New Years Resolution's that is.
In the past the only resolutions I ever remember making were along the lines of:
Do x amount of exercise
Stop eating x type of food
Eat more of x type of food
Be x dress size
Loose x amount of weight
The resolution was always about striving for some kind of perfection or ideal disguised as being “healthy”. They were all about routine, strictness, and inflexibility.
I mean, as a health professional I, of all people, should know:
Exercise prevents chronic disease, illness and is essential for mental wellness
Veggies are better for you than chocolate
It is recommended we get 7 - 8 hours sleep
We should be drinking 1.5-2L of fluid a day mainly consisting of water
My exercise routine fluctuates
I eat chocolate often (read: daily)
My sleep patterns can get a bit crazy
I often forget my water bottle at home and (don’t shoot me) sometimes drink the “bad” kind of fizzy drinks
The thing that gets me with resolutions is in my mind they promote a boom-bust approach (hello physio degree). I would start out with great intentions #boom. Then come the 13th of Jan (or the 3rd, you know that happened one year), I’ve snoozed my alarm, missed my gym class, have Nutella on toast for breakfast and have my first sip of water at 8pm. #bust
“Oh well - there goes the resolution.” Guess there’s always next year.
There are so many books and videos about readiness for change, the best way to set goals, the psychology behind forming habits and how best to stay accountable. I’m certainly not advocating for you to stop attempting to change unhealthy behaviours. But are most of your behaviours really that unhealthy? What is the pattern over time? What is the driving force behind wanting to change? And the biggie - is a strict, firm, hard New Year’s Resolution the best way for you to make that change?
I’ve decided no.
Don’t worry, I’m not a Grinch. I’m still totally buying into the excitement and possibilities the start of a New Year brings. So I’ve jumped on board the “choose a word” bandwagon.
In case you haven’t heard of this phenomenon - you can read more here and here - it promotes a similar notion of change or focus, but with flexibility, softness and forgiveness. I like to think of it as a whimsical intention rather than a destined-for-failure firmness of purpose.
As written in this CNN article trainer Shay Kostabi describes a similar concept as:
"Choosing just one word that describes how you want to feel instead of what you think you should do or accomplish in the New Year is really powerful," Kostabi said. "Once you've chosen your theme or your one word, say it out loud, write it down and make sure you really connect to it on a personal level."
I don't see there as being a right or wrong way of doing this. Have a play. Have a think. See what comes to mind, if anything. And hey if Resolutions work for you - go for it!
Oh, what's that you ask? What's my New Year's word? So kind of you to wonder.
We're going with: Presence.
I'll save the meaning and story behind that one for another time.
Happy New Year Peeps xx