Do you like to make New Year’s resolutions? I do, too, even though I know that most resolutions kind of suck. They tend to be unrealistic (“I’m going to lose 50 pounds by June 1” or “I’m going to cut all sugar out of my diet”), vague (“I’m going to get into shape”) or punishing (“I’m going to start running every day, even though I hate running”).

Then, when your resolution fails,* you beat yourself up, accuse yourself of having no willpower (willpower is largely a myth, incidentally), and make up for however many days of food- or activity-based deprivation you managed to endure by abandoning your running shoes to the back of the closet and going in search of some of the formerly forbidden food.
This year, instead of resolving to force some aspect of your body into submission, set an intention to care for your body and treat it with respect. For example:
I resolve to do one thing every day that
makes me feel good about my body.
I suggest making a list, because there may be things that fit the bill perfectly that you haven’t done in so long that you’ve forgotten about them. Here are some of the items on my list:
  • Yoga
  • Nature walks with my dog and/or husband
  • Massage at the local massage school
  • Using my foam roller on tight muscles
  • Bubble bath
  • A hot cup of tea when it’s chilly
  • A glass of cold mineral water with lemon when it’s hot
  • Meditation
  • Eating like Goldilocks (a portion that’s just right)
  • Cooking (and eating) delicious, healthy meals that leave me satisfied and energized
  • Hiking (summer) or snowshoeing (winter)
  • Weightlifting
  • Bellydancing
  • Putting my feet up and relaxing with a good book after an active day
Each of these things is good for both body and mind. That helps prevent or lower stress levels, which is also good for both body and mind! It’s a kinder, gentler, but no less effective road to optimal health. Considering that most diets fail and many gym memberships go virtually unused, I would argue that the kinder, gentler way is the more effective way. Kind of like that story of the tortoise and the hare, don’t you think? Be the tortoise!

* That’s right…when your resolution fails. Not when you fail. Because you are not a failure.