Pausing and thinking through what we want our lives and our days to look like is powerful. After all, it’s important to get intentional and deliberate about our time on this earth. And I think knowing what we don’t want is just as important as knowing what we do. And it’s especially helpful if we have no clue what we want. That’s why this year I’ve created a list of resolutions I won’t be setting in 2016.
- Lose X number of pounds by such and such date. I’d rather focus on habits that make me feel great, that boost my energy, that boost my mood and sink my stress level, habits that are fun or calming. I’d rather focus on taking compassionate care of myself—without being shackled to a scale.
- Have a “bikini body” by this summer.
- Become a new me. Is anyone else tired of the “new year, new you” message?
- Exercise in ways that aren’t interesting or satisfying to me. I love being active. I love participating in challenging workouts, and I love relaxing, too. I love stretching my body and taking long walks. I love bike riding with my husband. But there are many physical activities that I don’t love, which I’ll simply be skipping. We can move our bodies in any ways we like. We’re all different, and different things will interest, excite, inspire and uplift different people.
- Cut calories.
- Cut out entire food groups (like dessert or carbs) or certain foods (like pasta or bread). This world is filled with so many delicious foods, flavors and spices, and I want to taste as many as I can.
- Turn food into an adversary. I recently came across a magazine article that referred to ice cream as an “enemy,” and that just makes me sad.
- Stop eating after 7 p.m. When I exercise in the evening, I often don’t eat dinner until 8 and sometimes even 9 p.m. If I didn’t eat anything, I’d be starving. Please know that you can eat whenever you are hungry. By being hungry, your body is trying to tell you something. And the best thing is to give yourself the nourishment you need.
- Fix my broken self. None of us is broken. We can improve certain things. We can do certain things that truly support and serve us. But we aren’t broken or deficient or lacking.
- Strictly stick to three meals a day (and no snacks ever!); or only five small meals; or … How we eat may look different every day, depending on what we’re doing, when we wake up, when we go to bed, what we need. Normal eating is flexible. And if you’d like to learn more about normal eating, I highly, highly recommend checking out Rachel’s work and Michelle’s work.
- Strive to live a Pinterest- or Instagram-perfect life. I love beautiful images and beautiful compositions and lots of light. But our lives, sometimes, most times, are messy, and it’s just all-too easy to get caught up in perfection, in wanting perfection, in thinking that perfection actually exists. Of course, we know this. But some days we forget.
- Keep chocolate and cookies out of the house, because if they’re out of the house I won’t eat them. I like chocolate and cookies. Simple as that.
- Shame, berate, bash, judge or set negative consequences for not completing some goal or for overeating, or failing, or making a mistake. Instead, I believe in self-forgiveness. This has taken me many years (many years of being terrible to myself) to realize.
- Anything that doesn’t arise from a deep desire from within.
- Anything that feels like a punishment.
- Anything that disconnects me from myself.
What resolutions are you not setting? What resolutions don’t serve or support you? What resolutions do serve and support you? What resolutions are you excited about? What feels inspiring to you?
Maybe not setting any resolutions is exciting or inspiring, because it feels liberating. Maybe you used to set punitive resolutions every year, and this year, you’re letting that go.
Whatever you’re doing for 2016, I hope it nourishes you. Because that’s really what it’s about.