New Year’s Resolutions
Happy 2019! We hope the New Year brings joy and peace to all. As the New Year begins many will set New Year’s resolutions. How will you decide what your resolution will be? Often times, we set them based on what we think we “should” be or do. Others have given up on setting New Year’s resolutions due to failure in the past. The problem is not failure. It is our expectations and shame around goal setting. We often set vague goals or forget about the small goals that we need to set (and meet) to reach the larger goal. Two common goals are often eating healthy and losing weight. Self-talk is very important; for many “should” is strongly paired with shame. We invite you to make New Year’s Intentions instead. The difference is we can set an intention and if we do not achieve it, the feeling is not shame or guilt. In addition, set up small steps each day. Each day, review your success and set a new intention each morning. Below are some examples:
If you would normally set a goal of Eating Healthy, instead set an intention to drink an extra glass of water, eat one more piece of fruit, one more serving of vegetables, eat a healthy protein, or eat a healthy fat (yes, fats can be healthy). At the end of the day, if you cannot identify engaging in an activity related to your intention, you still have time to be successful. Just pick from the list and do it. For example, have a glass of water before bed.
If you were to set a goal to lose weight… Don’t! There are too many steps and there is not enough reward. Instead break it up.
The intention to “get in shape.” What does this even mean, you are a shape and you are beautiful. If you would like to be more fit, set an intention each day that works toward this. For example: walk 100 more steps today, do 5 push-ups, walk an extra flight of stairs, do 5 sit-ups. If it is bedtime, you can lay in bed and do leg lifts to meet your intention for the day.
We would recommend a journal were you record your success. If you did not meet your intention and cannot do anything to meet it, be kind and loving to yourself. Tell yourself tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity. Evaluate your intention: was it realistic to meet it? Is it really important to you or is it a society based “should?”
Elizabeth Flynn, PsyD/Licensed Psychologist