Each year millions make New Years Resolutions to only stop them by now. Here’s the time to start setting intentions to make this year the best yet.
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We’re a couple weeks into the new year, and I’m finally getting around to thinking about New Years Resolutions. But I don’t like that term. Anything that makes me feel like I *have* to, makes me anxious and just not want to do it. Even if I set that *have* to, I still can’t. If you’re anything like me, this post is for you. If you’re not and you need some black & white goals, that’s cool, but you won’t find those here.
With my background in nutrition, realizing that focusing on weight loss is futile and frustrating, and my love for good food, I cringe as I see all the “I’m not going to eat any more sugar” resolutions or “once I lose this xxx weight, I’ll be happy” or “I’m not eating any carbs”.
I cringe because they go against everything that I’ve found to be helpful, and because these goals usually make you miserable. This life is short and I strongly believe that it’s one that can be enjoyed. One way to enjoy it to the fullest is to recognize what’s consuming our thoughts. Unfortunately for many women in particular, our thoughts are focused on how our bodies look, how we’re eating and moving, and we connect that with out worth. And the two are actually so not connected.
Again, approaching eating like this is only detrimental to you. It messes with your psyche because our bodies are built to compensate for famine. Our cravings increase, our drive to eat increases, and our preoccupation with food increases to make sure we will do what we can to fuel our bodies. That famine can come from lack of food or depriving ourself from food in general or specific foods.
Anyways, back to setting intentions for the new year. I’ve got 10 simple yet profound intentions that you can consider as we dive deeper into 2019. Hopefully one of these intentions catches your attention and you can explore it a bit more. The point with these intentions is to increase your awareness of how your health habits affect your wellbeing, to create space for other things in life that you really enjoy doing, and to ease the burden that society places on us to be things that don’t really benefit us.
1. Think about joy
I know Marie Kondo is so hot right now, but it’s because she’s onto something. She encourages her clients and audience to ask themselves if their items spark joy. We can do the same with what we’re doing in our life, and I actually believe it’s one of the greatest considerations when setting intentions. Ask yourself, do your relationships, friendships, work, hobbies, etc spark joy (most of the time) if not, reevaluate. You don’t have to dump anyone or walk away from anything, but think about how you feel about what you’re spending your time doing. And I’d also encourage you to take a minute to think about how you’d ideally spend your time. Obviously that ideal is probably not possible, and that’s ok, but it may give you a glimpse into what you expect would spark joy in your life. Then figure out a way to incorporate more activities that spark joy in your life.
2. Do a social media purge
There are so many accounts out there on social media, whether they be friends in real life or celebrities, or gurus, or anything else. There’s so much pressure to be, act, and seem a certain way online, and there’s similar pressure (although more internalized) to follow all of these, especially when they’re people we really know. But in reality, regardless of how real we actually believe these accounts to be, we internalize what we see & comparison starts to creep in and let insecurity and dissatisfaction come through. It’s not at all selfish to put your wellbeing and self first here. We don’t owe anybody anything when it comes to social media, as the producer or consumer. I encourage my clients to take stock of how they feel when consuming social media. And give them full permission to unfollow and mute anything that makes them feel less than. I talk more about social media and give some recommendations for accounts to follow right here.
3. Plan for friend time
The more I talk to clients and friends about what makes us happy and what we wish we had more of, time spent with friends and loved ones is often at the top of the list. For me, as independent as I want to be, as much as I want to be self sufficient and capable, I NEED time with trusted confidants. One of the greatest gifts in this life is connection. As woo-woo as that sounds, I really believe it. Foster friendships, spend time, and be vulnerable. There’s so much to be gained, and so much stress and anxiety to be lost when we can connect. It’s not a fix all by any means, but time with great people is uplifting, enjoyable, and soothing. Especially for those of us who don’t have a significant other, nurturing our friendships and family relationships are so important.
I talk about how entertaining has helped me foster these relationships AND how I make entertaining so easy because I’m lazy over on Facebook. Check it out if you’d like to get a new perspective on entertaining.
4. Eat delicious food
Eating food you enjoy is a huge part of a happy healthy life. Dieting (or restriction) is miserable, boring, and can taste bad, plus it’s not going to help you maintain your weight loss goals. Eating mindfully is a tool that I use to recognize what foods I actually enjoy. There’s something that’s really satisfying about eating delicious food. Satisfaction is an important component of hunger and fullness cues, so it’s something that I encourage people to recognize. Let’s be real, who wouldn’t want to be setting intentions around eating great food this year?
5. Consider ways to add a bit of organization to your life
Ok, Marie Kondo mention #2. I used to be so disorganized and against organization. I recently asked my mom if I could help her organize her pantry. She responded by laughing in my face. It was such an unexpected request for her. But I’ve realized the powerful role that organization has played in my life and in building my business. For me, having systems set up in my business, activities and tasks scheduled, food planned, and an easy to navigate organized pantry, I get stuff done. End of story. Also, a touch of organization and decluttering in your physical space eases anxiety too. It’s kinda like magic. But let’s be real, organizing things can be super overwhelming and feel like you’re diving into a rabbit hole. All I can say in general terms is that organizing can be whatever you need it to be, and you can always adapt and adjust as needed.
6. Recognize your limits and work within them
This goes for tasks, organization, and everything in life. Work within what works for you. And if you don’t know what those limits are or what it would look like, experiment. I’m a huge fan of experimenting with different things in life. Putting the label of experimenting on changing habits or whatever gives you the space to adjust as needed, change things, and hopefully not feel like failing is a bad thing. For me, recognizing my limits has been a huge way for me to grow and accomplish goals and ways of living that I aspire to have. For example, I am the most forgetful person ever. I can tell someone I’m going to do something and then move on to doing something and totally forget to follow through. It’s not productive, and it can be really frustrating. I forget words, tasks, and get sidelined really easily. I decided it wasn’t helpful to continue to get frustrated with this, that wasn’t helping me not forget or actually finish a task. I started setting reminders on my phone, and scheduling reminder calls or scheduling reminders for myself. It’s hilarious, and I feel like Joy in What Happens in Vegas, making a plan to make a plan. Yes it’s silly and a bit obsessive, but in order to actually do the things I enjoy, to get work done, and to keep up with friends, I literally make a plan to make a plan. And it works for me. Work within your limits.
7. Give back
This is something I want to incorporate more into my life. It can be hard to find the time, the right cause, and the consistency to volunteer, but volunteering isn’t the only way to give back. I’d consider kindness and empathy for others to be giving back. Really anything you can do to potentially make someone else’s day better is giving back. If you don’t have the time or ability to go and volunteer somewhere, be aware of how you interact with others, particularly with those who have less privilege than you do. Find ways to smile and acknowledge people, open the door for someone or help someone who could use an extra hand. These small acts add up, and can be impactful. I try to stop thinking and just do if I feel like there’s an opportunity. I remember all the times I was so annoyed that none of the 5 people near me held the door for me as I was carrying boxes outside or a suitcase, that no one acknowledged or laughed with me as I tripped or did something equally scary or embarrassing and funny. Sometimes we just want to be acknowledged and not feel alone, and having someone ask if you’re ok or laugh with you after doing something dumb is a way to connect and show empathy, and for me, it’s worth a lot. Like I said before, connection is huge and connecting with others is giving back.
8. Incorporate kindness
It’s easier to be kind to others (most others at least) than it is to be kind to ourselves. We really do do better, feel better, and focus more on others and helping as needed when we’re kinder to ourselves. We can be less in our heads when we’re kind to ourselves, more in the moment, and just happier when we’re kind to ourselves.
These are some intentions I’m going to continue with this year. I’d love to hear what you think about setting intentions! Leave a comment or send me an email.