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When Health New Year's Resolutions Crumble...

Updated: Feb 7, 2022

I've been thinking a lot about this topic lately... New Year's Resolutions. Some people faithfully make them every year, sometimes they go great and other times (most of the time) they crumble before January is even over. TBH that's where I find myself right now - a certified health coach who is crazy about all things health and wellness- and I found myself stumbling, tripping then completely falling off my ONE health related new years resolution. Why?

First, let's back up a bit...

It was January 2015 when my husband and I decided to do our first Whole30. It was crazy, time consuming and honestly just really hard. It was hard emotionally, financially and physically. But at the time I would tell you it was oh so worth it after those 30 days of feeling really successful at self discipline, self denial and just completing what we set out to do. Every year we challenged ourselves to complete a health related food challenge in January- no alchohol for 31 days, no added sugar for 31 days, some form of Paleo for 31 days, no red meat (beef and pork) for 31 days... you get the idea. And most of the time we would make it! Only to rebound back to old habits and splurging on yummy foods we could finally eat. And that brings me to why this year's resolution has seemed... less important.

After 7 months of studying, I passed the Health and Wellness Coach exam this past year. Among other things, I learned about how our mind and body works to create new habits, the physchological effects of dieting, how labeling foods as 'good' or 'bad', 'healthy' and 'unhealthy' can really mess with our minds and how our society as a whole has a long road ahead to true health and wellness. But don't lose hope just yet... I think I've come up with some helpful tips.

"New Year, New You!"

You hear this phrase all the time in January and it drives some people mad. I completely acknowledge that a new year can be a positive tool to clean the slate and get excited about new goals. But what happens when the excitement wears off and the hard part of life comes creeping in (or hits you over the head with a brick like my January 2019- more on that at another time)? You need to be firmly rooted in the conviction of your health goals before you set out on a resolution adventure. And this doesn't necessarily happen overnight. Ok, so you've read this far and you may be thinking, "Get to the point!". Here are a few tips on how to make changes in the new year (or preferably all throughout the year) to get to the next peak of your health and wellness journey. *WARNING* this is not a quick fix, but the best things take time and you are worth it :)

Tip #1 Find your WHY

Before making any new goals you must think about your why. The 'why' is your foundation to stand upon when temptation comes. Why is getting to this next health peak important to me? Why do I want to achieve this? How will I feel after I make it? What will happen if I don't do this? Your 'why' will get refined in the fire of temptation... and that's OK! Let's say you are on verge of a diabetes diagnosis and your doctor told you to cut back on the sweets. Your 'why' may initially be - I am staying away from sweets because my doctor told me to. Then, you're celebrating a birthday and feel like you should partake and have some cake. Then, you feel guilty for eating the cake and you start to see yourself as a failure and a downward spiral of negative self talk sends you back to the kitchen finding comfort in foods. So you need to refine your why. You go back to the drawing board and discover that you really don't want to go on medication and you want to feel better all day for years to come, not just in the moment eating a treat. Now you have someting substantial to stand on and you are one step closer to your goal!

Tip #2 Make a Roadmap

You don't set out on a trip across the country without making a plan (especially if you have kids). You prepare, plan, pack all the things, make contingencies and so on. So it is with your health journey. Make a roadmap and don't expect to get from Alaska to Floriday in one day. This is where I put in a shameless plug for Health Coaching :) The journey is SO different for everyone and health coaches are trained to look at your situation, ask you the right questions and lead you to make a roadmap you will be able to stick with! Sticking with the example above, your roadmap might include having one bit of the cake - that satisfies your sweet tooth and makes you feel like you can partake in the celebration without sabatoging your overall goal. But if you can't stop at just one bite or would rather cut sweets out completely, we can come up with a different way to celebrate at a party that doesn't include a dessert.

Tip #3 Go Slow and Steady

And this is where I lose people. We are a society who expects instant gratification. But I firmly believe we can embrace and actually appreciate this long, day by day journey of health and wellness. My favorite part is that as long as I have my roadmap in hand and a strong conviction about why I am heading there, I can't ever 'mess up'. Sure I can deviate a bit, but there is always a new day, a new hour to make that choice to head back in the direction I want to go. My New Year's Resolution to not eat any added sugars for the month of January takes on a new meaning. I wanted to put a check in place to make sure I am not dependent on processed sugars. I found out it is much harder for me to say no than I realized so I'm going to dig into that and get to the root cause of why I turn to sugar for comfort and what I can replace that with.

So when your New Year's Resolution Crumbles with a delicious chocolate chip cookie, it's ok to pause, ask the hard questions and give yourself the grace to try again with a new plan. Just keep moving forward.

Live Healthy, Live Free,



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