10 New Year’s Resolutions That Aren’t Scale Related

New Year, New You? How about New Year, New Habits? We all know the drill: the New Year rolls around and all of a sudden, it’s time to make those New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, get in shape and finally hit that number on the scale that you haven’t seen in years. To make things more challenging, let’s add an unrealistic time frame to hit that milestone event that’s just around the corner.

What if I told you that there were a number of ways to focus on your health and fitness, that don’t revolve around the number on the scale? You read that right. No hard and fast diets. No unachievable “goal weight” with an impossible time frame to match. Let’s flip the switch. Start thinking about long-term, sustainable habits that will change your life rather than short-term New Year’s resolutions. You might even find that focusing on the process rather than the destination makes the entire process more enjoyable and rewarding.

Here are 10 New Year’s resolutions for you to try in 2023 that don’t involve the scale:

  1. Get some fresh air and sunshine every day
  2. Aim for some type of physical activity every day
  3. Try a new type of exercise or activity that you’ve never done before
  4. Focus on a new hobby that you enjoy
  5. Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  6. Make a commitment to hydration
  7. Add more fruit and vegetables into your diet
  8. Prioritise your sleep
  9. Make time for self-care
  10. Reflect and document your progress

Get some fresh air and sunshine every day

Try and find ways to get outside (when the weather is appropriate)! Getting out in the sun is a great way to promote Vitamin D production, which is great for immunity and bone health. Whether it’s grabbing some lunch and eating outside or setting aside 30 minutes between clients to go for a walk, we always try to schedule some time to get some fresh air and sunshine, and the steps are an added bonus.

New Year's Resolutions: Get some fresh air and sunshine every day

Aim for some type of physical activity every day

Daily physical activity should be on everyone’s list of New Year’s resolutions. Not all activity has to be “hard”, it can also be fun – this is why we enjoy encouraging people to learn something new! Between us trainers, we typically break our activity throughout the week with a mix of (mainly) strength training in the gym, along with other physical activity which can be as simple and easy as a walk around the block.

New Year's Resolutions: Aim for some type of physical activity every day

Try a new type of exercise or activity that you’ve never done before

Trying new things is a great way to discover new passions and even meet new people. The options are limitless, it could be a martial art, dancing, swimming or more! Jake has recently taken up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Legacy next door to the studio, and is finding the challenge of learning a new skill fun and exciting. Rachael has also tried Pilates in the past when she wanted to shake up her exercise routine, and Harry has dabbled in the sport of Strongman. There are plenty of ways to diversify your training and exercise, so don’t be afraid to try something new!

New Year's Resolutions: Try a new type of exercise or activity that you’ve never done before

Focus on a new hobby that you enjoy

New hobbies can be a great way to try something new and connect with people who have common interests. Hobbies can bring you joy, help you switch out of the bustle of life and provide new vigour for everything else you need to do. A lot of our clients enjoy numerous different hobbies, from art classes, dancing to learning a new language. All of them involve connecting with other people and forming new friendships, and others also involve some extra physical activity!

New Year's Resolutions: Focus on a new hobby that you enjoy

Take the stairs instead of the elevator

What we mean by this is, take steps (literally) to move more throughout the day. Small changes like choosing the stairs instead of the elevator can really help you accumulate more steps each day and increase your daily activity levels. We often catch ourselves choosing to walk down to Chatswood rather than driving just to increase our daily activity.

New Year's Resolutions: Take the stairs instead of the elevator

Make a commitment to hydration

We find having a water bottle nearby helps increase your water intake. Get your hands on one of those 2L water bottles and fill it up at the beginning of the day. Aim to get through the whole thing and maybe even a refill by the end of the day. Sometimes a bigger water bottle isn’t practical, so instead aiming to have a large glass or small bottle of water with each meal is a great way to reach this goal. Find what works for you, and stick to it.

New Year's Resolutions: Make a commitment to hydration

Add more fruit and vegetables into your diet

To put it bluntly, most of us don’t consume enough fruit or vegetables in our diet. If you’re not meeting the minimum recommendations of 5 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit each day, it’s not too late to start. The first step is adding them into your grocery trolley. The second step is actually eating them (and not letting them go to waste)! You can start small by adding a serve of fruit and vegetables that you enjoy with each meal.

New Year's Resolutions: Add more fruit and vegetables into your diet

Prioritise your sleep

Aim for 7 hours of sleep each night and establish a bedtime routine that helps you wind down. We get it – sometimes our sleep is out of our control, especially if we’re attending to a young one or we’re under a lot of stress. We can try our best to establish a pre-bed routine can involve self care and reflection. Winding down before bed will allow you to get off to sleep faster, but also have more restful sleep.

New Year's Resolutions: Prioritise your sleep

Make time for self-care

Whether it’s a massage, meditation, a walk, or even a pamper, make sure you take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Setting time aside to look after and reward yourself is a great way to stay motivated. Experiment with a few different ways to practise self-care, and figure out what works for you best. It’s a great way to relax and de-stress!

New Year's Resolutions: Make time for self-care

Reflect and document your progress

Reflecting, documenting and monitoring your progress will help you appreciate the journey and consider what’s working, and what might need some extra attention or improvement. We help our clients monitor and track their progress, and we love getting their feedback along the way to ensure that we’re both on the same page. You might even find that this process of reflection can help you unwind, and could even be part of your self-care routine.

New Year's Resolutions: Reflect and document your progress

Our take on New Year’s Resolutions

Ditch the unrealistic New Year’s resolutions and let your new habits take you from resolution to revolution this year. Consider that not every action you take needs to be metric-based such as jumping on a scale (although there is a time and a place for this).  Instead, consider these process based habits that develop your skills, abilities and health over simply pursuing a metric. We hope you can consider the 10 tips we’ve provided for you today and adopt them into your lifestyle this year. If you’d like more help setting and achieving your goals, you can reach out to the team at Ivy Training here.

Don’t Make Health Harder Than It Needs to Be

Making healthy decisions seems simple right? Just tell yourself to get up and go on a walk, surely 10 minutes isn’t that hard? Or how about simply choosing to have less sugar in your coffee? Perhaps you’ve found yourself after a hot streak of 1-2 weeks, relapsing into old, unproductive habits. Willpower often fails to stand up to busyness and fatigue. What about the context of your social and physical environment?

For example, a 2009 research paper used survey data linked with geographic measures of access to food retailers and found the following:

“The lower the ratio of fast-food restaurants and convenience stores to grocery stores and produce vendors near people’s homes, the lower the odds of being obese.” [1]

Although decision making can be complex, the opportunities to improve are many. Better yet, we don’t have to rely on pure willpower. Today we will focus on your social and environmental context. We’ve got three examples to share which will illustrate this point. As you read on today, consider, the physical and social environments you find yourself in and the resources therein. Or better said:

“…the social and environmental context of action which provide, available options, sets incentives and disincentives, opportunity costs and cues with contingency for behavioural responses.” [2]

Your Environment as a Health Motivator

Not all environments are harmful, rather, many can be conducive to your goals.

Our resident moustachioed man-child Harry reflected on how his gym environment impacted his success in powerlifting. He had the following to say: “I’d been training for 3 years in a commercial gym which wasn’t ideal for powerlifting. Regardless, I was excited to compete and decided to sign up for my first powerlifting meet. Despite being self-coached, I placed second and qualified for states. It was at states where I met my current coach, and we began working together. This gave me access to a powerlifting gym where the like-minded community of lifters encouraged one another to new heights. I found myself not only getting stronger but also feeling more related to, confident and inspired. For me, changing my training environment and surrounding myself with a supportive team of friends, coaches and specialists lead to a much healthier mindset and approach to my training as well as allowing me to flourish as a lifter.”

Your Environment as a Health Harmer

Of course, it might just be the interaction between yourself, your circumstance and the environment you find yourself in that causes the issues. Rachael experienced this during lockdown.

With a hectic schedule performing mobile personal training sessions while lugging a weight kit during lockdown, Rachael had to bring meals with her to eat on the road. One morning she had forgotten her usual oat bar and banana and so she opted to stop by Missing Spoon in Gordon. To her delight they had a Bacon & Egg Roll and Coffee combo special…thankfully for Rachael she could swap out her coffee for a hot chocolate.

She started to notice her behaviours shifting however and had this to say: “Do you know how good it felt to eat a Bacon & Egg Roll and hot chocolate after not having access to dining out in what felt like forever?! Amazing. That, paired with the convenience of not having to pack my breakfast and actually being able to leave my vehicle and have some sort of human interaction in the midst of lockdown made me want to do it again. And again. And again. What was supposed to be a once-off occurrence turned into an almost daily activity for about two weeks. Then I thought, this has turned into an unhealthy habit, and it has to stop… now. So, I did. I even took an alternative route to travel between Gordon and Killara to avoid driving past the café. Out of side, out of mind, right?”

Your Environment as Conveniently Healthy

Without speculating too much into human psychology, we often assume effort is equated to both outcome but also virtue. That is, something worth having or doing is usually hard or requires effort and hopefully results in a positive outcome.

Although we don’t necessarily disagree, there’s nothing wrong with leveraging convenience, especially if it helps you be compliant to health-promoting behaviours and stick to your goals.

Here’s Jake’s experience of picking up a new activity, that happened to be conveniently healthy: “For myself I’ve wanted to for years to pick up a Martial Art again. In particular, I was excited about Jiu Jitsu. I was never motivated enough however to carve out more time or wanted to travel far for a class. Ever since I started at Ivy Training, I noticed there is literally a Jiu Jitsu studio next door. Even better, they have classes during my break. Thank you, Legacy! So here I am, 2 months later and loving it! Ultimately, I’m learning a new skill, being active and getting involved in a new community. I can still put in effort but I’m more likely to stay committed due to convenience.”

Context is Everything

We wish for everyone to have greater willpower to make better decisions. Unfortunately, that’s not reality. Instead, consider how you can make decision making an easier process. Furthermore, consider the interplay between yourself and your physical and social environment. We hope these three examples can help you better pursue health-promoting behaviours.

If you’re looking for help achieving your goals, you can contact the team at Ivy Training here.

References

  1. Relation Between Local Food Environments and Obesity Among Adults
  2. Theoretical Explanations for Maintenance of Behaviour Change: A Systematic Review of Behaviour Theories