new years resolutions that don't suck
  • January 10, 2023

Episode 21: New Year Resolutions That Don’t Suck

Welcome back for season 3 of the Imbodi Health podcast.     New Years resolutions are essentially goals or things […]

Welcome back for season 3 of the Imbodi Health podcast.

 

 

New Years resolutions are essentially goals or things you want to change for the upcoming year. Setting goals is great and can be really beneficial, but it is also important that we are setting them for the right reasons and ensuring that are accompanied with the right mindset.

 

It is important we set goals from a place of compassion rather than trying to ‘fix’ the things we don’t like about ourselves. Black and white or strict resolutions often demand perfectionism and can put us in a negative mindset when we are unable to live up to them. Instead, it is important to be flexible when setting goals.

 

Types of new year resolutions we want to avoid:

1: Body weight/shape focused goals

  • These are unhelpful as they can set us up for unrealistic expectations and inevitable failure as we don’t have direct control on our weight/shape/size
  • It also encourages diet culture and perpetuating/developing a poorer relationship with food
  • It is also a very unempowering goal in the long term
  • Long term we know that these goals are not very motivating long term

But remember, it is very valid to want to have these types of goals, so it is important to be kind to yourself when thinking about where the drive for this goal is coming from.

 

2: Very specific goals

  • For example: “I want to follow x diet” or “I want to lose x amount of weight”
  • These can create a very black and white or all or nothing way of thinking that doesn’t leave any room for flexibility.
  • Instead, it can be better to set an intention than a goal. But of course, we can also still break these intentions down into smaller goals/action steps we can incorporate each week.
  • Dialling down the pressure can often actually make it easier to start achieving them as procrastination is actually a big part of perfectionism.
  • Some gentle goals include:
    • Quitting yoyo dieting
    • Practicing body neutrality more
    • Challenging food fears
    • Fixing your relationship with food

 

 

Give yourself permission for goals to change across the year

As humans we aren’t robots. Our lifestyles, work and family situations change over the year. It is important to take this into consideration as well because often these changes mean that our goals which may have started out realistic, aren’t any more.

Instead of setting big yearly goals, it may be better to set quarterly or even monthly goals. Goal setting is work in progress that will evolve over time, and this is ok.

 

 

Setting goals in different domains of life

It can be helpful to set different goals for different domains of life such as:

  • Work
  • Relationships
  • Family
  • Self-education
  • Mental health
  • Physical health
  • Travel

 

This creates a bit of a life pie chart to ensure we can create balance across all aspects of your life that align with your values rather than focusing on too much on just one aspect and neglecting the rest.

 

 

Some ideas for sustainable goals

1: Try something new – this is a great way to broaden your life pie chart

2: Engaging with a therapist/psychologist or dietitian

3: Joining or participating in a support group – such as an eating disorder recovery group

4: Volunteering e.g. Meals on Wheels or the Animal Welfare League

5: Learning how to put yourself first and being less of a people pleaser (a psychologist may be beneficial for this)

6: Liking yourself more

7: Practicing more self-care – this looks different person to person

8: Boundary setting and protecting your time and energy

9: Make new connections or find new friends (e.g. the Bumble BFF app, join a Facebook group for a podcast that does meet ups, the Peanut app for new parents)

 

new year resolution goal setting

Sustainable nutrition related goals

1: Focusing on crowding rather than trying to avoid or cur out certain foods. Rather, focus on what we can crowd or bring into our diet.

  • For example: If your goal is to eat more fruit and veggies, start by making them more readily available at home. E.g. put out a fruit bowl, pre-cut some vegetable sticks to have as a snack with dips

 

2: Get out of the yoyo dieting cycle and deciding to prioritise nourishment over restriction.

  • We’ve discussed this on a few different podcast episodes but a few important first steps is incorporating regular eating, eating enough, and practising food flexibility.
  • Working with a dietitian and/or psychologist can make this process less daunting. We will also be launching a program at Imbodi all about practicing food freedom soon!
  • Reading books on intuitive eating and breaking food rules can be really helpful to get you started. A few of our personal favourites include:
    1. Your Weight is not the Problem by Lyndi Cohen
    2. Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
    3. 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder by Carolyn Costin
    4. The F*ck It Diet by Caroline Dooner
    5. Just Eat It by Laura Thomas

 

3: Facing food fears. If there’s a food which you have been avoiding or put as ‘off limits’ for a while, maybe this year is a good chance to start challenging these thoughts.

  • Check out season 1 episode 3 which is all about facing food fears to get you started!

 

4: Cooking more at home or learning how to cook.

  • If you don’t know how to make nutritious foods actually taste good, it is a lot harder to eat more of these foods.
  • Cooking schools can be a great idea to help such as Wholesome Bellies in Brisbane.
  • Healthy eating can still be delicious and flavourful but sometimes we need help learning how to actually make them taste good.

 

5: Work with a dietitian on to improving your relationship with food.

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