New Year’s Resolutions That Aren’t About Your Body

Multi-colored balloons

In 46 B.C., Julius Caeser declared that January 1st would be the first day of the year, partially to line up the calendar with the sun and partially to honor Janus, the God of Beginnings. The Romans celebrated the New Year by making offerings to Janus, exchanging gifts, and noting the holiday as a time of celebration and honor. This was the first time that the New Year was formally celebrated.

Now, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day continue to be celebrated around the world. In Spain, individuals eat 12 grapes at midnight, one for each day of the month, for good luck. Those in Germany celebrate by eating doughnuts called Krapfen. In Brazil, people toss flowers into the ocean as an offering to the Sea Goddess and in Demark, plates are smashed to bring good luck. In the United States, loved ones may share a kiss based on the thought that the first person you see in the New Year will suggest how the rest of the year will go.

New Year’s Resolutions began 4,000 years ago, where Babylonians made promises to the Gods for the year. In 1740, resolutions became popular among Christians and eventually progressed to individuals of all identities making resolutions to themselves. In current culture, we see all types of resolutions, many of which are body-focused (e.g. losing weight or bulking up), which is why we want to change the dialogue. So, instead of promoting appearance based resolutions, we want to promote New Year’s resolutions that have nothing to do with how you look. We asked our Emily Program community to share their resolutions for the coming year and we received phenomenal responses!

  • To work harder towards recovery for myself and my loved ones. To practice more self-compassion. –Jen Ressler 
  • My resolution is to take the necessary steps to go back to school and get a degree. – Liz Cox
  • I would like to stop apologizing for literally everything. And to learn that saying no is okay. –Courtney Swenson
  • My New Year’s resolution is to become a better friend to myself. –Emily Seiller
  • My resolution is to eliminate screen time after 9pm and work on getting a better night’s sleep! –Nancy Linden
  • My New Year’s resolution is to be happy. To work on my school to the best of my ability and continue to work. But most of all, I want to be happy and love myself. –Carly Smith
  • Go on more auditions and be on film! Also, to prioritize sleep. –Carli Rhoades
  • To continue to build my life worth living and follow my dreams in order to walk this path. I refuse to let any negative thoughts or eating disorder deter me any longer. –Christina Chalgren
  • My 2019 resolutions are to be present more with family (putting my phone away!), having one night per week for a “date night” with my husband, and making self-care (taking care of myself in whatever way feels right) a priority. –Danielle Vincent
  • To spend more time doing things that make my soul joyful and my spirit alive! –Molly Anna
  • My New Year’s Resolution is to create a greater work life/personal life balance! –Caley Willrich
  • To learn to separate my “eating” from my feelings so I’m not using food or symptoms to manage my emotions. – Summer Lee Vespestad
  • To stop following negative social media accounts. –Iris Elise Marrah
  • My New Year’s resolution is to have self-compassion for myself and work on boundaries. –Stephanie Vitale
  • My resolution is to focus on myself, my treatment, to not overwork myself and to focus those things and people that are extremely close to me. –Aundria Huntington
  • I like to set intentions rather than resolutions… seems a lot less militant. Last year, it was to take more risks. In addition to being more vulnerable in relationships, I took a climbing class, attempted to hike 4 mountains over 14,000 feet of elevation and backpacked 3 sections of the Colorado trail. Next year, my intention is to see things differently, including myself… -Mary Kuester
  • I’m going to add some classics to what I read in 2019. –Kathy Holtz
  • Praise more, complain less. That’s what I strive for in the New Year. –Emma Simone Thiemann
  • I make monthly goals and allow myself to tweak them as the year goes on. January is all about self-care and reconnecting with myself. February will be spent searching for a second job and creating a plan to climb out of debt. As of right now, March will be to continue helping my youngest see life isn’t black and white. There is a whole lot of color! And we need to enjoy the moments as they come. The happy, the sad, and the uncomfortable. I haven’t decided on the rest of the year. I have ideas, but nothing written in stone. –Alaya Anne
  • For me, my resolution is setting goals/boundaries for myself. I also want 2019 to be a year full of not only graduating high school, but working on the road to recovery even stronger than before. –Lynzie Herron
  • Mine is to slow down and enjoy the ride. –Sarah Herman
  • Getting more sleep! –Emahlea Jackson
  • Graduating with my nursing degree in May and continuing to find pure and genuine happiness working in pediatrics. –Beth Harrod
  • My resolution is to be more present. My intention is to stop dwelling on what was and worrying about what will be and start focusing on what is right in front of me; the people that matter, the precious moments that are fleeting, and learning to bask in the freedom of idleness (doing nothing). –Rachel Farmer
  • To just be me and be the best I can be. I am deserving of a life worth living. –Melanie Banks Nordwall
  • I am planning on “touch paper once.” Example: get mail, open, pay bill/do whatever needs doing/file or shred immediately. No more stacks of paper for me! –Sarah Benubi
  • To work on loving myself more in the highs, the lows, and the in-betweens. –Susie Laurie Kalyn
  • My resolution is to set healthier boundaries and stick to them, especially with those who may be a hinder to my recovery! And to not feel guilty for putting myself first and doing what’s best for ME! –Jessica Tumney
  • I will continue my recovery journey and give back to others what I am able to without burning myself out! –Ariana Ward
  • I am going to continue working on my treatment/grief process and someday be able to say how I am without using an emotional wheel guide. –Emily Fox

The Emily Program would like to wish you a happy and healthy holiday! If you or a loved one are struggling with disordered eating, reach out to us at 1-888-364-5977 or start the process online. With proper treatment and care, eating disorder recovery is not only possible, it’s plausible.

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