For so many years, My New Year’s Resolutions set me up for failure before the clock struck midnight. That’s because they always fueled my all or nothing mentality. “Starting January 1, I’m never eating a carb again.” or “Starting January 1, I am going to go to the gym everyday.” or “Starting January 1, I am going to eliminate sugar, dairy, gluten, alcohol and all processed foods and I am going to finally get skinny.” I’m stressed just thinking about these old resolutions I used to make.
Making a resolution like this is like tearing out a piece of paper when you misspell one word so you can start all over on a blank sheet of paper. This year, instead of tearing out the whole piece of paper…why write your new years “focus” in pencil, that way if you make a mistake, you can erase it and keep going. “Focus,” that’s my word this year.
This tactic isn’t to take away the overwhelming sense of hope that makes us form resolutions, it’s actually to enhance it.
Right now, I know most of us feel blah with our weight. We wish we were ten, fifteen, fifty pounds lighter. That uncomfortable feeling of disdain for our body wants us to make an insanely strict resolution to erase that feeling as quick as possible, but reject that idea if you want to succeed this year!
Although made with good intentions, the truth is, these resolutions are just a band aid to a deeper emotional issue. The plan, makes us feel better. But the “Starting January 1, I’m never eating a carb again,” line of thinking tricks us into thinking we’ve solved the problem. If losing weight was as easy as eating healthy and exercising more, we’d all be thin. We aren’t ever going to lose weight if we don’t tackle our emotional eating and learn to understand ourselves better. We aren’t ever going to finally lose the weight when we lead our intentions with food based plans. You never hear anyone say, “my resolution this year is to take a walk every time I feel stressed at work.” You never hear anyone say, “my resolution is to call a friend every night instead of eating out of loneliness.” But frankly, those are the resolutions we need. Bring awareness to the fact that something or someone is causing us to want to eat. It’s NOT because we are incapable of sticking to a resolution. It’s because the resolution isn’t the solution, its the problem. The inability to stick to a resolution isn’t a problem, it’s a symptom.
So my challenge to you..is to join the anti-resolution movement!
If you have weight loss goals this year, change your resolution to a “weekly focus.” This week I am going to focus on eating more Whole Foods instead of processed. Write it down, in pencil, and stick to your focus. Embark on this year with the same intensity and passion as a regular resolution but give yourself attainable goals. Do you want to claw your way to the top of one giant mountain? Or do you want to hike to the top slowly, taking time to view the scenery on your way?
You can reach any goal this way! If you want a new job, to write a book, to run a marathon, to lose weight…all of your goals can be achieved by giving yourself attainable goals, to conquer and then move on. I believe in you!
If you are sitting reading this right now, and it’s your first day of an intense, strict, resolution, try to redirect that focus right now. And watch how your mood is instantly lifted and your hope is instantly intensified.
NOW, if weight loss is your ultimate goal. If you’ve tried so many times and failed… try the Monday Dieter Diet. (I mean, so many diets are hitting the shelves today but I’m super biased to this one)
Instead of eliminating high sugar and high fat foods, Eliminate:
- Toxic friends
- Time with family members who trigger us
- Feeling guilty
- The scale
- Comparing ourselves to others
- Fad Diets
- Overly restrictive plans
You can reach your goal this year, but that goal doesn’t start in the kitchen or at the grocery store, it starts in your mind.
Happy New Year!! And thank you for another year of Monday Dieter:)!!
Photo credit: Sarah Polite