Your Most Important New Year Resolution
By Diane Petrella, MSW
The New Year offers us a fresh start to create healthy lifestyle habits and release excess weight. With holiday challenges over, you may finally join the gym, start counting calories or eliminate certain “trigger” foods. To ensure your resolutions stick, start with the most important one of all:
Make yourself a priority.
If you’re a duty-driven person focused on the needs of others, or if you’re overwhelmed with the hectic pace of your life, it may seem impossible to make yourself a priority. But honoring your needs is vital for permanent weight loss. A practical strategy to create a self-loving mind-set, and ultimately reach your goal, is to take daily “me time.”
Begin by creating brief moments for daily self-reflection, or a joyful activity. Your New Year’s resolutions gain momentum when you promise to devote some time each day to nourishing your soul. When you make this promise to yourself, permanent weight loss becomes achievable because you’re shifting your priorities in the direction of compassionate self-care.
“Yes” to You
To give yourself daily loving attention, think of what you need to say “No” to so you can say “Yes” to yourself:
Will you say, “No, I can’t" to a friend’s request that overwhelms your already busy day?
Will you say, “No, not right now” before responding to your child’s non-urgent demands?
Will you say, “No” to yourself to watching too much television or mindlessly surfing the net?
What will you say “No” to so you will slow down and connect with your heart?
Create a list of what comforts and inspires you. For example, read an inspirational article, write in a journal, meditate, dance to your favorite music, paint, do a jigsaw puzzle, work on a craft, etc. Then, take 15 minutes each day for your soul nourishing time. This isn’t about busying yourself with completing a “should” list. It’s about bringing moments of joy into your life on a daily basis.
When you devote time to nourishing your spirit, you develop the emotional skill of self-soothing. Knowing how to comfort yourself helps you effectively manage distressing feelings that often trigger emotional eating. As you become better able to self-soothe, you’ll no longer use food for comfort.
Taking daily “me time” isn’t about being selfish at someone else's expense. It means honoring the importance of nurturing yourself. When you do this, you not only increase your own energy and happiness, you have more to give to others.
You may initially experience a twang of guilt as you take time for yourself. If your habit has been to put the needs of others before your own, or to always be busy “doing” something, deep down you may feel undeserving of giving yourself special attention. But as you practice daily “me time”, guilt will lessen and you'll experience a delightful freedom that will dramatically improve your weight release efforts.
Successful people always invest in themselves. A common trait of those who have permanently released weight is that they made themselves a priority. They learned to honor their time and their needs. As you create New Year’s resolutions for your health and well-being, put daily “me time” on the top of your list. From there, everything else is possible.
“What will you say “No” to, so you will say “Yes” to you?”
Diane Petrella, MSW is a psychotherapist and life coach. She offers her clients a spiritual approach to weight release and helps them develop a loving, respectful relationship with their bodies. Receive a free copy of Diane’s Seven Easy & Effortless Weight Loss Secrets by signing up for her e-newsletter, Living Lightly, for spiritual insights and tips to confidently release weight with ease. To contact Diane directly visit www.dianepetrella.com.