‘Tis the season to make New Year’s resolutions and break them. Yes, it’s true. We’ve all made the dreadful mistake of swearing off junk food, chocolate, or other favorite food that isn’t so good for you for the beginning of the new year, only to find yourself breaking the vow less than two weeks into January!
The secret to starting the new year right and keeping it that way? Make a small resolution that doesn’t forbid you from anything you truly love or have you doing something daily that you’ve never done in your adult life – like going to the gym every day of the week after being a couch potato. It’s human nature to want something you can’t have, and when you forbid yourself from having something, you only want it that much more. It’s also very hard to completely change your lifestyle with one day’s notice, so your best bet is to change small things.
I’ll offer my mother as an example. When she diets, she completely denies herself from eating her favorite things instead of trying to eat healthier overall and eating her dark chocolate or ice cream in moderation. When her willpower can’t take it any longer, she binges and falls off the wagon completely. Your willpower is only so strong, unfortunately – its never worth the fight.
Start Small – Sticking to a Real, Attainable Resolution
My advice is to try something for your New Year’s resolution that changes your lifestyle in a healthier way, but doesn’t cramp your style entirely.
For example, if you aren’t into the habit of eating breakfast, try making yourself eat something, no matter how big or small, every morning. I’m not going to suggest only certain days of the week, because realistically, not eating breakfast is one of the worst things you can do for your body and your metabolism. An apple is better than nothing!
Another idea to move in the healthy direction is would be to try adding skim milk to your coffee or drinking it black instead of cream. I know…drinking coffee black is horribly bitter if you’re a “taster”, so add milk instead – not only does it add a touch of protein, but it won’t add any heart-clogging fat. As you acquire the taste of the black coffee or coffee with skim milk, you will begin to enjoy it more, and over time, you may only have cream in your coffee on certain, special occasions.
My New Year’s Resolution
It’s always tough for me to think of something I can do for the New Year that I can stick with, so my goal this year was to paint/do my artwork at least one day a week. With work and life in general, it’s difficult for me to find time for myself. I’ll keep you posted on how it’s coming along. I know it’s not a health-oriented goal, but honestly, it will improve my mental health – doing what I love. Mental health supports overall health, so keep that in mind as well when thinking of your New Year’s resolution. Even five minutes of meditation or time to yourself, alone, can be a complete mind-opener.