Ah! Christmas and the Holiday seasons are coming to an end, we’re all taking down the trimmings and the trappings, we’ve had enough of our families, and we’ve eaten more than we thought humanly possible. As we approach the New Year with bellies full of booze and pastries, we begin looking forward to leaving the nightmare that was 2020 behind, and we stay cautiously optimistic for 2021 by making new year resolutions. In my experience, the period between Christmas and New Years day is very emotional…everyone is tuckered out from the Holidays (which are already so emotional). The worst part of all of it is that we end up doing a lot of reflecting. Was I productive enough this year? Did I overcome? Did I achieve? All great questions to keep us all up at night. With reflection often comes the dreaded New Year’s resolution. Personally, I’m really not a fan of New Year’s resolutions because they always feel like a great way to feel really bad about ourselves, project unrealistic goals, and then shatter them within the first two weeks of January.
One of the most common goals among resolutions is to lose weight. Although it’s been proven time and time again that diets are unrealistic ways to lose weight, and furthermore, even less productive in January as part of a resolution, diet culture skyrockets in January, becoming a hot-topic for three weeks. How many times have you heard “the diet starts January first”, or “My New Year’s resolution is to cut out _____ entirely!”?
If you are sick of diet culture, reject the idea that to have worth or to be productive you have to lose weight, but still, enjoy a challenge to better yourself and improve your life then welcome to the club! I think that it’s possible to drop the negative connotations with New Year’s resolution and dieting, and turn our resolutions into a light-hearted challenge to better our lives! Without further adieu, here are 5 New Year’s resolutions that aren’t “lose weight”.
Read More Books
This is personally one of my favourite resolutions because it can be as broad or as specific as you’d like. Take this up as 5 New Year’s Resolutions that Aren’t “Lose Weight.” To read more means something different for everyone. If you’re not typically a book worm, reading more could mean reading one or two novels this year, or reading more blogs this year, or finally getting into comic books! If you’re usually a bookworm, to read more could mean to read a book a month, or a book a week! Read more could mean to read more picture books to your kids, it could mean to start a book club, it could mean reading all of your old Christmas and birthday cards. Reading is such a versatile concept to be done with as you please; finding ways to enrich your life with reading is a great way to start your year!
Compliment Yourself Each Morning
This resolution might seem really silly, and you might even feel silly the first time you try it, but positive affirmation has been proven to help self-esteem and confidence! When you go into the bathroom to brush your teeth in the morning, try giving yourself a compliment. We tend to go through life speaking negatively about ourselves and hyper-focusing on the negatives about our appearances and actions; taking a moment out of the day to appreciate ourselves can make a huge difference to our outlook on the day and the tasks ahead of us for the week!
Try these self-affirmations:
- I look healthy and happy today!
- I am ready to take on the day because I’m very capable and brilliant!
- I love my beautiful ____! (smile, eyes, arms, laugh)
- I am a good _____! (friend, writer, singer, listener)
Practice Gratitude Daily
This one is my own personal New Year’s Resolution. Honestly, I could write a whole article about how much practicing gratitude has drastically changed my state of mind and diminished my anxiety. I highly recommend taking time out of your day to think about what you feel grateful for. It can be as big as your family, partner, faith, or as small as a pretty leaf you saw, or your favourite snack. It’s been proven that practicing gratitude can improve overall well being and your quality of life, so this New Year, consider being truly appreciative of what you have, listing what you’re grateful for in your head, or even starting a gratitude journal!
Take Up a New Hobby!
Isn’t it time you finally try your hand at that hobby you’ve been meaning to take up for years? Instead of worrying about calories or the number on the scale, why don’t you learn to crochet! Painting, pottery, soap carving, getting really good at Go Fish, they’re all productive and healthy ways you can improve your quality of life and challenge yourself to be better! Hobbies have been proven to enrich your life in many ways, including improving time management skills, a catalyst to make social connections, and a clever way to relieve stress! Being productive for your own sake, not for money can be extremely enriching and very fun! If you start to learn how to knit now, you could even knit everyone’s Christmas gifts come December!
Find a Fun New Exercise!
Take the wind out of diet companies’ sails and learn a new exercise for YOU! Just like taking up a new hobby, taking up a new way to exercise (yoga, ice-skating, hiking) is a great way to boost serotonin in your brain and to have fun! Challenge yourself to a new and creative way to move your body—hula-hooping, anyone?—and don’t worry about the scale! Teach yourself to enjoy exercise without the expectation of losing weight or looking a certain way; this hobby is just for you and your body, not for a weight goal or a way to fit in. Who knows, maybe you have a knack for curling that you never knew about!
If you’re like me and you hate the diet traditions tied to the new year, and you’d like to take back the resolutions, making them into a fun way to improve your life, consider trying one of these resolutions! Don’t forget to bookmark “Five New Year’s Resolutions that Aren’t “Lose Weight” the post for reference purposes.
Most importantly, have a safe and happy New year and say, fuck you to diets and unnecessary beauty standards!