With the New Year comes new resolutions, goals, and motivation. While these are all wonderful things, sometimes we lose sight of how far we’ve come. We’re so focused on where we have to go, that we put expectations at the forefront. We begin to look negatively at ourselves (especially our bodies), rather than praising ourselves for all that we’ve accomplished in the last 365 days.
If this sounds like you, here are four body-positive habits to start in the New Year. Hopefully these will shift your perspective from one of ‘I have so far to go,’ to ‘I’m already on my way.’
1. Start each morning with affirmations.
One of the best body-positive habits is to start each day with affirmations. Affirmations are sentences of truth that you speak over yourself intentionally. They can be aloud or silent. They can be when you’re alone in the car on the way to work, in the bathroom mirror, or as you hit snooze for the third time.
The goal is to say things that are true about yourself and your body: “I am worthy.” “My imperfections make me who I am.” “I have so many things that make me beautiful.” “I am strong.”
By changing how you say things to yourself and what you say, you can shift the direction of your day before it even begins!
2. Buy clothing that feels good, over looking a certain way.
Whether you’ve been focused on the fashion trends, or simply tried to ‘fit in,’ this year focus more on what feels good. There’s so much pressure to wear a certain outfit (especially in gym and fitness culture!) but rather than squeezing into something that doesn’t quite fit, trying to look like someone else, or wearing something that’s downright uncomfortable because it ‘looks cool’ – be yourself.
You will feel more in-tune with your body, you’ll actually perform better on your workouts (or at work, school, etc.), and you’ll relax when you’re wearing something comfortable.
3. See food as nutrition, not as a reward or punishment.
If there’s one thing to change in the New Year, change how you view food. One of the most transformational body-positive habits is shifting away from food as a reward or punishment. Rather than giving yourself a ‘treat’ because of a good workout, opt to do something rewarding instead. Rather than restricting calories because of a big meal you had the day before, try eating more fruits and veggies.
This shift in mindset will look different for every single person, but the important thing is to develop a positive relationship with food. Food is nutrition. It’s what you need to survive and nothing else.
4. Remind yourself that everyBODY is different.
You are not the person next to you. You don’t have the same genes, bone structure, or history. You won’t look like, think alike, or have the same results. And this is okay.
The sooner you realize this and push away negative thinking, the happier you’ll be.