It seems like there is so much subtle pressure around New Year’s resolutions. Most have spent the previous 3 months, aka, “the holidays,” dismissing the guilt they pretend not to have for excessively partaking in seasonal treats, comforting themselves with the thought that they will turn things around in January. But by January, habits of moving less and eating sweeter are more ingrained than ever. So then comes the fierce resolution that there will be big changes, that certain habits will no longer be tolerated!
But both ends of the cycle can be pretty brutal. Giving into the holiday treats completely doesn’t feel great, nor does excessive self-punishing in January. There can be such an intention to turn things around in a major way and redeem all the lost time and pounds. But it doesn’t need to be that hard.
We have our whole lives ahead of us to establish good habits, and it doesn’t all have to happen in January. This doesn’t mean that we are thoughtless or careless about our goals, but that we are focusing on the long-term rather than on immediate “redemption.” It is better to ease into some better habits of movement and nutrition then to plow into some crazy routine that we end up hating and feeling like a failure before the end of January.
Look at where you are. Look at what where you want to be. Then make a couple of small goals that are easy to move toward. Let’s say you want to move more, drink less pop, and eat more veggies. Your baby steps might start out as shooting for a 20 minutes walk three times a week, drinking one less can of pop a day, and making sure dinner has veggies included.
Keep it simple. Keep it fun. Ease into your resolutions. Be proud of your progress. Keep the whole year in mind, and look forward to who you are becoming through the process.