If there’s anything we can all agree on this time of year, it’s that New Year’s Resolutions are super tempting! We just navigated through (what felt like) months of a (hopefully) delicious Holiday season, and, a year that had some major ups and downs. Reflecting upon your year is not only understandable, but it’s also encouraged.
And before I forget… make sure to scroll to download a FREE workbook for formulating New Year’s Resolutions that last!
But diet culture is extra-loud around the New Year. This 72-billion dollar industry inundates us with messages about needing to improve our diet and prioritize our “health.” We’re left vulnerable to the unrealistic food and body goals of what I call: diet poaching season and if we bite the bait, we risk the harmful aftermath of a system proven to fail.
Well, we know that diets don’t work within a year after starting and that weight cycling comes with countless negative health implications. So instead, I want you to change your focus and reprioritize your New Year’s goals.
In a previous article, I give you three actionable tips to formulate sustainable New Year’s Resolutions. You’ll want to check those out ASAP. Also, make sure you’re steering clear of the temptation to “get back on track” (read about it here). In this article, I’m sharing my favorite non-diet resolutions to start your New Year in a way that supports YOU (not some imagined and unattainable version set forth by a billion-dollar-driven industry).
Before we get to the list, I encourage you to first make an active decision to reject diet culture and instead, work on healing your relationship with food and body. The goal is for you to feel confident in your body, competent with your food choices, and supported mentally, physically, and emotionally. Let’s dive in:
Non-Diet New Year’s Resolutions
- I will attempt to identify and label unhelpful (and disordered) food thoughts. I will try to notice what triggers these thoughts in an attempt to deconstruct and diminish them. Here’s more help.
- I will incorporate “off-limits” food into my daily or weekly eating plan to begin breaking my food rules. Here’s more help.
- In regard to breaking those food rules, I will trust that feelings of discomfort are often part of the process.
- I will grant myself unconditional permission to eat “unhealthy” and less “clean” foods at any time, not just on specific “cheat” days. Here’s why.
- I will attempt to work through feelings of food guilt. Here’s how.
- I will give myself at least three instances throughout the week to experience mindful eating practices. Here’s how.
- I will experiment with mealtime satisfaction. Here’s how.
- I will make an active effort to pack snacks. Here are my favorites.
- I will eat more to think about food less.
- When it’s feasible, I will check in with my gentle nutrition practices in a way that doesn’t become obsessive. Here’s how.
Body and Self
- I will attempt to identify and label unhelpful body image thoughts. I will try to notice what triggers these thoughts in an attempt to deconstruct and diminish them. Here’s more help.
- I will attempt to stop pressuring myself to strive for body positivity when I’m not feeling up for it. Here’s why.
- I will work to neutralize my negative self-talk and utilize body appreciation. Here’s how.
- Though it might be difficult, I will donate old clothing and leotards that no longer fit my growing body.
- I will consider joyful movement and how to add this to my routine.
- I will consider joyful rest and getting comfortable with doing nothing (or activities with minimal exertion).
- I will create healthy boundaries with myself. Here’s how.
- I will honor healthy boundaries within my interpersonal relationships. Here’s how.
- I will continuously detox my social feed throughout the year.
- I will focus on relationships with people who make me feel supported and validated.
- Since I’m someone who tends to take on too many tasks at one time, I will practice saying (and honoring) “no.”
- I will practice deep breathing, especially during times of stress.
- TTP Ambassador Nikki Rooks suggests that dancers set intentions like buying less and participating more.
- I will consider sustainable fashion to reduce environmental waste and support legal production practices. Learn more here.
- When feasible, I will add non-dance hobbies to my week (reading, music, knitting, baking are examples).
- I will consider limits on screen time, especially before bed.
If you’re ready to construct your own New Year’s Resolutions, consider doing so without a judgmental or absolute dialect. For example, “I must” and “I will never” can leave you feeling discoured when expectations are unable to be met. Instead, consider a neutral tone. Here’s an example: “when practical and feasible, I will try (or attempt) to…”