With the New Year right around the corner we are being bombarded, yet again, with weight-loss ads! It’s also that time of year where it seems everyone has some big plans for January to lose weight. This can be super tough to be around when you are trying to recover from dieting for many reasons, but one of the reasons I found was simply the guilt that may come up if you feel like you aren’t setting any goals or intentions in the area of health or fitness when everyone else is.
First, I want to make sure and point out the fact that January 1st is ultimately, just another day! So, if you are not in a place in your life right now where you feel like you can even try to consider setting goals or intentions then don’t! You have the opportunity every single day to sit down and set some goals when you feel up to it, so if you don’t do that on January 1st, it doesn’t mean anything! Honor where you are at, first and foremost!! If that doesn’t feel good for you right now, then don’t worry about it, please!
If you are in a place where you feel like you’d benefit from setting some New Years’ goals then I definitely encourage that. I personally love setting goals and intentions for the New Year! I’ll be making my 2022 vision board over the next couple of days actually! Research has found that setting goals and then accomplishing those goals is actually one of the best things that people can do to help build their self-esteem! Please keep in mind that when you are goal setting you definitely should be considering every area of your life, not just health and fitness!
There are ten key areas to life and they are:
- Physical Health
- Mental Wellbeing
- Friends and Family
- Purpose or Work
- Personal Growth
When setting your goals make sure to keep all of these areas in mind! A great exercise to do first off, is to give each of these areas a ranking on a scale from 1 to 10. 1 meaning that you are super unsatisfied/unfulfilled/unhappy in this area and 10 meaning that you couldn’t be happier with how that area is currently going in your life. You then look at the areas that are ranked the lowest and brainstorm how you could improve those areas of your life and then set goals based on that.
Now, when it comes to the physical health area, it can be really tough to set goals here without focusing on your weight or physical appearance at all, but we know how those weight-centered goals end up right?
When setting goals in the area of physical health as an Intuitive Eater, there are two main guidelines to follow and keep in mind:
- Remember to focus on what you’re going to add in rather than what you’re going to remove or limit. For example, if you have been eating mainly pre-packaged ready-to-eat type foods and you’re noticing that you are feeling a bit sluggish, instead of setting a goal to cut back on those foods, set a goal instead to add in a couple of servings of fresh vegetables each day. Always trust how you feel when setting goals. To set a goal to cut back on something you’ll likely notice that it actually feels like restriction – trust that feeling as a sign that you need to maybe focus another way.
- Every goal that you set add the caveat of “for the most part” to the end of that goal. With Intuitive Eating it is not black or white right? There are no hard rules to follow and a lot of times when we set goals we don’t allow for flexibility and then when life happens (as it always does) we get discouraged and give up. So, going back to the example of adding in a couple of servings of vegetables every day, the full goal would be “I’m going to add in 2-3 servings of vegetables every day, for the most part”. See how the “for the most part” allows for flexibility. Because the reality of life is that there will be a day that for whatever reason you are unable to eat a single vegetable. Because you’ve added “for the most part” that won’t be super discouraging for you and it won’t mean that you failed!
As for fitness-related goals, remember to keep them realistic and more performance-based rather than an ultimate outcome that you’re hoping for. Obviously, if you have a goal of running a 5k in 2022 or something, that’s great and definitely a good goal to set! However, if you’re just wanting to start exercising more frequently or maybe you want to increase your strength or endurance, there’s not necessarily an “end goal” to that right? Like, it may be more an exercise habit that you’re looking to build! An example of a great exercise-based goal would be something like “I’m going to walk for 20 minutes per day 5 days per week, for the most part”. There’s that “for the most part” again – it is just as vital with these fitness goals as it is with any nutrition goals!
I hope this is helpful for you! I find it very empowering to still set some goals in this area of life and then when you find yourself around the water cooler at work and everyone is talking about weight loss goals for the New Year you can proudly share your health goals too!
I’d also love to hear your goals for 2022 if you set any! And of course, if you need any more guidance in this area please do not hesitate to book your free discovery call with me here!