We evaluate what we like or dislike about ourselves, judge the good or bad habits we picked up over the past year, and make promises to ourselves that this year we are going to make the changes we have been telling ourselves we will make for the past few years.
This isn’t a bad thing, necessarily.
In fact, we are able to grow and change as a person when we incorporate regular self-reflection and evaluation in our lives. To strive to be a more caring person, spend more time doing things that bring you joy, and be more patient with those you love are all wonderful commitments to strive towards, among many others.
However, as a nutritionist I truly dislike like New Year’s resolutions.
Because New Years resolutions end up being big, lofty goals that are unattainable for most and inevitably lead to perceptions of failure. This then morphs into feelings of shame, regret, and self-flagellation that we can’t be the kind of person we want to be or do the kinds of things we want to do. This is particularly relevant to nutrition since the #1 New Year’s resolution people in America make is losing weight.
Researchers refer to this concept as decision fatigue. It is why powerful individuals have been known to wear the same five outfits every week or eating the same thing for breakfast every day, so they don’t use up their decision power first thing in the morning on mundane tasks of life.
Even though you may have a deep motivation to achieve your goal, all the demands and decisions you make as a parent drains your daily willpower so you don’t have any left to make decisions for yourself, such as, “It’s 2pm and I haven’t eaten all day—do I eat an apple or these yummy cookies sitting here?” or “I’m exhausted, it’s been one of those extra long days—do I numb out and watch TV or try to have a meaningful conversation with my partner?” The odds are especially stacked up again you, parents, and you have to be twice as smart to achieve your goals.
Tools to even the odds when it comes to New Year’s resolutions
There are lots of tools, books, articles, and research on the market that can help individuals meet their goals. Here are few of my favorite:
- Passion Planner- a planner that helps people clearly define their personal goals and dreams and put them at the forefront of their attention.
- Self Control and Strick Workflow- productivity apps that blocks sites for a period of time such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, et cetera.
- Stickk- holds you accountable to your goals by having either a referee and/or financial stake in achieving your goal
- The Power of Habit- a book on how to transform your habits to achieve your goals
However, even with the best nutritionist or planner or app on your side, it’s still easy to fail in meeting your goals.
Why does this happen? Because we don't set ourselves up for success from the start.
If you want actionable tips to further help you keep your New Year's Resolutions, check out the top 10 tips on my blog: www.maternitymaven.com/blog
Kodiak Soled, aka the Maternity Maven, supports expectant and new mamas with a mindful and Real Food approach to nutrition and holistic medicine.
She has studied proven traditional practices and protocols as well as modern scientific research and medicine, which has resulted in her safe and effective, systematic approach to maternal and reproductive health.
She supports mamas all over the world with her 6-Step Transformational Approach, which includes: nutrition therapy, botanical medicine, food-based supplements, stress management, lifestyle changes, and community building.
Kodiak has dedicated her life to supporting women transitioning into motherhood because she deeply believes nourished mothers raise nourished children who grow up and change the world.
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