Recharge Your Resolutions

Share this post

New Year’s resolutions. Is there any yearly writing exercise that’s more fraught? Making New Year’s resolutions is supposed to be a helpful practice about self-reflection and goal-setting but all too often the whole endeavor turns into a practice that’s more stressful than helpful.

This season, try integrating these five approaches into crafting your resolutions. You might find that as you lessen the demands you place on yourself, you’ll feel more energized and ready to take on the challenges of the new year.

1. Reflect
Grab some tea and some alone time and settle down to think about the reasons that you to want to make resolutions in the first place. Is it because you really want to make changes in your life, or is it because, well, it’s just what people do as the New Year approaches? Give it some objective thought, without judging yourself or your reasons.

If it’s just the social pressure of the season, remind yourself: If I’m not feeling it, I can hold off. January 1 is a great time for new starts, but it’s also an arbitrary date.

If, however, you’re resolution-ready, move on to number 2 on this list.

2. Reframe
Before you start writing down your list of resolutions, think about the perspective you’ve crafted them from in the past. Often people think about their own self-improvement in negative terms. For instance, it’s common to think something like “I want to lose weight because I don’t like the way I look.” But starting from a negative place provides a shaky motivational foundation. Instead, reframe your resolutions with a positive spin: “I’d like to improve on some healthy eating habits I picked up this past year.” Or, “If I lose some weight, I’ll be more comfortable being active with my kids, and that’s important to me.” By switching your perspective, you might find you’ll stick to your resolutions longer.

3. Refresh
Traditionally, resolutions are seen as actions to take—things we need or have to do. They often have to do with being more productive or otherwise improving yourself. It’s a lot of pressure to add to your plate. What if you tried the reverse approach and resolved to make time and space to step back and engage in a little self-care? Instead of resolving to keep the house more clean, exercise more, or get to inbox zero, resolve instead to schedule alone time every week; to spend an extra hour doing nothing; or to finally take a vacation.

4. Release
Let’s face it, if you’ve had “finally clean out the garage” on your list of resolutions for the past five years and it still hasn’t gotten done, it probably won’t this year either. This year, give yourself permission to stop making promises to yourself that you aren’t really interested in keeping. Releasing that pressure makes space for a new resolution—one that means more to you—while allowing you to let go of the stress of something that feels unfinished.

5. Renew
Don’t just write your list and then tuck it away. Take time every few months to check back in with yourself and renew your relationship with your resolutions. You may find that your priorities have changed, or that you have items you can check off as done. Or you might want to simply renew your commitment. If you think of your list as a living document, as adaptable and adjustable as you are, it could become a source of energy all year round.

Jonanna Widner lives in Portland, OR, where she writes about sports, music, travel, and fitness.
 

 

Subscribe to the WEEKLY BITE

* indicates required

 

Recent Diet and Health articles:

Simple ways to keep your skin safe
July 17, 2018
Everything you need to stay safe from ticks
July 5, 2018
Zero Balancing may be the best bodywork you’ve never heard of
July 3, 2018
Five healthy food trends to explore
April 17, 2018
Creating space for social connections at work is good for health and good for business.
February 15, 2018
The many ways chocolate can make your workday better
February 8, 2018
Brew up a cozy cup of tea for your health
January 11, 2018
Five ways to healthier skin this winter
January 4, 2018
5 techniques for New Year’s resolutions you’ll keep.
December 28, 2017
Make mornings the best part of your day with these useful tips.
December 21, 2017

More recent articles:

Farmer suicide is a public health threat and could hurt our food supply
August 14, 2018
Food:
How to make vegetarian sushi at home
August 7, 2018
Massage for migraines
August 2, 2018
Free online professional skills development can produce (big B) Benefits
July 31, 2018
Enjoy this prized Sonoma County apple—and help support the farmers who grow it
July 26, 2018
How to keep your favorite fruit fresh through the summer heat
July 19, 2018
Food:
Sink your teeth into summer stone fruit
July 10, 2018
Why bottle filling stations are better than bottled water
July 3, 2018
The dangers of presenteeism
June 26, 2018
Food:
Four ways to ensure you’re making good chocolate choices
June 19, 2018

About Us

Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.