Are you sick and tired of starting a new weight loss diet every January 1st, only to discover a few weeks or months down the road that it didn’t work? It’s frustrating, right? Have you ever considered focusing on goals that aren’t about weight?
Because here’s the thing. Despite popular belief, you don’t actually have control over your weight, and diets just don’t work. Think about it. If diets worked, people wouldn’t need to keep going on them every year!
Diets are draining. They minimize your enjoyment of food and usually leave you with a heaping pile of guilt, shame, and food fear in its place.
The good news is, there’s a better way, and it’s really simple: choose positive goals that aren’t about weight loss.
Instead of focusing on what you think you have to restrict or remove from your life, think about what you can add to it. Embrace positive, healthy habits that will help you to better love yourself and others. That’s what you can control, and that’s what matters.
Here are 25 powerful, positive goals that aren’t about weight loss to get you started.
- Have more family meals together.
- Make time for breakfast in the mornings. (Try these make-ahead breakfast ideas.)
- Eat more vegetables.
- Drink more water.
- Eat more fiber. Found especially in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fiber will help you stay full longer and keep your digestive tract healthy!
- Work on mindful eating habits. Make an effort to enjoy your food, and pay attention to feelings of hunger and fullness.
- Cook more meals at home each week.
- Pack your lunch for work.
- Help your kids pack healthy lunches for school.
- Take time to plan your family’s meals out each week.
- Organize and stock the pantry to make cooking at home easier.
- Prepare 1 or 2 freezer meals each month to have on hand for nights when you have no time to cook.
- Cook with your kids once a week.
Activity and Exercise Habits
- Add an additional day of physical activity each week, doing something you actually enjoy.
- Try a new activity or fitness class (take your first hot yoga class, sign up for a 5K, try indoor rock climbing, etc.)
- Start taking walks during your lunch break.
- Do something active as a family each weekend (hiking, bike riding, the trampoline park, etc.)
- The gym isn’t for you? Try adding some at-home fitness classes to your week, such as Les Mills On Demand (I personally use and love this), Daily Burn, or even free workouts on YouTube).
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
- Take five minutes to stretch before bed each night.
- Get a monthly massage to relieve tension.
- Schedule some alone time each week.
- Schedule any doctor’s appointments you’ve been putting off.
- Engage in daily affirmations. Look in the mirror and say something positive about yourself each morning, and be intentional to offer regular words of encouragement to your spouse and kids, too.
- Practice gratitude. List out at least one thing you’re thankful for each day for the next year. You can even do this as a family! You’ll be surprised how much you have to be thankful for.
If you must include a goal that involves taking something away, consider this:
Cleanse your social media accounts of anything that causes you to feel inadequate or less than. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Avoid negative self-talk.
Give up the weight talk.
Stop comparing yourself to others.
Throw out the scale.
Have a DIET-FREE year.
And above all, make this the year you choose to love yourself.