Did you know that January 17th marks “Ditch Your Resolution” day? So yes, that is a thing - and anyone who has ever tried to make a New Year’s resolution can probably understand why.
I get it, for whatever reason there’s just something about the fireworks, romance, drinks, music and the promise of a new beginning that makes us feel like we need to pledge to be better. Work harder, learn a new skill, exercise more, cut out carbs entirely, allocate 100% more time to family, get a promotion, lose weight, stop texting your ex. Whatever it be - something about the date changing over from the 31st of December to the 1st of January often has us feeling perhaps a little too optimistic, or at least a little unrealistic.
For me, the issue with New Year’s resolutions is that they encourage at least some level of self-hatred, because to a degree they all stem from the idea that the way you are now isn’t good enough. Not to mention that fitness and diet culture seem to become particularly “toxified” when it comes to resolutions. Skinny teas, meal replacements, appetite suppressants, so called “clean eating”, elimination diets - they all have three things in common...
- They run RAMPANT at this time of year (hello, Instagram… !)
- They encourage guilt and shame and leave us feeling preoccupied with food
- They can actually cause more harm than good - yoyo dieting and weight fluctuations are linked with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease
As someone who has built a life and business around encouraging amazing women to seek a healthy and loving relationship with themselves, you can imagine that all of this doesn’t quite match my ethic. In fact, it is my humble opinion that we are all unique, fabulous and gorgeous exactly as we are! And really, would it be such a crime to stay the same?!
So this year, I’m imploring you to skip the disappointment of Ditch Your Resolution day and be realistic from the onset. No one likes feeling like they’ve failed (especially not that early on in the piece!), so wouldn’t it be better to set yourself up for success instead of disappointment?
Now I’m not saying you can’t set yourself some goals. By all means, go ahead - as long as they are three things; healthy, balanced, and realistic. And maybe just for the heck of it, set them AFTER your New Year’s party when the drinks have stopped flowing and day to day life has well and truly set back in.
Here are some suggestions of goals you can set that will be more of a help than a hindrance;
Stop judging yourself. Chances are, no one else is doing it, so why are you? You’re only human, you’re allowed to make mistakes. Remember - everything is a journey, if we were all perfect then life would be pretty boring.
Find exercise that you enjoy doing and that makes you feel awesome, strong, empowered and balanced. It doesn’t have to be lifting super heavy weights at the gym or spending hours on the treadmill, it could be visits to your local swimming pool, getting your kids to help you set up a circuit or even trying a dance class!
Detox. No, not your body, but your life! Rid yourself of toxic relationships - with people, with food, with fitness, with social media; with anything that doesn’t serve you!
Do more for the planet. As a mum, it’s important to me that my kids know and understand how precious our planet is, so anything I can do to help our world is always an achievement. It can be as small and as simple as committing to recycling properly or taking shorter showers.
Define your own balance. This is different for everyone and is as unique to each person as they are themselves. By writing down what balance means to you, you’re one step closer to understanding how to achieve it. And remember - balance doesn’t mean restrictions, it means making allowances and being kind to yourself.