New Year, New Resolutions or New Lifestyle?

“What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet” – Anne Frank

Here we are again, another year over (albeit quite a different year to most), a new one about to begin and time to set those “New Year Resolutions”.

But, when we make these New Year promises to ourselves that we “will stop smoking, drinking, eating so much etc.” How often does the “willpower” run out a few weeks down the line, when life simply gets in the way? Why does this happen? How can we do things differently so that these intentions become part of our daily lifestyle?

I recently looked back on my goals for 2020 list that I made at the end of last year with my husband. I’d completed three out of four, and my husband had completed two out of four but one of them was based on obtaining a certain weight, which he achieved, but only for a short while…

The intentions that I made for 2020 were positive, specific and realistic. They were all things that I really wanted to form part of my life, and rather than them being focused on removing things out of my life, they were focused on adding value to it.

When we feel like we are “giving up” something that we have enjoyed for many years of our lives, even if we know it might not be the healthiest habit in the world, the urge and the pull still lingers. But what if we consider enriching our lives with new and different habits that might be more nourishing for us? Which can lead to a reduction in the less healthy habits?

For example, a smoker might decide they want to stop, but because it feels like ‘quitting’ or ‘giving up’ this New Year Resolution might not make it past a few days. However, if a smoker makes an intention to start running (which is a positive, specific and realistic intention) yes, they are still smoking but they have added a healthy habit into their lifestyle, and this can eventually lead to them stopping smoking as it’s getting in the way of their running ability.

In recent years we have great initiatives such as “Dry January” (going alcohol free) or “Veganuary” (going meat, fish and dairy free). These events promote and educate and encourage participants to adopt these lifestyles for the month of January. It is a really positive way to introduce these habits into our lives. But it still isn’t easy for people that have been so used to one way of life to suddenly change to another.

As someone that no longer smokes, drinks alcohol or eats meat, fish and dairy (apart from the odd slice of chocolate cake every now and then!) I understand that having support plays a vital role in these transitions. So, if you are looking to make any changes in your habits or lifestyle for 2021 please do contact me for a free consultation.

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