How many times this week have you been bombarded with the 'New Year, New You' campaigns? It seems that everywhere I turn there's a screen to watch, image to see, or article to read focused on what I'm going to do in 2017 to make myself better.
The pressure to come up with bold resolutions and big goals is high. January 1st hits and the world sheds it's pizza-eating, wine-guzzling, couch potato skins. We're supposed to instantly transform into radiant, gluten-free, sugar-free, sober beings who meditate daily and workout two hours a day.
Now I don't mean to sound like a Nay-Sayer. I'm all for personal development and growth. I believe the New Year is a wonderful opportunity to wipe the slate clean and begin again. I'm a huge believer in the benefits of moving your body daily, fuelling it with healthy foods and taking care of yourself. The start of the year is a great time to reflect and replace the things in our life that make us feel bad with what makes us feel good. The key difference here is this:
How it makes us feel
how it makes us look.
I can't tell you the number of times I've heard a friend complain about her body.
"I'm so fat"
"My legs are too big"
"My hair is too thin"
The saddest part is that I've never looked at them and thought the same. They look at themselves and see what's wrong. I look at them and see all that's good. We're wired that way. Thinking that if we criticize and nit-pick ourselves enough we'll reach some sort of perfect end. The battle with ourselves will one day be over - but it never is. We fix one thing and our inner perfectionist moves on to the next thing we need to change.
As you - and I - think about what we want in 2017, I think we should keep one word in mind:
Why do you want the things you do?
Is it because of how you'll feel when they're a part of your life?
Or is it all about the end result of how these things will make you look?
If it's the latter, remember this:
No one is going to stand up at your funeral one day and say:
"I'll always remember her for her bangin' bod"
"She had the nicest ass"
"and the flattest stomach"
They'll talk about who you were, what you did for others, how you made people feel, what they admired most about you, the way you laughed, the way you listened, the things you loved to do, the people you loved to be with.
Because those are the things that actually matter.
And we all seem to forget that in our quest for perfection.
Maybe 2017 isn't the year for a new diet - it's the year for a shift in perspective.
Instead of focusing on the LOOK side of our wants - the 6 pack, the thigh gap, the tiny waist, the tight ass - let's focus on how we want to FEEL.
If gluten-free, sugar-free diets make you feel alive and happy, go for it!
If spending hours in the gym is your jam, all the power to you.
If it isn't, find some way of moving that you love and actually look forward to.
If the things that make you feel good lead to looking good, awesome. But don't make the physical your end game. When all is said and done people are going to remember you for who you were, not what you looked like, so lets build our intentions from there.
Let's spend less time trying to change ourselves and more time learning to appreciate ourselves.
Let's stop wasting our energy on perfection and instead, focus on feeling good.
What can you do today, this week, this year, to make you a happier, healthier, more fulfilled version of who you already are?