2019: The Year to Leave Resolutions Behind
The month of January represents so much ~ a time of new beginnings, an opportunity to switch gears and refocus, a period of reflection and growth. It is everyone’s chance to hit the RESET button. Symbolically, it is a powerful, wonderful time. As a dietitian, I love everything about it. The opportunities are endless and offer so much hope. Enter, the New Year’s Resolution….
Resolutions are inherently limiting. People generally focus on what they think needs to be eliminated in order for them to achieve a goal ~ to be healthier, happier, thinner, or whatever other goal they have set for themselves. They commit to the elimination and then subscribe wholeheartedly to executing “the plan.” Often, in the short term, things go well and they may even feel a level of success. But eventually, boredom sets in or life throws them the inevitable curveball and the new plan simply can’t be maintained. It’s impossible. They slowly succumb to their old habits and return back to exactly where they started.
The worst part of resolution season is the inevitable emotional impact. It starts with the feeling of deprivation that immediately accompanies the resolution. As soon as something is deemed “off limits,” it’s natural for that one thing to be all consuming. It’s human nature. When the cycle comes full circle and the old habits have returned, people are left feeling like they have failed. The self-imposed restriction that stood no chance of being maintained long-term, results in feeling of guilt and even shame. But the truth is that committing to a restriction inherently sets you up for failure. You never stood a chance.
This year, I invite you to change it up and look at things completely differently. Rather than approaching 2019 with the “giving up mentality,” I challenge you to think about what you can ADD. What small changes can you commit to TODAY that will have a positive impact on your health?
- Can you add in a few more vegetables?
- Can you drink a little more water?
- Can you add in one meatless meal this week?
- Can you make time for a quick walk during your lunch hour?
- Can you go to bed a little earlier tonight to catch up on sleep?
Doesn’t that feel differently? Adding small, realistic changes feels doable. Better yet – it eliminates all of the feelings of restriction. It draws your attention towards a positive action that you can take rather than focusing on eliminating a negative habit. It’s realistic and allows for flexibility to change things up based on life’s demands. By adding something, you take control, which gives you the power. It offers a completely different perspective ~ one of hope and possibility.
As we head into 2019, let’s swear off resolutions together. Let’s commit to those small daily choices that you can commit to rather than restriction. Let’s make 2019 the best year yet. Happy New Year!
Sarah Marjoram, MS, RDN, LD
A Registered Dietitian supporting nutrition businesses with impactful content and marketing strategy.