Professional Advice for Your New Year Resolution

Here we are, 2019. I am not sure where 2018 went but it flew by and 2019 is here to stay. I say, “Welcome!”

The New Year is a typical start date for personal goals — those infamous resolutions. I am a fan of self-improvement and new conquests, no question there. Anything that helps you feel as if you are bettering yourself and moving in the right direction is a great place to start the new year and I will wholeheartedly support anyone in that.

The most common resolutions I hear — especially as a dietitian — are those related to health… to eat healthier, exercise more, meal prep, lose weight, etc. The trouble with most resolutions is we seem to always take the angle that they need to come with restriction or pushing ourselves to try things that haven’t worked for us in the past. With that mindset, we may as well lay out the welcome mat for negativity and stress.  

As a health professional, I find immense pleasure in helping people identify how personal goals can have such a positive impact on our lives, as long as we view them with the right perspective. Any goal you set and any resolution you commit to needs to be a positive, sustainable change that will impact your overall wellness. A little louder for those in the back, any new goal in your life needs to come from a positive mindset.

If you have decided to lose weight, great! Just make sure that you are excited about your new journey. If you have decided to eat healthier, awesome! Dedicate yourself to feeling good about that and harness your creativity to make it happen.  If you would like to exercise more, wonderful! Find the type of physical activity you like and figure out the best way to fit it into your schedule.

This positive outlook will help you view your resolutions/goals with a focus on great qualities that will be added to your life (less stress, improved health, etc.). Of course some things will need to change; routines and habits will need to be reevaluated. However, if you view these changes as positive moves towards your health and wellness goals, the changes go from overwhelming burdens to exciting ventures. 

If your resolutions or goals are not coming from a positive place within you, moving forward will only feel like a job, just something else to worry about. That is when we struggle with commitment, make excuses, and “fall off the wagon.” It is a nasty cycle that just leads to stress and anxiety.

You should feel just as good committing to your goals and actively changing behaviors as you did about setting the goal in the first place. When you are really ready to make a lifestyle change, you will have no problem identifying areas for personal improvement.

New Year resolutions often come from thinking that we should make a change. The new year just happens to be a typical starting point. There is never a wrong time to decide to make a change to improve your overall health and well-being.  It can be January 1st; it can be your next birthday or a season of your choice.

Whatever the time, make sure that it is coming from a place of being very clear with yourself about the decision to improve your lifestyle. It can be a random Tuesday in September, or you may just wake up one morning and decide, “I need to do this differently.” Anytime is the right time, if it is right for you.