• While we are all eager to welcome the new year and write up our 2023 resolutions, remember that resolutions should be made to expand our world, not shrink our bodies.

    What comes after a month in which most of us have hopefully rested, reconnected with loved ones, and savoured every delectable holiday snack is a constant reminder that it is time to atone for those indulgences and welcome the New Year ready to become our “best” selves.

    While, of course, it’s okay to intentionally change your lifestyle to prioritise nutrition and incorporate more health-promoting behaviours, we all deserve better than a lifetime of fighting our bodies to fit an impossible beauty standard and beating ourselves up when it inevitably fails.

    So, if you’re prepared to ditch diet culture and update that tired resolution, here are 7 resolutions that have nothing to do with losing weight:

    1. Read, read, read

    Read everything. Read anything. Whenever you can. It can be thrilling to try new genres or stick to the ones you know you love. For adults, reading is essential to our personal growth. But when we’re busy, we frequently put off reading a good book in favour of more urgent tasks. Make a list of the books you’d like to read this year and try your best to finish them.

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    2. Nurture good relationships

    Spend your time and energy with people you truly care about and who reciprocate your efforts. It’s about quality, not quantity, in true friendships.

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    3. Give to your community

    Giving back, whether once or repeatedly, empowers us and opens us up to new experiences and opportunities. Plan to donate this year and next to non-profits that match your skills and giving spirit.

    4. Rid your space of unnecessary clutter

    A tidy home is a happy home. By decluttering and organising your surroundings, you can reduce anxiety and stress. Organize the desks, closets, cabinets, cluttered drawers, and even the fridge. Donate or toss anything you haven’t used in six months to start the new year with clarity and peace of mind.

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    5. Take yourself on dates 

    Humans are social creatures, so doing things alone isn’t always natural. Flying solo to a movie, restaurant, or holiday builds independence and self-confidence. This year, try doing something you wouldn’t normally do alone.

    6. Learn new recipes

    In the new year, everyone wants to eat healthier. Instead of limiting yourself to a “healthier” diet, rather expand and start embracing a wider variety of foods. Variety is the flavour of life, so pick a quick dinner recipe you’ve never tried before and prepare it at least once a week this year.

    7. Enjoy some joyful movement

    Joyful movement means moving your body in a way that makes you happy. On some days, you might want to exercise vigorously, while on other days, you might prefer to take it more slowly. You’re welcome to choose to rest on other days too. No regulations exist; it all comes down to what’s right for you right now.

    Written by Sarah du Toit

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