Happy New Year everyone. As I write this the first week of January is over and all around me everyone is starting to get back into the swing of the 9-5. I’m easing back in gently (this week being my first full week at work) and I have spent a lot of time since Christmas reflecting on whether to make any new year resolutions (I usually have some goals or good habits I’d like to develop) and if so, what would these look like?
Instead of the generic ‘exercise more’ or ‘eat more vegetables’ intentions over the last few years I’ve really tried to commit to specific, realistic, achievable goals that won’t leaving me feeling rubbish if I don’t manage to hit them in their entirety.
And for the main, this approach has really worked for me. So instead of ‘exercise more’ it’s been ‘commit to moving once a day however you can’ and that might turn into walking from the train station instead of catching the tube, or fitting in an at home yoga practice when I have the time. By changing the approach and allowing myself permission to adapt and change the goal depending on what life is throwing at me that day I’m actually sticking with things far more than I would have previously (because once you miss one workout and start beating yourself up it’s a slippery slide from there).
And I’ve found it’s the same with food related goals. Some of you may want to lose weight, or feel better, or eat better or sleep better and you may want to try and manage some of that through your diet – which is great by the way, I’m definitely up for everyone taking a little more interest in what they put on their plates. But what I’d like to encourage is a little less restriction and a lot less judgement when it comes to your food.
Extreme diets, cutting out food groups and anything that promises to help you shed pounds super quickly are tempting but to be avoided. So if your new year resolutions include any of that I’m inviting you to perhaps think again.
This year, if you have some food related goals instead of making them super restrictive and harsh why not go for the softer specific yet achievable approach? For example:
Instead of ‘I need to lose weight, I’m going on a diet’ you could try ‘I am committing to increasing my daily vegetable intake and decreasing my daily sugar intake’. That way if you do have the odd bit of cake but you still eat your vegetables you’ve not failed at anything and you’re less likely to beat yourself up about the odd treat.
Or, if your goal is to ‘stop drinking alcohol and start eating a vegan diet’ you could try ‘I am committing to reducing my alcohol consumption and increasing the number of plant based meals my diet contains’ so that again, if you do find yourself having the odd glass of wine or eating some fish you’ve not broken any resolutions and are less likely to beat yourself up about your choices.; it’s about finding a balance.
I’ve found that true success with resolutions comes with persistence and a dose of self kindness. Consistently giving yourself a hard time or going crazy because you’ve already ‘broken’ your resolution (why have one éclair when you can have three?!) does nobody any favours and come February you’re probably back at square one but feeling worse.
So this year if you are thinking about setting some goals (and the new year isn’t the only time to do these, I like to check in with myself each month to make sure I’m on track and see if there is anything that either isn’t working well and perhaps needs a little adjustment or recognise when something is going swimmingly) why not try steering away from the traditional ones and go for something kinder and meaningful that won’t leave you feeling like a loser if you don’t manage to hit it all the way – because that is ok too.
My lovely mate Vix over at the Practical Balance has set out her 18 for 2018 here and they are well worth a read if you’re struggling to find some original ideas.
Me? I’m still working them through in my head (because I also don’t believe you have to have everything sorted out before the 2nd January) but for starters I know my year will be about focus (Vix has her word of the year as ‘growth’ which is what I thought mine would be but actually it transpires mine is focus) – as in focusing on the direction I want to take this career change, focusing on how I’m going to achieve this, focusing on what is important to me and what is no longer serving me.
And my intentions for the year are:
- To move every day (sound familiar?)
- To prioritise and practice consistent self care (at least once a week)
- To buy less and cook more (when I’m tired I get lazy and end up buying too much ready made food. It might be healthy ready made food but I want to get back in the kitchen and minimise how much I buy altogether)
- To dedicate my focus into my Nutritional Therapy course when it starts – and to enjoy the process of being a student again without beating myself up when I find it tough going trying to balance everything
I’m also working on some specific goals (like: holding events, writing more guest blog posts, collaborating with some amazing women) but right now I’m happy with the above as general intentions for the year. For me, it’s not just about hitting some targets, it’s about setting up the tone of the year before diving into the ass kicking! Although, I can promise there will be some exciting stuff ahead this year which I will be sharing with you so please do stick around.
So get ready 2018 because I’m coming for ya!
And that, everyone, rounds off the first post of 2018! Thank you for coming back this year and for reading this post. I hopes some of this resonates with you and if there are any specific goals you have in mind for the year, I’d love to hear them, just pop them in the comments below.
Until Sunday, have an awesome week everyone,