Hello! It’s been a while. Apologies. Things have really been busy at Mid Atlantic Nutrition, which is awesome! It just doesn’t leave me with as much down time to write posts.
With the new year (and new decade) finally here, I’ve really been thinking a lot about goals and intentions. This time of year can be really tough for those trying to opt out of diet culture. News stories, social media feeds, magazines, and TV ads are all bombarding us with resolutions about losing weight or “toning up” or “eating clean”. Obviously one way to opt out of all that is simply not to participate – to ignore these annoying, body shaming messages and just quietly trust that you know your body is amazing and brilliant just as it is. But another thing we can do to change the status quo, is to help shift the resolution discussions into a more productive conversation.
Please don’t think i am anti-resolution or anti-goal setting, because I’m not. I’m actually super into goal setting and intention setting. I mean you would just need one look at my planner to know that i’m crazy (literally) about making plans and lists and doing what i can to achieve those goals. You would also be able to tell from one look at my planner that i have more stickers than any 31 year old woman really needs, but that’s a problem for a different day……
I’m just against our goals being about changing our bodies just to try to fit some societal norm. If your goal is to work on getting stronger so that you can lift up your toddler, that’s great – i’m all about that. But if your goal is to get to the gym 5 days a week because you think you need to lose weight in order to be happy – i’m not all about that. Because it’s a lie told and propagated by companies that make billions off of our insecurities.
So I wanted to take some time to share with you today, 20 goals/intentions I’m setting for the new year that have absolutely nothing to do with weight loss or changing my body. I hope it gets you thinking too about what you want out of life in 2020. Put that good energy out into the universe and let’s starting changing New Year’s resolutions conversations into discussions that are productive and truly healthy.
Here are my 20 for 2020:
- Practice gratitude. I love gratitude journaling, but I’m not always super great at doing it daily. I try to write down each day, 3 things that I’m grateful for. I find this practice to be very calming and it helps me keep perspective. It’s easy to get caught in comparison mode (especially when we’re on social media), and forget to enjoy all that we have when we’re so often longing for something more or something different.
- Learn to meditate. Every now and then I will meditate for like 5 minutes, and when i do i find it really helpful. But these times are few and far between. There are so many benefits to meditation. I really want to get better and more consistent with it. I usually use the Insight Timer app to find quick and free guided meditations, but lately i’ve been thinking about investing in a different one, like Calm (which is a yearly fee). Anyone out there have a favorite meditation app that they’d like to share?? Please let me know in the comments!
- Be more regular with going to therapy. Mental health is so, so important. And i have found that for me, going to therapy on a regular basis does really help me handle the stress and anxiety that come along with living in today’s world. I talk about going to therapy pretty openly and candidly, because I wish there wasn’t stigma around mental health, and by talking more openly and honestly about it, we can encourage others to do the same and to not feel ashamed or embarrassed about seeking help. Which could really end up saving someone’s life.
- Spend more time painting. I love almost all types of crafting, especially painting. But i hardly ever do it because it seems like a lot of work to get out all the supplies, and then it takes me hours to paint something. I tend to go off of a picture and try to make it look just like the picture, which is maybe not the most productive way for me to paint? I want to try a more therapeutic approach to painting – without a picture – just experimenting with colors and shapes and seeing what happens when i color outside the lines.
- Travel – get out of the house (ie, my comfort zone). I am a homebody through and through. My house is my comfort zone, and if left to my own devices i would probably hardly ever leave. Luckily my husband is much more extroverted and adventurous than i am, and so he pushes me to go out and do things. When i do get out into the world and go on a vacation or even just a day trip, I really enjoy it – i just have to force myself to do it in the first place. Anyone else feel like this about travel/adventure??
- Spend more time outside this summer. I love being outside. Especially when the weather is nice. And we have a lovely space out back to just sit and enjoy nature – i really need to take advantage of that.
- Get more comfortable going bare faced. I tend to wear a lot of makeup, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s not always something I do for me – not always because i want to or have fun putting it on. I do it because for the last five or so years I’ve really struggled with my skin in ways that I never did as a teenager (adult acne sucks!), and i am very self conscious about going out in public without at least foundation and concealer. I want to feel more comfortable (and not ashamed) about my skin. It’s far, far from perfect, and sometimes draws stares or comments (yes – people have asked me what’s wrong with my face), but it’s the only skin i have, so i’m trying to do a better job of respecting it and being kind.
- Go on more dates (with my husband, of course). As mentioned, I’m a homebody. So sometimes (all the time…) I tend to gravitate towards watching Netflix in sweatpants on a Friday (and Saturday) evening. But watching TV together isn’t exactly quality time spent together – don’t get me wrong, it’s great, but I know that in order to keep our relationship strong and healthy we need to make time for ourselves to get out of the house and go on dates. Who says dating has to stop when you get married??
- Declutter the house. This is just an ongoing process really. I’m not the neatest/cleanest person (as my husband can attest), but i do feel better (mentally) when the house is clean and free of clutter.
- Clean out my closet (as in get rid of some clothes). I try to do this at least once or twice a year. I love clothes (and shopping for clothes), so i have a lot of clothing. But I tend to wear probably only 50% of it on a regular basis, so i need to spend some time keeping what i love and donating the rest.
- Learn more about finances and investing. This isn’t something that I find particularly interesting, but I think it’s one of those important, adult things that I should pay attention to.
- Reduce single use plastic and find new ways to help the planet. This is something that is very important to me. The more I learn about plastic pollution, the more afraid I get for the future of the planet and the creatures that inhabit it (including us humans). I am still shocked by how many people don’t use reusable tote bags at the grocery store. This is something so simple and easy that can make a big difference in the amount of plastic that’s thrown away. Think about it – each trip to the grocery store each week a person might use somewhere between 5-10 plastic bags for their groceries. So 5-10 bags per person/household per week, for life. That’s A LOT of plastic bags. And such a simple solution already exists – use reusable bags. I’m not saying that this will solve the plastic problem – that’s obviously way more complicated, but it’s a simple step that we can all take to at least try to make a difference. I honestly wish all stores would just stop providing bags – then people would remember their reusable ones. Or they could have an option that if you forget bags, you can pay for ones that are biodegradable.
- Grow some of my own food this summer. I try every year to grow at least a few veggies. I actually have quite the black thumb, so to speak. I tend to kill plants more often than not. But last year i had some zucchini plants that did really well. I just keep trying every year to get a little bit better at growing food in my backyard.
- Learn how to compost. I’m told it’s really not that hard, but it’s something I haven’t figured out yet. If anyone has any great resources for beginners, please leave a comment and let me know!
- Finally finish my Intuitive Eating certification. I started the certification process over a year ago. It’s a multi-part process, and not the cheapest, so I’ve just really been slow about it, but i just signed up for the 3rd step which starts at the end of this month, so I’d like to have the whole thing completed before the summer!
- Be more mindful about my purchases. This plays into resolution #12. I think about how many things I buy that I don’t actually need. I want to start thinking more about the lifespan of these products. Because as a culture, we throw away A LOT of stuff, and it doesn’t just magically disappear. It goes into a landfill somewhere and then leaches into the earth. Not only will this be better for my wallet to think carefully before purchasing, it will also help the planet.
- Call/visit my grandmothers more often. I am really lucky. I have two amazing, smart, incredibly caring grandmothers in my life. They both have incredible stories to tell, and I need to make more time to spend with them.
- Touch base with old friends. The older I get the harder it seems to be to find time to maintain social relationships. It’s so easy to get caught up with work and my family commitments, and before you know it you haven’t seen a good friend in over a year. This year I want to prioritize reconnecting with friends from high school and college that I haven’t seen in a while.
- Be more organized at work. Making the change to private practice has definitely been an adjustment. Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome, but some aspects are more difficult – like finding ways to get my notes written during the week so that I don’t have to write them on weekends. And staying organized at work is a little harder than it used to be at my old job. My boss is amazing and we also hired a 3rd RD this year who’s awesome, but private practice is a lot more of a one person show than it was working in an office with a team of people. I need to continue to work on organizing my time (and my paperwork) a little better.
- Watch less TV. This is a tough one for me because there’s nothing I love more than spending many hours on the sofa, snuggled up with Taylor and Olive, watching a good show. Especially when I get home from work in the evenings, I tend to just want to turn my brain off and watch a few episodes of one of our favorites (The Office, Parks and Rec, Big Bang – etc). But I know that though this is great in the moment, overall there are other things I want to accomplish at home. I can do more cleaning and decluttering. I can do more crafting and creating. I can pick up a new hobby or learn a new skill. TV is great, but there’s a lot of other ways to spend my time that could really enrich my life.
Well there you have it – my 20 for 2020. What are your non-weight related resolutions and goals for this new year?? Leave a comment and let me know what you’re inspired to work on in the next 12 months!