Person holding a calendar

How to Approach Resolutions the Healthy Way


Sober Recovery Expert Author

Person holding a calendar

Now that the New Year is upon us, it’s time to really start thinking about the way we want 2019 to go. Like many, we make New Year resolutions with a determination to follow through with them. However, if you’re like most people, resolutions are usually forgotten within one month and you spend the rest of the year just floating around on a sail boat without any sails. In other words, you become stagnant.

It’s About Lifestyle

The most popular New Year’s resolution people make is to start living a healthy lifestyle by eating right and exercising. Come on, you know you’ve made that resolution at least once in your life. No doubt, this is a great New Year’s resolution. To eat healthy foods and exercise regularly is certainly commendable and will boost your life in many ways. I offer words of caution though: Don’t expect miracles overnight.

This year, commit to lifestyle changes that last.

I say this because real change affects an entire lifestyle; it’s not just a temporary fix. Sure, you can do immediate things like cut out sugar or start walking a few times a week, but adopting a healthy lifestyle is about progress and consistency. If you expect to watch what you eat for several weeks in the hopes that you’ll drop that 50 extra pounds, it’s just not going to happen. However, if you watch what you eat for a year and exercise regularly, you’re much more likely to show up at the Christmas party next year 50 pounds lighter.

Progress, Not Perfection

In recovery, the phrase “progress, not perfection” is used often. I suppose it's because there is something in us that strives to be perfect, which frankly just isn’t possible. Whether it’s playing the piano or losing weight or building self-esteem, striving for perfection will simply give you a lot of stress to contend with. Remember, life is not a competition. There is no hurry.

It’s progress, not perfection.

Set Some Goals

Take some time to set goals for the entire year. If you want to shed some weight, don’t come up with a number. Simply write down, “I want to start living a healthier lifestyle.” Then you can write things that will help you do so, like eating oatmeal for breakfast instead of chocolate or walking during your lunch break instead of chatting with coworkers. Start reaching for healthy foods more often. Drink more water. Exercise regularly. Not just so you can lose weight, but so you can live a healthy lifestyle.

And don’t forget, it takes time. I remember years ago making a decision to get healthier and it did not happen overnight. In fact, it took years for me to really implement the changes I wanted to make. I incorporated healthy choices little by little and if I’m not careful, even today, I can slip back into unhealthy habits. You have to consistently remind yourself that you’re choosing to live a healthy lifestyle. If it helps, write out a declaration and put it on your fridge or create a vision board depicting your ideal healthy lifestyle. These will help you remember your goals and encourage you to follow suit.

As 2019 fast approaches, visualize yourself living the life of your dreams and take action towards making that dream a reality. Day by day, progress towards your preferred life and remember to enjoy it at the same time.

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