Another New Year, another endless scroll of weight-loss resolutions feeding the IG algorithm (and your feed, inevitably). Now, we’re all about setting goals to be healthier, but there’s one teeny-tiny problem with society’s singular obsession with shedding pounds every new year: it does more harm than good.
Goals rooted in self-criticism perpetuate a cycle of shame and usually end in a spiral of perceived failure.
Instead, we’re ringing in the new year with a New Year’s Resolution all about body-positive goals that have nothing to do with weight. Because new year goals are way more fun (and achievable) when they’re based on what we love, not what we want to change.
1. Start Each Morning on a Positive Note
Mindfulness helps us connect with the present moment and ourselves — an important first step on our own individual body-positive revolutions and evolutions. But it takes doing.
This year, set aside 10 minutes every morning (or night if that’s more your M.O.) to meditate, reflect, journal...whatever practice helps you feel more grounded, calm and de-stressed. New to the whole mindfulness thing? Our fave body-positive yogi Dana Falsetti has a great online intro to being present.
2. Treat Yourself Like You Treat Your Best Friend
We are our own worst critics, especially when it comes to body bashing. This year, resolve to put that negative self-talk to rest once and for all.
If you wouldn’t tell your best friend she’s a failure for eating those fries or that you’ll like her better when she’s a size _____, why would you tell yourself that?
Remember, the one person (and body) you are guaranteed to do life with is you and yours. So start talking yourself up, babe! Self-compassion goes a long way toward self-love and acceptance.
3. Stop Eating What You Don’t Like
Yes, fruits, veggies and chia seeds have a place in your happy, healthy year, but food guilt and calorie restriction? Make zero room for those in your body-positive 2020 meal plan.
If you don’t like broccoli don’t eat it just because you should. Moralizing food into camps of “good” and “bad” doesn’t just take the joy and appreciation out of eating.
It increases stress and sets the stage to rebel with too much of a good thing later, and thus, the cycle of restricting and overeating begins. Eat what you enjoy to start that food relationship fresh.
4. Unfollow Body-Obsessed Instagrams
Especially if they’re constantly posting before-and-after “fitspo” that place thinness and chiseled abs on the goal pedestal. These can trigger body comparisons, which contribute to social media-fueled depression and that negative self-talk you don’t need in your head anymore.
So do yourself a solid purge on any celebs, influencers and brands that are (intentionally or not) fostering body-shaming. Instead, follow self-love queens like Ashley Graham and Morgan Louise to fill your feed (and soul) with body-positive inspo.
5. Rethink Negative Relationships IRL
Likewise, it’s OK to step away from body-toxic talk in your inner circle, too. If friends’, family or co-workers’ diet talk or body bashing are negatively affecting how you feel about yourself, hit mute on that relationship by walking away from the conversation, leaving the group text or letting them know you’d like to talk about something else.
This is especially true at the start of the new year when everyone is diet-obsessed and hyper-focused on weight loss.
6. Rock That Crop Top (aka Wear What You Want)
Forget anything you’ve ever read in fashion magazines about what looks good on your “body type” and just wear whatever the hell makes you feel like a BOSS.
Despite leaps and bounds of progress, fatphobia is alive and well in mainstream fashion and can subconsciously make us afraid of judgment. But not this year. Repeat as often as needed: You have a right to wear whatever you want. On that note...
7. Shop for Your Body as She is Right Now
Not five or twenty-five pounds from now. Not next year. Not when you fit into that other size.
This year, shop for your body the way she is, present-tense perfect. When we get into a habit of seeing our bodies as better in the future instead of perfect right now, we’re just putting off the joy of self-love, indefinitely.
The you in the mirror right now deserves those jeans just as much as the future you — or that dress or these sexy bras because bras are an act of self-love in-and-of themselves.
8. Set Fitness Goals That Have Nothing to Do with Weight Loss
Do it for your health and happiness — not a Kardashian body. Weight loss resolutions are like the Ponzi scheme of new year goals: filled with false hope that leads to a letdown cycle.
Why? Because they’re based on fixing what we don’t like instead of what we love. Bodies at any size and weight can be healthy.
So ditch the scale and focus your fitness goals on what you want to accomplish through movement, not on an arbitrary number.
9. Find Workouts You Actually Like
Fitness goals are easier to get after if you’re actually having fun. Make 2020 the year you try all the things you’ve been putting off but can’t ever “find the time.”
Set a day every month for trying a new workout — be it hula-hooping, an aerial silks class, kick-boxing or cross-country skiing — and make a date with yourself. You may not love every new workout, but you also may find something you can’t stop coming back to.
Fact: Fitness is more motivating when you’re actually enjoying it. Also fact: Every workout is more enjoyable in a supportive, bounce-control sports bra.