Ahh, January 1st. The start of a new decade and a new chapter. It brings a ton of opportunities for goal setting and an energized, refreshed outlook on life. I am someone who looks forward to setting New Year's resolutions and choosing a specific word that I align with for the year ahead.
What I don't love is the onslaught of targeted ads at this time of year (especially towards women) that spew the whole, "New Year, New You!" BS. I'm all about setting goals that light your fire and inspire you, and it's no surprise that the idea of a "fresh start" is what many of us need to kickstart healthier eating habits. However, I will not allow the many fitness and health companies to hone in on me and capitalize upon this moment.
I mean, diets don't work. They don't work on January 1st, they don't work in February, and they don't work in May, when everyone is scrambling to get ready for "bikini season" (I can't even type that without feeling my skin crawl). There's a reason why the wellness industry is worth an estimated $4.2 trillion (with almost 1/3 of that being split between nutrition, weight loss and fitness or exercise).
So what should we do instead? I have a proposition...
Let's focus on behaviour changes that lead to improvements in our overall health and wellbeing. Let's ditch the scale, learn to love our bodies, and flip the bird to the overwhelming amount of companies that are preying on our insecurities. Instead, let's focus on things that make us feel good. How do you want to feel? Physically strong enough to run around and play with your kids? Energized when you get up in the morning? Or do you want to do something that will make you feel proud, like run a 10km? Or be able to do an unassisted pull-up or 20 push ups?
Need some ideas?
Drink more water. Carry a reusable water bottle around with you everywhere and make yourself drink a certain amount each day.
Move your body. Out with your family? Get in the pool. Run around with them at the park. Blast the music and have a dance party in your kitchen. Join in instead of watching from the sidelines and get your body moving. Or simply just take the stairs.
Eat more fruits & veggies. Okay, this is an obvious one. But instead of restricting foods, reach for the good stuff.
Ditch the toxins and go green. It's fairly simple - once we understand what is harmful and what's not, we can then make choices to keep our toxic load as light as possible. It's hard to do better unless we know better! By being aware of and actively reducing our exposure to toxins can drastically impact our health and wellbeing. Need some help? Check out my Ebook Ditch & Switch: A Guide to Detoxifying Your Life.
Be less busy and carve out time for more creative things.
Practice mindfulness. I've posted about creating a gratitude practice on the blog (HERE and HERE), but let's dive into this a bit more in terms of food. We can practice mindfulness when it comes to eating by removing distractions like TV, scrolling through social media, or checking our email. Give yourself time to eat a meal (ideally 15-20 minutes) and really check in with your hunger and fullness throughout the meal. I also encourage you to check out Intuitive Eating (which is a full blog post itself so I won't get in to it on this one!)
Cook one new thing each week. This will help you try more diverse foods and get creative in the kitchen (if that's your thing!)
Leave a comment below and share your New Year's Resolutions!