New Year, New You?
Or-my support of the death of resolutions.
Now that a few weeks have passed since the beginning of 2022, chances are high that those who made resolutions to begin something on January 1st have already begun rethinking. A study of folks who made resolutions in 2019 showed that by the end of the year, only 7% had stuck with them.
By now, we have all had the opportunity to see the usual marketing on social media or in our inboxes, prodding us to shed "holiday" weight. Or, "Let 2022 Be the Year You _____ and We Have The Magic Answer!" We are sold countless programs. The headlines scream at us-my least favorite-"NEW YEAR, NEW YOU!"
What is wrong with being a NEW YOU?
My hot take: "new you" implies that there is something wrong with who you are now. Nothing could be further from the truth. Might you have habits you would like to change, or goals to set, or ways in which you want to improve? Sure! However-that does not mean changing to a "new" YOU. YOU, my friend, are awesome.
So why NOT make a resolution at the beginning of the year?
I get the appeal, truly I do. For whatever crazy reason, we Americans have a holiday stack going on from October-December. In our family, we have two birthdays in the time from the end of October to the beginning of the year! We are all human, which means a lot of celebrations with food. I don't know about YOUR holiday food, but MINE does not typically include broiled salmon and kale salad-which I might normally have in my meal rotation. Add to that the fact that our holidays are during months that tend to be colder, so that we spend less time active outdoors, and by January, a lot of us feel, well, gross, and ready to feel better.
While it definitely is not true for everyone, in my experience, resolutions come around a little like this: "Ugh, I've been overeating since October! The number on my scale is creeping up, so when all of these holidays are over, and January gets here, I am cutting back to 1200 calories a day and exercising for at least 45 minutes, 7 days a week!" You wake up on New Year's Day, motivated and determined.
You realize 1200 calories a day is only appropriate for a toddler, and leaves you, a full grown person, HANGRY and snapping at people you actually kinda like.
Your 45 minutes of exercise, combined with eating very little after a season of decadence, is exhausting.
Someone has a birthday-and that cake looks pretty darn good.
Oh yeah, there is Valentine's Day coming up...and it is Girl Scout Cookie Season.
Really who has time to go to the gym EVERY day?
Oh well, there is always next year!
Rinse. And. Repeat.
As a health and wellness coach, I want the very best for people. I want you to live your best, healthiest life, with energy and ZEST. But New Year's resolutions? They clearly are not the way. You can be thinking about changing something in your life, and realize that a shift might be beneficial, without being ready to actually pull the trigger-and maybe being really, truly ready, does not coincide with the date on the calendar.
Maybe you're ready to start exercising-slowly-in mid-April. AWESOME! Maybe you are curious about cutting back on sugar, caffeine, or inflammatory foods in September. LET'S DO IT. Perhaps your doctor tells you in March that your A1C is creeping up and you need to do something about that, and you are jumping up and down to get that number to move. I CAN HELP. Maybe you have the trip of a lifetime planned in July, and you really want energy to keep up with your family, and want to talk about how to start reaching that goal in January! I'M ABOUT THAT. Whenever you are ready to start making changes, I am here for you, whether that is the beginning, the middle, or toward the end of the year.
However, there are tricks to being successful and supporting your health from the bottom up, and that looks different for EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. No one-size-fits all approach is ever the answer! Many programs are for a limited time only, and once they are over...then what? Where are those magical answers when Halloween strikes again, and rolls into Thanksgiving and Christmas?
I recently saw a sign at a local church that resonated with me. It said something like "Daily devotion triumphs over yearly resolutions." Of course, they were so beautifully referring to faith, but how applicable is this sentiment is to other areas of life?!
There are those who set a goal for themselves beginning on January 1st, and they keep that goal, set a new one, and never look back. That is incredible! It just isn't everybody. If you aren't in that 7% who make and keep New Year's resolutions, it does not mean there is something wrong with you, or that you need to be a NEW YOU. For those who would like a little more support and encouragement-I am here for you, not just in January, and not just for a few weeks, but for as long as it takes to get you where you would like to be.