Happy New Year! I always find this time of year really interesting because of how quickly the focus shifts from holiday celebrations to what we are going to change about ourselves in the upcoming year. With this past year being as overwhelming as it was, I think many people are hoping this year will prove to be a little gentler. The thing is, that requires us actually treating ourselves more gently, learning to listen to our bodies, and actually starting to trust ourselves instead of trusting an eating disorder or the diet industry. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about self improvement but it often seems we can push a little too hard on January 1st for changes that are too drastic and often unhealthy. So I say why not make this year different? Instead of thinking about what diet you are going to go on, or what extreme form of exercise you are going to do, what about focusing on a quality within yourself that you want to nurture and grow. It can be easy to focus on all that you feel is wrong with you at this time of year instead of all that is right and that can leave us lost in a maze filled with different diet books or more neglectful tips suggested by our eating disorder. I think it is time to do something different. Focusing on a quality within you is about growing yourself and it can impact not only your life but also those who are in it. For example, maybe you want to make this the year where you increase your patience or how giving you are. How do you think this would improve your life? In what ways could you turn this towards yourself? How would it impact others?
If we take the time to focus and expand a quality within us its going to have an impact on all areas of our life, including our relationship to food and self. Nobody ever achieved lasting health by beating themselves up for where they are right now. And to beat a dead horse, your eating disorder has never led you towards the ultimate happiness it proclaims. I think it is important that if we are going to use January as a marker for change, we start to actually ask ourselves who we want leading that change, someone who wants the best or the worst for us? If it feels difficult to tell the difference, then ask yourself if you would recommend your goals to the person you love most. Genuinely engage in that question. If you would recommend it to your most cherished person, then your goal is likely on track to lead you towards a happier version of yourself. If you wouldn’t, then maybe it’s time to swap that goal out for something that will actually improve your life and your overall wellbeing.
With the first full week of January beginning tomorrow, commit to making this the year you value yourself, the year where you listen to your true self and ignore anything and everything that doesn’t serve you.
Happy New Years my wonderful readers, I am so grateful to have spent this year with you.