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How to make loving new year's resolutions

With the New Year here, we're planning to do better and to improve. But if we look at past experience, we can see that the usual strategies of making resolutions rarely work.

How to make loving new year's resolutions

Every new beginning brings hope and resolve. With the New Year here, we're planning to do better and to improve. But if we look at past experience, we can see that the usual strategies of making resolutions rarely work.

There are a few reasons for this:

  • We try to take on too much at a time;
  • We make the resolutions out of hate and disappointment toward ourselves;
  • We apply more wishful thinking than realism;
  • We focus on the wrong thing.

The most popular resolutions and why they fail

The most popular resolution by leaps and bounds is to lose weight. It is popular because our world is obsessed with thinness and we equate thin to healthy. I personally don't think this is reasonable, but this is just my professional opinion, and of course, people choose for themselves what is important to them.

The problem is that we try to lose weight by dieting. And dieting fails 95% of the time, so this item is on the resolutions list, the next year as well.

Another common goal is to eat better, which I think is an admirable goal - cooking more at home, eating more fresh produce, and using whole ingredients. But most people aspire to this resolution in the hope of losing weight, and when they don't get the prize, the healthy behavior vanishes

The third resolution is to exercise more. It is also popular, because of the popular belief that it helps you lose weight. But, movement is proven to be healthy and to improve wellbeing regardless of weight and weight loss. So, it's a bit sad that a lot of people give up on training, just because they get discouraged by the fact, that they don't lose weight. And this item is on their resolutions list year after year, as with diets.

Losing weight is the most popular resolution because our priorities are mixed up. We employ unsustainable strategies in its pursuit. And we focus just on the exterior - the scale. So, we fail, we easily get discouraged, and sadly we don't make some sustainable changes that help us improve our health. So, we're on the hamster wheel and we have these resolutions for many many years in a row, but they don't stick.

How to make lifestyle resolutions from a place of love

Eating right

It's important to get it into our heads that there isn't one single way of eating right and there is huge interpersonal variability. So, my best advice is to go inward, rather than outward this year. Don't jump on the next dieting wagon, but find what foods you like and why. Which foods make you feel best.

Also, be flexible - realize that in different situations you'll need different food. The standard advice is to eat as little processed food as possible, but if this brings you too much stress, back off a little bit, and choose a way to eat, that makes your body feel good, is not too taxing on our psyche. Think about kindness, not punishment.

I think that focusing on a way to eat that is not too demanding, but joyful is the most important thing.


Exercise is great, but like everything else - it should be incorporated in your day in a balanced way. Find movement you enjoy - all movement is great, and if you enjoy it, you'll be more inclined to do it.

If it's feasible, you can do a couple of different sports. Tailor your exercise routine to yourself. Also, do an amount of exercise, that doesn't feel like a chore. It shouldn't be something that you have to do, and you dread doing (like going to the gym at 4 AM). It's better if it's something that you want to do.

Our "No pain, no gain" mentality is hindering us, big time on our way to health. Exercise is a crucial component for the health of our bodies and our minds. If we think of it as a punishment, we'll be expending more effort trying to avoid it, rather than doing it.

And even though exercise has disappointing effects in terms of losing weight, it has the biggest bang for our buck it terms of health benefits.

Mental wellbeing

Finding balanced ways to do the right things for your health is a good start. Also, finding ways to care about yourself and unplug a little bit will be greatly beneficial. There isn't one recipe. For one it will be meditation, for someone else, swimming, hiking, coloring, dancing or a message. You'll have to choose for yourself, what activities charge your batteries. Also, do you prefer to have some time alone, or finding a buddy to do them with? There's just one rule - pamper yourself once in a while.

Also, try to identify what are the important things for you, declutter your schedule and make room for things that bring the biggest rewards.

One more thing, I could suggest is to know yourself better. Find what brings you joy, not what should bring you joy. And do more of that.

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