{via etsy}

Recently I was reading this blog post by Golda, a coach, consultant and author, at Body Love Wellness. And she made a really powerful observation about the holidays and setting New Year’s resolutions. She writes:

It feels inevitable. December is all about holidays and parties and joy and togetherness. There are bright lights and gifts and delicious food and hundreds of tubas playing carols. At least, that’s the hope. It’s a time of year when we try, as best we can, to connect with our abundance and our joy.

Then, suddenly, January 2nd rolls around, and we’re asked to drop all of that merriment and get real. We’re supposed to take note of our flaws and resolve to be better — to eat better, to exercise more, to party less, to stop having such a darn good time and get down to work, usually on ourselves.

Our society gets serious for the New Year by pumping out more weight-loss and diet commercials. (Seriously, I’m sure everyone has noticed the surge.) By splashing “New Year, New You!” headlines on women’s magazines and websites. (I was going to link to several sample articles, but they promote such unhealthy ideas, which may be triggering, that I just couldn’t do it.) By dishing on the best diets, “calorie-friendly foods” and tons of other “slim-down tools” to help you get real.

These kinds of articles and advice only further the idea that leading a healthy lifestyle is all about rigidity, restriction, seriousness and perfection. That it’s all about erasing and eliminating your flaws, punishing yourself for being bad and keeping yourself in line.

If you’re setting resolutions this year, consider pursuing goals that include joy, hope and merriment. And if you’re not setting resolutions, then consider living your life with such principles in mind.

Remember that being healthy isn’t some punishment, chore, rigid rule or all-or-nothing idea.

It’s about listening to and nourishing your mind and body. About taking good care of yourself, finding what works for you, feeding your body nutrient-rich goodies, eating what you enjoy, living fully in your body. And having fun while doing those things.

Golda concludes by saying:

So here’s what I propose. Let’s (quite literally) have our cake and eat it too. Let’s savor the cake and the kale. Let’s get more exercise by dancing more with friends. Let’s love our bodies because they’re ours, because they’re a gift, and not have our self approval depend on how well they meet some totally arbitrary societal standard.

What do you think about our society’s ways of getting real in the New Year? How will you incorporate joy and merriment into your life?