New Year’s resolutions can be decided on as quickly as they can be forgotten or abandoned. I often hear people adopt small changes that they forget a few days later, and there is nothing to be ashamed of there! Practicing setting intentions and embodying them is a muscle that takes time, patience, and energy. However, when people go all in with a big change for New Year’s, I often hear it at the expense of their bodies. It can sound like this:
‘I need to lose weight.’
‘I ate so much over the holidays and I am not liking what I see.’
Or, a general and quick conclusion about our bodies and then a panic to make some changes. What can I change and how fast can I change it?! But what if we prioritize our bodies in a different way?
To that I want to speak and I want to speak kindly. First, let us slow down. Change doesn’t arrive quickly, and your intuition isn’t rushed. If you happen to consume a lot of sugar over the holidays and are panicking (key word, panicking), take a deep breath. The panic in a fury and snap decision body changes can lead to crash dieting, which leaves us feeling worse about ourselves and is often unsuccessful anyways.
First, it is important to acknowledge that change takes a lot of energy. In order to support that change, start with the basics. Slow down, lower your stress where you can, reduce the amount of processed food you eat, sleep more, and drink plenty of water. Then, set your intentions for yourself.
Setting Intentions vs. Wanting To Change Something You Don’t Like
Something to keep in mind as you are making your resolution(s) is that any intention set is already a great step. It begins with verbalizing, or writing down what you want. Making that internal desire an external acknowledgement can allow your body to posture itself toward that intention. Your body listens to your soul and your soul listens to your body. So putting these things in motion can really take charge when you notify your soul that this is what you want.
Instead of setting an intention to negate what you don’t want, reframe it in a positive way and get specific. This is how we can consciously choose to honor our bodies with our intentions and resolutions. Instead of saying ‘I want to lose weight because I don’t like the way I look,” begin with this: “I love myself and my body where I am today. I would like to invite myself into a fuller life by going for a meditative walk everyday after breakfast.’ Then I want to encourage you to let this intention sit for a day or two before rushing into a new lifestyle. Envision and sit with it before deciding that’s the change you want to begin incorporating into your daily life.
New Year’s Resolutions That Are Not Focused On Your Body Image
It can also be helpful to focus less on your body and more on general health. Being more present with your children, and spending time outside every day can reframe your intentions in a positive way and invite yourself into a fuller and more present life. From there, you can get more specific, like putting your phone away after work hours to be more present with your loved ones, or eating breakfast outside to get out more. Here are a few more examples:
-Meditate every day
Sometimes making a goal to meditate for five minutes every day can become a chore. Instead, make it a goal to sit somewhere relaxing and take a deep sigh every day for a few minutes. Whatever comes next can be up to you depending on the day, but taking that moment and inviting yourself into a space of nothingness can help reduce your stress and be a helpful practice.
-Limit your screen time
I recently wrote about my digital detox with the Light Phone and how it has enhanced my mental health. Consider setting a timer for your phone use, putting your use in a place after a certain time of the day for the night, or getting rid of your smartphone all together. Creating those boundaries will promote your overall mental health and wellbeing.
-Touch your hands to the soil every day
Whether that be planting a flower garden, an herb or vegetable garden, or playing with soil and grounding yourself to the earth, you can incorporate this into your daily routine of relaxing and unwinding.
The more involved you are with your food, the more mindful you will tend to be with how you eat and what you eat. Cooking at home will allow you to be more intentional about what goes in your body
Make it a point to drink more water. Buy a water bottle and keep it near you all day, and aim to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces.
-Wind down by 9pm
You could be intentional about the time that you begin to put yourself to bed. Lower the lights, put away your screens, and create a calming and inviting nighttime routine so that you are asleep by 10pm. Listen to an audiobook, read, or catch up with your partner after 9pm until you go to sleep.
Focus On Your Values
We get so laser focused on our goals or one big goal that we let our values fall by the wayside. If we hone in our values, we can get a better picture of how we want to embody what we value. Here is a list of examples of values that can help you then define your goals.
-Having healthy boundaries
-Connection to mother earth
As you set your intentions and define your New Year’s resolutions for 2021, remember that just because you don’t finish a New Year’s resolution doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it. Setting intentions and goals with this article in mind is an incredible way to put your actions where your thoughts are, even if it is in little ways, and honor your body in the process.