Every January, millions of people vow to make weight loss, exercise or health a priority for the upcoming year. Gym membership rates soar, diet talk fills the break room. Until last year, I was one of those people who obsessed over my weight or what new diet I was on. My past New Year’s Resolutions usually involved some sort of weight loss goal.
Since discovered Intuitive Eating and the Health at Every Size movement (and the freedom and joy associated with it), I’ve been able to spend the time and energy previously devoted to losing weight on endeavors that truly fulfill me.
For 2019, my goals were to heal my relationship with food and my body, reduce my single-use plastic waste, find a weekly activity to do with my son, only buy clothing from conscious clothing brands or secondhand shops, apply to a master’s program, finish the Marketing Certification on HubSpot Academy and start planning a trip to Machu Picchu. I was able to accomplish all but two of those items plus we added another member to our family and bought a house (one of my 40 Before 40 Goals).
To celebrate this amazing year, I wanted to share 10 of my favorite non-weight loss related New Year’s Resolutions. They’re all SMART goals, meaning they’re Specific, Actionable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based. Most resolutions fail because they are too vague, too overwhelming or too impersonal. When you set a goal to, for example, plan your dream trip, make sure you decide beforehand what your dream trip is. You should have also saved up enough funds to be able to start booking a flight and hotel rooms. If this isn’t attainable just yet, pick a different resolution!
Hopefully this list will inspire you appreciate your body for all it enables you to do rather than trying to change it.
Start planning and/or take a vacation.
Travel is a dream for many people, but it is one that is not realized as often as it should. If you’d like to travel more, either make it your goal to book that flight or set a budget and savings goal so you can afford the trip next year.
Take a class to learn a new skill.
Whether it’s sewing, photography or cooking, there’s always something new to learn or a skill to hone. The class could be long (like a multi-week Wordpress course taught online or at a community college) or just a couple hours. Pick something fun and get to work!
Reduce your consumption of single-use plastic.
Plastic in general and single-use plastic (like straws and disposable utensils) in particular are taking over the world and wreaking havoc on the environment. If millions of people made a commitment to reduce their consumption even by a little bit, we could make a huge impact on the earth’s eco-systems. If it seems daunting, it doesn’t have to be. It’s as simple as keeping a reusable fork and cup at your desk for lunch and water, declining straws at restaurants, and storing a couple of reusable bags in your car for grocery trips. Be more mindful about the impact of your decisions rather than carelessly using and tossing. Even if the plastic fork you used is thrown out of your sight, it will remain on Earth for centuries.
Tech-free once a week.
We all know that we might spend a little too much time on our phones and that there are many benefits to less screen time. This year, disconnect from your phone or social media to reconnect with the activities and people that deeply matter to you. Read, take a hike, meet a friend for brunch—the possibilities are endless!
Weekly or monthly no spend day.
In January 2018, my husband and I decided to do a no-spend month because we had spent a ridiculous amount of money in December and we were due with our baby in February. That entire month, the only things we bought were groceries and essential toiletries. It was tough to not go out to eat that month knowing how much harder it is to go to restaurants with a baby, especially since LA Restaurant Week is in January, but I’m glad we stuck with it. You could also be more specific with your goal, such as not buying clothes or not buying a latte every morning from the coffee shop.
Whether that means going to a therapist once a week to talk about and resolve issues or getting a monthly massage, pick a self-care activity that will make you feel happy and more prepared to tackle the stressors of every day life.
Figure out and take the next step in your career.
Do you love your job and want to take on more responsibility? Have you been working your butt off and think you deserve a raise? Are you unhappy with where you spend 8 hours of your day? Do you want more flexibility in your schedule? Dream up your perfect job, write down a wish list and take steps every day to make it a reality.
Be more social.
Join a book club, host a gathering through the Next Door or Meetup, or become a member of a professional networking group. Heck, you could even commit to introducing yourself to your neighbors.
Complete a fun DIY project for your home.
Pinterest is overflowing with unique arts and crafts projects for your home. Explore some options and pick one or two special pieces to complete throughout the year. Maybe you can hang a gallery wall in your living room, maybe you can buy the unfinished wood Tarva nightstand from Ikea and make it your own, maybe you can turn your empty wine bottles into one-of-a-kind water glasses.
Keep a daily gratitude journal.
This is my New Year Resolution for this year. The past decade, I’ve accomplished so much—graduated college, got married, established my career, took a few bucket list trips, had two babies and bought a house—that instead of coming up with more goals, I plan to fully appreciate the current blessings in my life.