I used to make resolutions based on what I hoped to see change in myself for the next year, but I would never really have a plan or I would hold an attitude of perfectionism that set me up for disappointment, so ultimately it was more-so wishful thinking. I’ve learnt to rethink my resolutions, and I encourage you to do the same.
If you find each year you are making the same resolution, only to see it not come to pass and then make it again the next year, here’s a few new New Years Resolutions I have for you. These resolutions are for mindsets rather than outcomes and here’s why that works: If your resolution is to “lose weight”, “quit smoking”, “exercise more”, etc. you are focusing on an outcome but it’s the mindset that will truly get you there. Having a plan is of course important but it’s keeping your head in the game that produces truly lasting results.
1. Embrace Imperfection: KNOW that whatever you hope to see change, won’t happen without mess ups, setbacks, mistakes, and distractions. When we approach a resolution with a mindset that we have to accomplish it completely or perfectly without fault, we are always left disappointed. For those of you with the “all or nothing” attitude, this can mean that you give up on it completely to just make it a resolution for the following year and repeat the process. Instead, embrace imperfection, knowing that it’s OK if you mess up. SUSTAINABLE change takes time and the ability to fall down and get back up again, and again, and again.
2. Practice Patience: Remember, anything worth accomplishing, takes time, sometimes a lot of time. In this world of everything being at the tip of our fingers, we sometimes forget how reaching most goals is a time consuming process. Day, after day, after day of consistent chipping away at those goals is what works. For weight loss, getting healthier, quitting smoking, getting a degree, whatever it may be – you’ve got to put in the time. So every time you feel fed up, annoyed that things aren’t happening as quickly as you’d like, remember, Earl Nightingale said it best… “Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.”
3. Work Through It, Not Around It: With any change, improvement, goal, or dream comes resistance. Oy, that dang resistance. Sometimes it is inner resistance (fear, doubt, pain) and other times it is external (criticism or opinions). The issue here is that resistance is uncomfortable and inconvenient, so we can often try to work around it by taking shortcuts (that never lead to sustainable change) or ignoring things that need to be addressed in the process. Resolve that no matter what change you are trying to make, you will push through the resistance and avoid taking shortcuts or giving up due to discomfort or inconvenience. It is in the “pushing through” process that we become the people we want to see accomplishing the outcome that we often resolve for in the first place!
4. Love Yourself: Yes, you are making a resolution for change in some way or another, but that doesn’t mean you can’t love who you are here, now, today. When you think of your resolution, is it followed with a …“because I’m too this, or too that, or not this enough, or not that enough, or because I can’t do this, or can’t do that”? We tend to find motivation for change from a place of self-punishment or hatred as opposed to self-love. Unfortunately that kind of motivation is usually short-lived and ends in even more thoughts and feelings of defeat and inadequacy, plus if you don’t love yourself now, it doesn’t matter how skinny, fit, accomplished, whatever you are, you won’t love yourself then either. Trust me on this one. Maybe you don’t necessarily “love yourself” … just yet, but that too can change by prioritizing self-love and learning to see yourself, just as you are, as an amazing, irreplaceable, gift to this earth and all those around you. In the process, keep telling yourself every. single. day. how awesome you are (seriously, say it in the mirror), if that’s hard or uncomfortable, dig deep and do it anyways, the more you love on yourself, the more that love will grow, and those positive changes (resolutions maybe..) will flow!
Over the next few days as 2015 comes to a close, take some time to think ahead but also look back at how much you’ve grown over this past year. That’s exactly what I’ll be doing, and… putting these NEW New Years Resolutions up on my fridge!
Nutritionist in the Kitch