A New Way to start the New Year
With the new year upon us, I’ve been reflecting on 2022 and what goals or resolutions I want to set for 2023. Ahhhhh resolutions, does anyone follow them? Are we, right out of the gate, setting ourselves up for failure? If so, how twisted is that???
Let’s think about this logically, what are our end goals? We want to be healthier, thinner, more successful, bla, bla, bla…bla! I think we are starting from a good place, we want to kick off a new year and feel better, do better, but then things get twisted and a little fucked up.
We set goals that we won’t attain, which will make us feel shitty and bad about ourselves. I don’t know about you, but that’s not how I want to start off my new, fresh year.
I think it’s time to reframe our thinking and to be kinder and gentler with ourselves, we are not failures, we are successful businesswoman/men, mama bears raising thoughtful and compassionate human beings. We get shit done on the regular!
I think we need to be as kind to ourselves as we are to others and realize that a lot of us, myself included, see things as black or white. We are either winning or losing, with no room in between for all the beautiful colours of gray.
So instead of the regular resolutions like; I am joining a gym, I will only eat healthy, I will fit into my skinny jeans, which will make my life perfect and all my other problems will disappear and I will live happily ever after…bla, blah, blahhhh! Let’s not feed into that big fat lie anymore, instead of that crap, let’s see how we can set ourselves up for success and growth!
Not helpful: I will lose 15, 25, 35…. pounds.
This « resolution », in the past, has made us join the gym and buy expensive exercise equipment, then made most of us feel like failures by the end of February.
Why is this the most popular resolutions? You know it’s on our list’s every year; we haven’t succeeded in the past, so what makes us think that this year will be any different? Let’s dig a little deeper.
I think our ultimate goal is to feel better and look better. We all deserve to feel good about ourselves, so let’s see how we can make ourselves feel better and embrace all the pretty shades of gray I mentioned above.
Instead of reinforcing the feeling that we are never good enough, thin enough, pretty enough… let’s embrace where we are, like right now, not 10 pounds from now, right now! Let’s be thankful for our perfectly imperfect bodies, let’s appreciate all the things it does for us.
Let’s thank our bodies and celebrate them!! Can you imagine not feeling bad about ourselves, what a concept! Let’s promise ourselves to move more, to stretch more, to feed our bodies fresh healthy foods, let’s reward our bodies with these things, instead of punishing ourselves by depriving ourselves. See how I am trying to reframe things?
Look good, feel good
Ok people, how many of us have ever denied ourselves a new outfit because we need to lost a few pounds first or, even better, how many of us have ever bought something super cool, but it’s so tight that we can’t wear it yet, but that’s ok, because we are going to lose weight.. and when we do, it will look great on us!
Instead, why don’t we go shopping and find something fantastic that looks good on us…now! Has punishing ourselves ever worked? Nope!!! It just feeds into negative talk, that leads to feelings of failure. So figure out what your 2023 wardrobe needs; what key pieces are missing, then go shopping! You are worthy of feeling fabulous, today!
Pro- tip: If you are in between sizes, find a tailor and have your pieces tailored to fit you like a glove.
Get your hair done, go for a massage, buy a new lipstick; treat your body, it does so much for you, it needs to be pampered and appreciated.
If you buy a gym membership every year, but, as time passes, your gym visits get further and further apart, until you are paying, but no longer going? Let’s not do that this year.
Hey if you are one of those people who love going to the gym and are able to fit it in your schedule and make it a habit, that is awesome!!! You are rocking it, keep it up! But that doesn’t mean that the rest of us need to feel like losers because, our intentions were good, but our follow through was not? Let’s try to reframe again.
Find an activity buddy or challenge yourself if you are more of a lone wolf, make a plan to move more, it’s literally that simple. Challenge yourself to try new activities.
Go skating, rent a fat bike and go biking in the snow, rent snowshoes, cross country ski or downhill ski! Working out doesn’t mean being in a gym, try new things and see what you enjoy doing.
Try a yoga class for a month, do water aerobics or take a swimming class the next month, sign up for a dance class for month three. Focus on having fun and being adventurous, your body will love it.
Pro-tip: find a stretch or mini workouts video online. I found these short video challenges that I do randomly in between meetings, it gets me up and moving during the day; did you know that sitting at a computer all day is now being compared to smoking? Do mini movement circuits during the day.
Everyone talks about spring cleaning, I think end of year cleaning is just as important and can have a positive effect on your mental health. Take advantage of putting your Christmas decorations away to do some cleaning so that you can star the year fresh and clutter free.
– feeling overwhelmed? Do a closet per weekend, get rid of anything that doesn’t fit or that you haven’t worn in the last year or two, donate it, it’s a win, win.
– clean your fridge, go through and look at the expiration dates; I am guessing that you haven’t done that in awhile, lol. Fill your clean fridge with fresh yummy things.
Get rid of the things that are weighing you down, trust me, clutter has an affect on your mental state! It’s also a great time to get some home upgrades done. I just replaced the area rug in my living room, it may sound dumb, but it freshened up my living room vibe. Buy a new shower curtain or a few new fluffy towels, it may seem simplistic, but don’t underestimate the impact of small changes.
Let’s be real, we are going to struggle and have shitty days, some days will be so shitty that we are going to go for that instant gratification to make us feel better or give us a quick mini pick me up so that we don’t have a complete meltdown.
Let’s reframe what an instant gratification activity is? It doesn’t have to be giving into something that will make you feel icky after the instant part wears off.
Let me paint a picture; you’re having a super shitty day, your boss, mate, kid or bff is getting on your last nerve; you’re feeling unappreciated, stressed and anxious. You’d like to be the type of person who deals with stress by going for a run, but hey, that’s not you. No, you’re more of a dive into a tub of ice cream or bag of chips kind of person.
What you’re really looking for is a way to self medicate / self-sooth. Let’s reframe! What else could you do to make yourself feel better? How about helping someone else who maybe having an even shittier day than you? Perspective is a powerful tool.
– buy a meal and give to a homeless person. Example; I was having a pity party kind of day before Christmas, when I noticed three homeless people huddled on the steps of a church. Homelessness is a big problem in my little city. My personal philosophy and how I was raised, is that it doesn’t matter if someone is on drugs or if “we” perceive them to be at fault for their current situation, they are human beings and if I can help, even a little, I should. I went through the drive through and bought them a bucket of chicken meal deal. I stopped my car and asked them if they wanted some chicken? They said yes and were very thankful and polite.
Did I change the world with my one bucket of chicken? No, did I stop thinking about myself and realize that I am pretty damn lucky? Absolute! Did I eat a tub of Ben & Jerry’s? No, so that’s a win for me; I found a more productive way to change my mindset. (Please note, never put your safety at risk).
– call a school in your area and ask the principal or vice-principal if there is a child that could use a new winter jacket, hat, mittens or boots…. If you are a parent, can you imagine not being able to properly dress your child for the winter? It’s about perspective and gratitude, we all have struggles, but, for the majority of us, keeping ourselves or our children warm is not one of them. (Did you know that many teachers use their own money to help their kids? They do!)
– buy a Cosco box of pads, tampons or pampers and donate to your local woman’s shelter.
In brief helping others will make you feel better, you will get way more out of it than what you put into it.
Be mindful of your personal energy, make a mental note of how much you complain and check yourself. You may not even notice that you are doing it. Challenge your friends and family to keep each other in check.
I believe that having a positive attitude takes practice, try not to put more negative energy out there in the universe, please!!
In addition to being mindful of your energy, don’t be afraid to take stock in the people around you. You don’t need to expose yourself to toxic people or situations. It’s fine to take breaks from people who aren’t contributing to the quality of life you are trying to create for yourself.
If you still feel like you need to make a New Year’s Resolution, resolve to make more time with friends and family. Resolve to start your day with a positive quote or thought. Resolve to cut yourself some slack. Resolve to be more grateful for what you have.
Wishing you a new year of adventure, love & heath!
PS – if you keep scrolling down you’ll see my comment section, would love to hear your thoughts or what you have planned for 2023.