A lot of us have put high hopes and expectations on 2021 being a better year than the last.
This is hopefully one resolution that won’t be broken but we can still look forward to what you can control and own to make it a good year for you.
The slower pace forced a lot to reflect on their life, the importance of gratitude, appreciating what we have rather than what we’re missing out on, and the importance of family and health.
It created a lot of frustration and isolation as we lived day by day, where at times as long-term plans were often dashed or cancelled and there wasn’t a lot to look forward to.
2020 created a lot of challenges but looking back we can also see how much 2020 taught us.
To make that year worthwhile and to help make 2021 a better year, we can use these lessons to provide a new approach or perspective to resolutions. That includes how you might manage your diet, nutrition strategies and health by applying some of these concepts to approach health in a different way.
Adaptability and ownership
The lack of control over our actions and freedom to do what we are so used to doing challenged a lot of people in many ways. We had to adapt and find new ways of doing things to continue our daily lives and routines. If stuck in a rigid routine of what to eat it can make it hard to adjust in different environments and circumstances – so we revert back to old habits or completely switch off.
Adaptability is so important to make good nutrition part of your everyday practice. Life will get in the way.
A key nutrition skill to master is to move your healthy nutrition strategies to align with what is happening in your life. This way you are in control of your diet, rather than your diet being in control of you and dictating what you can and can’t do and eat.
Practice being able to make the best choices for the environment you are in to maintain some consistency with flexibility.
Day by day
Planning ahead and having long term goals and plans in place made it hard to stay focused and diligent in actions when these plans were cancelled. We use this mentality for things like saving money, planning a holiday or managing intake to reach a desired weight by a certain time. If we only focus on the outcome and that doesn’t happen, we can feel let down and that the time spent is wasted.
If we act with intention each day, it makes every day successful.
We can be inspired by the athlete mentality – who train each day to challenge themselves and to be better every day. The event is what they work towards, but each day of training plays a role in what they are working towards.
If your resolution is for big dietary changes or body composition shifts, think big, but plan small and make a more solid path to get you to your outcome with daily commitments.
Create more sustainable changes in habits and choices which align with your goal but are specific to your daily tasks which make you feel the way you want to feel.
What this looks like is, rather than making a resolution to ‘lose weight’ make your daily commitments to be eat more vegetables, reduce regular portions or walk each day. Then you can have a more constant daily check in and success on your way to losing weight.
Slow down, reflect and learn
There was a lot of down time during lock down, people tried new hobbies or learnt new skills. There was more time to reflect on our own lives, circumstances and what to be grateful for or grow from.
Reflection and awareness is an important step in changing diet habits which is often over looked in haste to make a change. We jump to the action before taking the time to understand yourself first.
If you feel like you’re struggling to make changes in your diet, use it as a chance to learn about your body and what’s right for you. This will be more productive in the long run rather than getting frustrated and feeling like you need to keep trying diet after diet or smashing yourself at the gym and realistically still not seeing the outcome you would expect to see.
Take some time at the start of the year to learn a bit more about yourself to have a better understanding of what you might need to work on before jumping straight to a diet.
It might be that you see a doctor and get some blood work done to better understand your current health. See an Accredited Practicing Dietitian to increase your diet knowledge and get individualised strategies. Or see a psychologist to understand your mindset and attitude towards your worth and food to better understand what areas to give your energy for change and a fresh start. That way you can follow your own plans which suit you and your needs.
People make resolutions for something they want to change. Declaring that in the form of a resolution acknowledges an area you want to change, but you have to do the work to make that change happen.
We were often let down in 2020 and it wasn’t nice.
Try not to be hard on yourself by building unrealistic expectation of the changes you will achieve in your diet and health.
The expectation we put on that goal or outcome can put too much pressure on yourself to succeed.
Be kind to yourself. Accept where you are and each day do what you can to feel better about where you might want to be.