The Happy Truth About Diet and Exercise Resolutions

by | Jan 6, 2022

If you are like most Americans, last week you made some kind of diet or exercise resolution to kick off the New Year.

So, how’s that going? Are you still committed? Are you still on track? Are you ready to give up?

What if I told you – it really didn’t matter?

But let’s back up a bit.

When you really think about it, a New Year’s diet and exercise resolution is really just a list of what you WANT.

  • You want to lose the weight
  • You want to run a 5K
  • You want to be thin for that upcoming wedding (and in those wedding photos)
  • And the list goes on…

But in the immortal words of Mick Jagger, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you’ll find, you get what you need.”

As for me? What I think what you really need it to be happy. Happy with yourself, happy with your body, happy in your own skin.

So, I suggest, instead of setting crazy diet and exercise resolution goals that are unattainable, focused on unrealistic expectations of your body, and ultimately make you miserable, why don’t you make resolutions that focus on things that MAKE YOU HAPPY?

Set yourself free to create NON diet and NON exercise resolutions.

You know – resolutions that MAKE YOU HAPPY! Examples might include:

  • I will take 30 minutes for myself every day to read, or meditate, or listen to music, or walk, etc…
  • I will buy one new spice from my local grocery store or specialty shop every week to try a new flavor
  • I will give someone a compliment at least once a day (or express my thanks) in a simple manner
  • I will focus on improving my sleep quality (insert your own method here)
  • I will spend more time with family or friends

If you still feel compelled to make a health, diet or fitness resolution, focus on changing processes rather than creating hard-to-accomplish goals. For example:

  • “I will stop eating sugar!” Instead try, “I will focus on reading food labels.”
  • “I will lose 50 pounds by the summer!” Try instead, “I will move for at least 7 minutes every day.”
  • “I will fit into that dress by spring!” Try instead, “I will tell myself one thing I am proud of every night.”

So, stop employing disappointing (and temporary) New Year’s resolutions to try to lose weight, run a marathon, look good, etc. because you think it will make you happy. Rather focus on tasks that actually MAKE YOU HAPPY NOW!

Oh, and one final thing. If you have already failed your New Year’s Resolution, draw comfort in the fact that you are not alone. But instead, I want you to think of this.

Resolutions are not just for New Years.

They can be created on any given Tuesday for example. You can choose to make a change in your life literally any time you want.

Just make sure it makes YOU happy.

At New Hope Counseling & Wellness center, our certified therapists and counselors, specialized registered dietitians, and nutrition coaches offer a variety of counseling services, including nutrition counseling. We will give you hope this new year! Whether you or someone you love struggles with an eating disorder, trauma or PTSD, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, body image disturbances, chronic dieting, or needs counseling or therapy, our experienced team of specialized therapists, counselors, dietitians, and nutrition coaches are here to help.

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