We’ve all heard “New Year, new you.” But is it really? I mean, technically, you’re the same you you were on December 31st, 2016 as you are today. And thank goodness for that because we think you’re great!
Perhaps a more appropriate tagline (though admittedly not as cheeky) would be, “New Year, new goals for improving the you that you already are.” We think the you that you are is spectacular: undeniably strong, dedicated to bettering yourself, and committed to the long-term challenge that is meeting your goals. We want to help you every step of the way, so here are our 5 tips for building yourself in the New Year.
1) Be accepting of your body.
Far easier said than done! But the bottom line is this: The longer we live with negative thoughts about our bodies, the more unhappiness we are forcing onto ourselves. Any way you look at it, our bodies are extraordinary. Think about your DNA, your immune system, the way your heart beats without you even having to think about it.
Are our bodies perfect? No, and they never will be. But are they amazing? In every sense of the word.
2) Avoid unrealistic expectations.
If you just got your first gym membership on January 2nd, it might be a tad unrealistic to plan on getting there 6 days a week starting now. Building up enduring self-care habits takes time, and often means adjusting your routine to make room for new priorities.
Try setting small, attainable goals, especially if you’re trying something completely new. You’ll be far more likely to achieve them, and you’ll feel accomplished after you do. You can always ramp up your expectations for yourself once you get in the groove.
3) Understand that life fluctuates.
When has one week of your life been exactly like the next? I’m betting never! Then why should you expect that you’ll be able to dedicate the exact same amount of time to wellness each week?
Believe me, I’m all for setting goals and working hard to achieve them, but I also think we have a tendency to be far too hard on ourselves (especially us ladies). During a month when work is crazy, family is in town, and travel has you on a wonky sleep schedule, your exercise record may not look as impressive as it did last month. I challenge you to let go of the guilt and work towards being ok with that.
4) Your body fluctuates, too.
Did you know that men have hormonal cycles? Women’s symptoms may be more pronounced, but men’s bodies go through a similar (but subtler) cycle of hormonal and emotional changes. Think that affects how your body performs in a workout? You betcha.
I’m not saying give yourself a free pass one week out of every month to forgo exercise and become a daily customer at The Baked Bear (but I mean, YUM), but do be sympathetic when you need some extra motivation to get your booty into class.
5) Build each other up.
Taking care of yourself in a group is so much more fun than doing it by yourself. Plus, it’s motivating and allows for sharing of secrets! (You put what on your smoothie bowl?!)
We all go through periods when we need more support, and we all have times when we’re able to lend that support to others. If you find a community of people who are also working towards healthier versions of themselves, I promise you it will feel a little easier to stay on track.
The more we can support one another, the better we feel about ourselves, and the more support we will get in return.
Happy New Year to all of you! This trip around the sun, let’s build ourselves together.
Author: Ali Weeks