and success aren't always linear. Life will never go according to plan, but little changes will soon add up.
Don’t forget to prioritize yourself. This means something different for everyone; it could mean more days of self-care, handling emotions better, reading more often, learning when to “say no”, letting go of toxic relationships, etc.
If you are making a resolution that you have tried before and did not succeeded as you would have wished, be prepared with plans to get you where you want to be, and make it happen.
Think of a game plan to keep yourself motivated all year. Monthly, maybe even weekly, check ins with yourself might be a good idea.
Focus on being the best version of yourself. This doesn’t mean changing who you are, it means embracing things about yourself that you might have forgotten or once felt like you needed to hide because of certain people or "societal norms".
Whatever your New Years Resolution might be, or if it is nothing at all, I hope you have a healthy and happy New Year! Enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones.