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Moving into 2019 you’ve likely seen them already. The commercials. The special offers. The introductory deals. Gyms, health food stores, subscription boxes, cosmetics. It’s all helping to facilitate the same thing… A new you for the new year. The idea of re-inventing ourselves to coincide with the new year is nothing new. In fact, the tradition of New Year’s Resolutions goes way back to ancient Rome. The new year roughly coincides with the Winter Solstice; a time traditionally associated by pagan traditions with rebirth, renewal and rejuvenation.
However, maybe “New Year, New You” isn’t the endgame we should all be pursuing. After all, while you may have things about yourself that you’d like to improve (who among us doesn’t?) there’s a lot about you that’s truly wonderful. Instead of aiming for a “new” you, perhaps it would be far more satisfying and productive to try to remain the old you, looking at the things about yourself that you’d like to preserve while also taking an uncompromising look at what you’d like to improve about yourself…
The importance of starting from a place of self-love
Self loathing is not a powerful motivator. Seeing ourselves in the mirror and cursing our wobbly bits may seem like a motivating force to spur ourselves into action, but the surge of motivation it sparks is simply not sustainable. Starting to make positive change for negative reasons is like trying to build a fortified castle on sand. The surge of motivation you start to feel will peter out and you’ll inevitably be left more miserable than ever.
A far more productive way to start is by taking stock of the things you love about yourself both in physical terms and in terms of your personality and work on bringing them more to the forefront.
Aim to fix habits. The results will take care of themselves
While looking at our results, especially in terms of fitness, is important in tracking our progress, we must guard against the tail wagging the dog. We become a version of ourselves that we’re less than happy with as a result of our habits. When we address those habits, the results take care of themselves. When we don’t make time to cook nutritious meals, we inevitably gain weight. When we feel like we may be drinking too much but don’t reach out for help from the ANA Treatment Centre or reach out to loved ones, the problem will only become exacerbated. Whatever bad habits caused you to fall out of love with yourself, your efforts should be focused on reaching out for the help you need to fix them. The results will follow of their own accord.
Don’t forget to reward your accomplishments
Whether you’re trying to get in shape, give yourself more time to spend with loved ones or trying to lessen your dependence on comfort eating, the key is consistency. Many of us set about our goals like a bull out of a gate but this is rarely sustainable. Denying yourself the little creature comforts and quotidian treats that give colour to life is the fast track to making yourself miserable and lapsing into bad habits. Instead, consider the 80/20 rule whereby 80% of your diet is healthy foods while you’re still allowed to treat yourself 20% of the time.
Have a very happy new year with a very happy old you!