Health Resolutions, Live Consciously

Forget Resolutions: Here are 3 Goals for Health and Happiness in the New Year


New year, new you! Looking at you, girl, with all your best intentions wrapped around you like a warm and cozy blanket. I bet you’re thinking it’s time for a revamp—and you’re not entirely wrong.

If you think I’m going to write about setting New Year’s resolutions, you are wrong. Contrary to popular belief, while I am a goal-setter extraordinaire, I am not big on New Year’s resolutions. Why is that, you ask?

Well, read on to find out.

Focus on Consistency Instead of Resolutions

With the holidays and their indulgences just behind us, we often enter the new year looking to undo all the damage we’ve inflicted on ourselves.

Some of us believe that we can transform all that indulgence with a few simple resolutions.

But it’s rarely that simple.

The thing about resolutions is that the best thing they’re good for is to be broken. And a broken resolution only sets you up for a whole lotta disappointment and frustration. Who needs that? None of us, that’s who—especially as we look ahead to all the possibilities of a new year!

That’s why I like to think about resolutions in a different way. The key is to shift your thinking to focus on consistency. If you stay consistent with your healthy habits day to day, you don’t just avoid the holiday overindulgences, but you also avoid all the mental baggage that comes with jumping off the healthy bandwagon. (Btw, I’m a big fan of the concept of “conscious indulgence,” where you allow yourself to indulge in things that genuinely bring you joy or that you truly love, without going overboard. That sets you up for a healthier mindset entirely.)

RELATED: Why We Should Stop Using The Words ‘Moderation’, ‘Willpower’ and ‘Guilt’

So now that we have that straight, let me tell you what goals (not resolutions!) you can focus on to begin the new year in the best place possible.

Below I share three goals to set you up for a happy, prosperous and healthy new year.

3 Goals for Health, Happiness and Prosperity in the New Year

Look to the Past for Inspiration

As the new year begins, I actually want you to look to the past. Take a look at what has worked for you and what hasn’t previously, and learn from it. If, for example, you’ve always been a breakfast lover, then taking up an intermittent fasting lifestyle in 2022 is not for you.

If you’ve always loved a good cardio workout to boost the endorphins and get your mojo on, then maybe skip the yoga sesh for a dance cardio class in the new year. If you love the meditative powers of restorative yoga, then forego that HIIT workout for some deep breathing and stretching, stat! Or if you’re a night owl, then don’t schedule that important meeting or appointment first thing in the morning. You get my point. Work with what works best for you—and set yourself up for success by setting realistic goals that suit your lifestyle.

Focus on What You Can Do vs. Not Do

Health and happiness go hand in hand, and the health benefits of a positive attitude have been well-documented. That’s why this new year, I want you to focus on what you can do versus what you can’t. The positive energy will take you far.

RELATED: 5 Ways to Cultivate Optimism for More Happiness

If you’re choosing to swap in some greens for lunch and forego chips for a quick snack fix, think about how you absolutely can add greens to your lunch, rather than how you can’t eat those chips. Or maybe it means saying “yes” to getting to bed an hour earlier for more restorative sleep rather than thinking, “Bummer, I can’t stay up for one more episode of this TV show I’ve been bingeing because I really need to get more sleep.”

Positive thinking begins with this self-talk, so keep practicing. Check yourself when negative thoughts arise and counter them with positive ones, and you’ll be on your way to making 2022 the year of, “I CAN!”

Now, come up with three simple lifestyle tweaks that will enhance your well-being, which you can easily incorporate into your day and that suit your life. Forget about what you’re giving up and focus on what you’re gaining. Write your new wellness goals down, and start doing them … today.

RELATED: If You Want to Lose Weight and Be Healthier and Happier, Nutrition Is Just the Beginning

Beyond Food: What Else Needs Cleansing?

If the eight pillars of a Nutritious Life have shown us anything it’s that food choices alone do not make us healthy or unhealthy. No amount of healthy eating can negate the effects of toxic habits we acquire through the years.

This is why I suggest that you sit down and make a list of all the toxic behaviors you engage in (we all do, there’s no shame!), and then think about each one and how it may be sabotaging your wellness goals.

Are you a sugar junkie? If so, consider what too much sugar does to your body and motivate yourself to cut down on added sugar this year—and maybe you’ll lose a few pounds in the process.

If the pandemic has given you—like so many others—a new reason to start boozing, then maybe it’s time to consider a little new year’s detox (Dry January, anyone?)

RELATED: Why I Had to Break Up With Alcohol to Get Healthy

Of course, drinking too much alcohol can leave you feeling tired and dehydrated—the two are totally interrelated. If you’re dehydrated, you’re not going to have energy to get through the day (let alone kill it at work, get in a HIIT class, and make a healthy dinner for the kids.)

And lack of sleep can then lead to consuming too much caffeine in the morning for a fake burst of energy. And all these toxins put a load on your liver, your body’s main organ responsible for detoxing. So, the point is, one toxic behavior leads to another, and another … until our healthy lifestyle has suddenly derailed into a toxic sludge.

RELATED: The Nutritious Life Guide to Cleansing eBook

Setting Goals

Once you’ve taken stock of any toxic habits that don’t serve you, I want you to take your list and write three ways you can turn that unhealthy habit into a healthier one.

Maybe, for you, that does mean giving Dry January a try. Or, say, sticking to one drink with dinner, two days a week. If you’re a sugar junkie who just binged your way through the holidays, it might mean a food cleanse is in your near future, plus a break from sweets and adding more fruit into your diet. Your body, your goals. You know yourself the best, and you know what habits work well for you, and which ones lead you down the wrong path.

But I bet you also now know that looking to the past for inspiration, focusing on what you can do versus not do, and cutting out a toxic behavior (or two or three) this year could be the perfect goals to set you on the path toward a more Nutritious Life. Here’s to a healthier and happier new year. You go, girl!

(Image: Shutterstock)

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