A new year can come with a lot of pressure: do better, be better, accomplish more, achieve more. It’s a chance for reflection and improvement but it can also be overwhelming.
This week, Global News is asking three experts to share small, achievable things you can do to make a difference in your life in 2019.
Take the fight out of food
When it comes to eating well in 2019, dietitian and founder of GetJoyFull Emily Mardell says finding a way to make food fun can make a major difference. Part of that comes from paying closer attention to the process.
“It’s just kind of slowing down a little bit, enjoying food, eating with others, really being present with senses when it comes to food. And if you can that, that’s what really ups the joy of eating,” she says.
Mardell says diet culture involves a lot of restrictions and competitiveness.
“We’re constantly attuned to an environment that is saying, ‘You should restrict. This food is bad. You’re bad if you eat it.’ When we polarize food as good and bad, it makes us feel like there’s no way that we can have success.”
She advises a more simple strategy that includes shutting out distractions while eating.
“You can improve any kind of diet, any kind of relationship with food if there’s a focus on mindful eating. And that’s really building that self-trust that you know when you’re hungry, you know when you’re full and you really honour that.”
‘It has to fit with your life’
Professional trainer and owner of SVPT Fitness Shara Vigeant says when it comes to a more fit 2019, you can start today by taking some simple and achievable steps.
“Write down your goals. Be specific. Don’t say, ‘I want to get fit in 2019.’ That’s not specific enough.”
Vigeant says fitness doesn’t have to come from hitting the gym; it can mean going for a walk three times a week. She recommends setting goals week by week and building on them as you feel more fit and confident.
“For New Year’s resolutions we always say it’s always about weight loss,” Vigeant says, “but how about setting goals to have a more full and active life? To be able to chase your kids, to be able to hike the mountain, to carry your own groceries, to be independent, to be strong and just to live a fuller life.”
Vigeant maintains the benefits of exercise trickle over into other areas of your life, like preparing your joints for older age, offsetting disease and making better food choices.
Watch below: A new year is a great time to look at your fitness goals. Shara Vigeant with SVPT Fitness says getting in shape is all about setting realistic goals and finding an activity you can enjoy.
Stop ‘shoulding’ on yourself
Wellness education and Empowered Yoga owner Michele Theoret advises tuning out messages from the massive self-improvement industry telling you what you’re lacking.
“I’ve become increasingly aware of how much of our self-improvement, especially goals, can be motivated from a place of should or lack,” she says.
“It’s kind of just self-hate in disguise.”
Instead, she suggests taking time for an honest assessment of your goals and priorities.
“Expectations are often disappointments waiting to happen. When we just get really clear in our hearts about what’s really important to us, we’re not so triggered or motivated by some of the stuff that doesn’t even matter.”
Watch below: Jennifer Crosby and Kent Morrison sit down with Empowered Yoga owner Michele Theoret to talk about some small things you can do to better yourself and maintain them throughout the year.