Updated: Apr 3
There are a lot of emotions surrounding New Year's Resolutions. I understand why. They can seem like empty promises when we quickly lose the motivation to follow through on the goals we set. Or maybe the motivation is there, but we have set an unattainable resolution that is nearly impossible to carry out. If you can relate to these feelings, know that you're not alone. I've been there, too, friends. Even with the frustration that setting resolutions can cause, they are still worthwhile and can lead to good, positive changes. Let me lend a couple of thoughts that might help you accomplish what you resolve to do this year.
Keep it Simple
And specific. Let's say your resolution is to "Eat healthier in 2022". Fantastic! But how are you going to do that? You don't have to have to go for Whole 30 or vow to convert to Keto. These all-or-nothing, time consuming plans often set people up for an unsustainable, resolution-failure-waiting-to-happen. Instead, for instance, could you just decrease or eliminate sodas? Or perhaps pack your lunch for work instead of eating out? Imagine the impact you'd have on your health if you met one of these goals for the year instead of attempting to abolish dairy, grains, caffeine, sugar, carbs, alcohol, and legumes from your diet for however long you can stand it! Before setting a resolution, have an honest heart-to-heart with yourself. Is it something you can really stick to? Is it sustainable? Or are you setting yourself up for failure and finding yourself back at square one by mid-February? Eliminating sodas or packing your lunch is hard enough... but it's doable. Living a life of wellness is a choice, and is accomplished by making incremental, manageable changes... not by setting impossible, unsustainable goals.
ETA for Wellness
Let's face it, we are a society that expects instant results. Any effort we put forth we often anticipate being met with a quick, gratifying yield in what we want. Clients often come to me wanting to know what the ETA is for their wellness efforts; the Estimated Time of Arrival for when this life of wellness will come to fruition. I can give them the answer, except my "ETA" acronym is very different from what they had in mind. Living a life of wellness that you are longing for will emerge when the following pieces come together:
Attention (i.e. Priority)
Lifelong wellness does not just happen. I wish it did (but then, if it did, I'd be out of a job, so...). Especially as we get older, we need to accept that it's more challenging to keep our bodies and minds in good condition. We can't power through on 5 hours of sleep each night. The fast food and sugar that we consumed in high school now make us sluggish and sick. Physical activity that used to be fun can now feel like a chore. Our time is filled with "adulting" activities that leaves little time for ourselves, which can lead to a rut by placing too much emphasis on work on not enough on things that bring us joy. Accepting that our bodies need more care than they once did helps us approach lifelong wellness with more grace, patience, and focus. Think of some people you know who are on wellness paths that you admire. How are they doing it? If you're unsure, ask them! My guess is they'll tell you that they make it a priority in their everyday lives. They have a plan for exercise, meals and grocery shopping, getting to bed on time, etc. They put these plans in motion, waited patiently to start seeing the results of their efforts, and they didn't give up.
Get some help
There is SO much information about health and wellness out there that it can be very confusing to find the wellness path that will work best for you. If this is your umpteenth time attempting to make this THE YEAR that your resolutions finally take hold, maybe it's time to seek some help to make sure that this really IS your year (and please find someone with the educational background to guide you safely... not someone who is selling a "weight-loss" plan)! If your child or good friend is struggling to pass Algebra and keeps failing, wouldn't you suggest that they get a math tutor? It's no different from hiring a health and wellness coach to help you along your way... and probably more fun and rewarding than solving equations!
What are my resolutions? After a topsy-turvy 2021 that has thrown me a bit off my personal wellness path, I'm getting back to basics. I'm treating myself as I would a new client and focusing on what I call The 6 Pillars of Wellness: Sleep, Nutrition, Exercise, Time Management, Stress Management, and Life Balance. I'll share my journey in getting back to these basics in the coming months. Until then, I wish you the best of luck with your 2022 Resolutions, and if you find that you're struggling... you know how to reach me.
Wishing you all the happiest and healthiest 2022! Make this your year!