HEALTH: New Year, doesn’t have to mean new you

January 9th, 2023 9:45 PM

By Southern Star Team

The stark truth about the entrance of a new 365-day calendar is that the you who left 2022 behind, is the same you who is welcoming 2023, regardless of what resolutions you make. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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AS we step into 2023, the new years resolutions are being set hard and fast. You swear that this year will be your year. That you will wake up on January 1st with a new attitude to life, endless motivation, and a determination to succeed that you have never had before.

It sounds great. Amazing even. A clean sheet, a fresh start. And it is all bullsh*t!

Before you throw down the paper in disgust, already forming your argument with me in your head, I urge you to take a moment and read on.

The stark truth about the entrance of a new 365-day calendar is that the you who left 2022 behind, is the same you who is welcoming 2023. You have not changed as a person with the ticking of a clock from one year to the next. And a New Year’s resolution is unlikely to change that.

We all hope that will not be the case though. And the diet industry grabs onto that hope and squeezes it until it pops.  They play on our ‘New Year, new me’ determination, promising to finally show us the way to abs and thigh gaps that we have only dreamt of in the past. The ads for weight loss shakes, and diets and workouts are being thrown at you from all angles.

Some you may have already tried; others are new and shiny. But with the conviction to finally succeed, and the flawed assumption that willpower is your only barrier to happiness, you decide to try again.

Albert Einstein said it best, ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.’ And that is the reality of repeated attempts at restrictive diets. Because you know you have been here many, many times before, each time swearing this will be the one that works. So, the cycle continues, unbroken and soul destroying.

I can hear you from here screaming, ‘Well what do I do instead?’ I am so glad you asked.

The first thing you need to do is take a step back. You do not have to abandon any resolutions for the New Year (although you should know it is perfectly ok to not make any!)  What you do need is to decide what it is you really want.

If weight loss is your goal, why? Is it because you believe you should look a certain way or is there a deeper drive?

Perhaps you want to join a gym or take up running. Again, ask yourself why. Understand your motivation.

Once you have been honest with yourself, that is when you can look at ways to achieve that goal. For this stage you also need to shrug off this new year, new you nonsense and determine what you will be able to keep doing long term.

Because I can assure you, eating all the sweets in the house on December 31st with the belief you will consume no more in the new year is going to be a very short road to a very big binge!

Starting small is my number 1 tip. And make these small steps achievable.  In doing so you are going to build your confidence and belief in your own abilities.

Here are some solid examples you can try:

1. Hydration is more important than you will ever know.  Aim to increase your water intake by two to three glasses a day.  Make it a goal to never leave the house without a water bottle.

2. Get more movement into your day.  Even if you just start with 10 minutes of stretching, or taking a 15-minute walk around the block, it all counts!  Don’t jump straight into running miles a day because you will burn out.

3. Aim for 20 minutes more sleep. And create a bedtime routine that facilitates this. If you fall into the social media black hole before you sleep, set a timer to switch off sooner.

The crux of the issue with New Years is that we expect a new person to emerge at 12.01am January 1st and set goals that are unsustainable for our life. It can be uncomfortable to confront ourselves and what we are actually prepared and able to do. But consider that as being the missing piece in all the New Years of your past.

  For support and guidance from a qualified nutritionist contact Aoife on 087 448 8540, or [email protected]. Or check out Mums for Nutrition on Instagram.

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