by Adrien Paczosa, LRD
It’s already started! Every holiday season, it seems like gyms, meal services, and diet bullies start inundating us with their fear mongering messages and encouraging us to get ready to start XYZ diet earlier and earlier. Bleh. Instead of prompting body manipulation or even health resolutions for this coming year, I want to provide you with more meaningful and helpful resolutions to develop in 2022, so that you can experience a year of true growth.
Creating resolutions or goals that don’t revolve around dieting, micromanaging your body, eliminating food groups, exercising compulsively, and the like, will bring you tremendously more joy and fulfillment. As someone with firsthand experience, I can confidently vouch for this! Indeed, when I started making resolutions targeted at personal and professional growth and, more importantly, serving others, not only did the start of my new year improve, my life did too.
5 Non-Diet Resolutions
1. Resolve to perform one act of kindness each day. Maybe that is letting someone pull out from the parking lot before you, writing a kind note to a coworker, or calling a family member; kindness will enhance your life. It is helpful to write down your idea each day, so it is at the forefront of your mind, almost like a to-do, but vastly more fulfilling. If you’re just diving into intuitive eating, a helpful resolution might include being kind to your body. “I vow to treat my body with respect and honor what it wants.”
2. Vow to emulate your true values as often as possible. So many of us are genuinely good people who simply forget to live in alignment with our true values. I feel like a preacher, always talking about this topic, but truly, if you are not intentionally identifying them and how to emulate them, how do you actually know if your actions are in alignment with your morals/purpose/meaning? I’m guilty of this too. Our behaviors mirror our thoughts. For example, I am terrible at remembering to drink enough hydrating fluids throughout the day. I didn’t make it a priority earlier in life, and now, I rarely think about the importance of adequate hydration. As a result, I usually don’t drink enough because I’m not thinking about it! Conversely, I frequently think about reading and writing, and, guess what?! I frequently read and write. Start this resolution by simply identifying one of your values and then list three ways you can embody it through your actions.
3. Resolve root troubles and stressors. In other words, commit to pursue a resolution that doesn’t revolve around food or your body. All of us endure trials and tribulations. All of us gain and lose loved ones, foster and conclude relationships. Consequently, many of us turn to diets and body manipulation to cope with these stressors or pursue “happiness,” albeit in a very skewed way. What if, instead, we actually targeted the root stressor? Say you are a caregiver and you are frustrated with behaviors the person you are taking care of is exhibiting. You lash out and then feel bad, which in turn leads you to emotional eating. Resolving the root cause of your frustration by learning how to navigate these behavioral issues will lead to positive personal development and help free your grudges and limiting beliefs, while dieting will not.
4. Insert any resolution or goal that enhances personal, professional, emotional, or mental growth. As sappy and cliché as this sounds, I firmly believe if we all focused on improving ourselves, we would grow as a society. So, why not put it to the test? Create a resolution that focuses on growth in your life, outside of health, wellness, nutrition, or fitness goals. A few examples include: reaching out to two friends/family members per week and asking for help or meditating for five minutes every day (because I know this allows me to connect with myself and clear my mind to set positive intentions for the day). Or, maybe, I vow to give myself grace for needing to take this depression medication right now, instead of berating and shaming myself. The options are literally infinite.
5. Commit to working with your body, not against it. How freeing does that sound? Imagine celebrating your body for all its capabilities and everything it accomplishes for you. Picture nourishing your body with wholesome, satisfying foods, at peace with your choices, able to offer your heart and mind to more important endeavors. All along, your body has simply wanted to be your friend. Just like your best friend, she desires a listening ear, loyal honor, maybe some forgiveness, and a lot of kindness. Avoid putting your body through anything you wouldn’t recommend or wish for your best friend. Do you really want he/she to miss out on a random ice cream run with family they rarely see? You don’t have to miss the experience either.
Your Year of True Growth
Even if every single person you know is giving up sugar (which, veggies and fruit also include), you can resolve more meaningful stressors and struggles this coming year. Don’t worry about your friend debating whether to buy a Peleton or Bioflex machine. Shrug off your coworker who won’t stop babbling about her cabbage detox diet plan. Allow yourself to focus on different areas of your life this year. Then, show this post to your best friend and coworker and relish the enlightenment that spreads like wildfire to everyone else.