Annual Resolutions: Helpful or Harmful?

I hope you’ll enjoy this post on New Year’s Resolutions written by dietetic intern Christina Ypsilantis. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

‘Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions. I don’t know about you, but I think that making New Year’s resolutions can be fairly overwhelming. The idea of having to make a pledge for the entire year and start on January 1st just doesn’t make any sense to me. 

Who thought of this lofty idea?? Well in case you are interested, it is thought that the ancient Babylonians were the first to practice making resolutions. The Babylonians would make promises to the gods to start the year on a good note. Did they have resolutions like, stress less or lose weight? Reportedly their resolutions to be in favor of the gods, were to start the year off on a positive note by paying back debts and return borrowed farm equipment. That sounds exactly like the resolutions that people make today….not quite! The one thing that I want to pull from this little history lesson is about starting the year off on the right foot. Nowhere did the story state that the Babylonians made a resolution and had to stick with it the whole year or else.

Now that we’ve had our history story of the day, take a moment to think about your ideas for resolutions for 2015, what are they? Is it something that you need to keep up with for the entire year? Do you feel like if you don’t achieve your resolution that your year is over, and that you’ve lost? Stop yourself right there!!! Let’s make a promise together to try and change the way that we think about resolutions. Instead of focusing on weight or body image, let’s transition that to honor your body by eating regularly rather than go for longer periods of time without eating. Modify resolutions if they seem big and grandiose, but most importantly, remember to be proud of all of your accomplishments. I know it may sound a bit cliché, but that saying “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars” holds some great truth. For example, your resolution could be to look at your meal patterns over time instead of getting caught up on a single meal or snack. Even if there were times when you got caught up, take a step back to appreciate your efforts, you made that step in the right direction. Your inner motivational coach helped you achieve that, kudos to you!

So what are our takeaways for new year’s resolutions?
• Start the year off on a positive note! Love yourself, don’t be critical.
• Also, there’s no official rule that states you have to make a new year’s resolution! How about making a resolution for each month, each week or even each day? Your “fate” does not need to be decided on by January 1st 2015 of this new year. Instead, maybe you could jot down some ideas that you would like to accomplish throughout the year.
• Remember to be mindful about making resolutions, and to make sure they are healthy, rational decisions ☺