A new year always appears as a clean slate. This is a time where we can look back over the past year and think about all the times we messed up, and how we can improve ourselves to ensure it doesn’t happen again. This is where resolutions come from. They are the continuous strive towards the best version of ourselves.

It is healthy to want to be better than you have been before. But you need to ensure that you’re resolutions look to change things based on healthy choices. There are things that we can change for the better, and there are things we can change that will just drag you further down that spiral of depression.

Unhealthy Resolutions

Most people (fortunately for the health markets back pockets) set some kind of physical resolutions for themselves. January is the time of year people focus on the body. We’ve spent all December indoors eating mince pies and drinking dangerous cocktails of sherry and Baileys- it takes real dedication to find the right amount you can handle together without wanting to vomit. By the time January 1st rolls around we’re rolling around with it and ready for a detox.

But sometimes the goal we set is based on a never ending weight we’ve been chasing for the past half decade. I know loads of people a healthy size who set themselves the target of losing, say, half a stone. They don’t need to lose it, they will “just feel better”. And this is the unhealthy bit. Many, many women (if not all) link their weight to how they feel emotionally. There’s the idea that losing that half stone will bring happiness. That life will be better in some way. But as we all actually know, the truth is, that even if you lose the half stone that feeling will just be replaced with another version of it. “Well I could lose just another couple of pounds now I’m in to it”.

Never ending story

And if you don’t manage to lose it you’ll become obsessed with the calorie counting and exercise apps who tell you you should have lost it by now. The app says that based on the stuff you’ve been eating minus the exercise you’ve completed means you have now lost 10 pounds, but the scales tell a different story. And so all of a sudden the self-blame begins. “I must have not worked hard enough in those exercise classes. I won’t put them into the app next month to outweigh the calories”. And even more resolutions come along- “I’ll drink 9 glasses of water a day instead of 8”, “I’ll up my steps to 15,000 a day”, “I won’t eat after 6pm” and on and on it goes. Next thing you know you’re eating a lettuce a day wondering why you feel dizzy all the time and can’t get out of bed for migraines.

Healthy Resolutions

If 2020 has shown us anything I hope it’s this- none of the bullshit we ingest from a young age actually matters. The weight you are does not have any correlation to who you are as a person. Your weight correlates to your health- that’s it. If you’re healthy that’s all that matters. Your friends won’t like you any more if you’re thinner. You won’t be better at your job if you’re skinnier. You won’t have a better relationship two pounds lighter. But, you will have the same personality- so make a resolution that works on that instead. Your thoughts and behaviours can actually make you happier, not the way that you look.

So if you’re setting a resolution this year make sure it’s one that will actually make you feel better in the end, rather than crappier. After this last year- don’t you think you deserve it?