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3 Resolution's for a new year – a Nutrition Consultant Explains…

I’ve always looked at the start of a new year as a new beginning with new possibilities.  And as such, my mind fills with aspirations, plans and personal goals – all designed to spur change and improve upon the person I was in the previous year.  I would be enthusiastic on January 1, but my momentum would often dissipate anywhere from day 2 to a couple of months after I came up with my whole New Years’ Resolution plan.  It wasn’t until I took an honest look at myself, my strengths, and what made sense for me that I finally made a resolution that lasted all year.

The basic premise of each year's resolutions was typical: weight loss, healthier lifestyle practices, or getting in better shape.  Usually by January I have a complete plan of action and I am full of hope and gusto.  By February I might have a little less focus and energy but I still make it to yoga a couple of times per week.  After February comes the big month… March.  By March, I give up on my grand expectations, my harsh limitations and my sweeping dietary changes and I retreat into old behaviors – not far from where I was the previous December.

A couple of years ago I realized that if New Years’ resolutions weren’t working the way I designed them, then I must either stop making resolutions or change the resolutions I was making.  I didn’t want to give up on New Years’ altogether because in so many ways it is a new beginning with all sorts of possibilities…. And I liked that about January 1st. So my choice was clear, I had to change my resolutions to be more realistic and I had to change my thinking behind the resolutions. Here is what I came up with:

1.    “I’m working on it” attitude – when I first started my new-resolution year, my over-arching goals was to be more active and find additional sources to increase movement in my life. If (say in March) I became frustrated with my lack of progress, I would say to myself “but I’m working on it” and I would look for new activities that would keep my interest.  The “I’m working on it” attitude takes the guilt, the self-condemnation away and instead reminded me that there are more possibilities to explore.  Instead of throwing my hands in the air and giving up on everything, I challenged myself to become more creative and to continue to move forward.

2.   I am my own best friend – I am very quick to forgive and typically strive to see the best in others, however, that generosity of spirit is often lost when I review my own life and actions. The “new me” took great efforts to show myself the same love and kindness that I would show to anybody else and I purposefully started to recognize the wonderful things I bring to the table — just as I would do for my friends and family members.

3.   My success is measured in how I feel (not the weight scale) – I learned long ago that measuring my success (or lack thereof) from the reading on the weight scale was not a motivator for me.  Instead, I put the weight scale away and looked at how my body was feeling.  When I was feeling sluggish and had little energy, I knew it was time to increase my exercise activities.  When my internal sparkle was dull, I knew I needed to look at my diet and eating habits.  This new self-awareness required that I needed the time to check in with how I was feeling and I used the time right before I got out of bed in the morning to be aware of my body, mind and energy and ask “what do I need today.”  I found that I could handle daily goals (or daily New Years’ Resolution as I think of them) and I gave myself the time to celebrate all of my successes.  Instead of having one gigantic failure, I found that I had 365 days of success to celebrate.

Now after a few years of practice, my 2017 New Years’ resolution looks very similar to last year.  I will work toward making space for the things I love – cooking, yoga, reading, learning new things, teaching and connecting with others.  I will strive to bring mindfulness into my life and approach my days with a light heart and good humor.  I will continue to move forward in my health, my attitude and my generosity to the best of my ability and I will celebrate all of my accomplishments.  I understand that this 2017 Resolution is part of my gentle, growth-oriented journey to a happier and healthier me, and I feel confident that all of these goals are within my reach and I am optimistic for 2017.

Linda Engelbrecht is the Nutrition Consultant for Be Well Bodyworks.  She believes in looking at the entire individual while addressing specific nutrient needs in the diet.  Whether the goal is to lose weight, reduce symptoms, or just to feel better, she will work with individuals on reaching their health potential.  Contact Be Well Bodyworks to schedule a personalized nutrition and wellness appointment this week.

To learn more about Be Well Bodyworks’ nutrition counseling services, and full list of whole-body services, visit us online. To schedule an appointment, visit our simple online scheduler.