Episode 75: An Alternative Approach To New Year’s Resolutions
Episode 75: An Alternative Approach To New Year’s Resolutions
Feeling overwhelmed by the push to make a New Year’s Resolution? Tune in to learn more effective ways to create and achieve your 2022 goals.
Check out the Light After Trauma website for transcripts, other episodes, Alyssa’s guest appearances, and more at: www.lightaftertrauma.com
Alyssa Scolari [00:23]:
Hi everybody. Welcome back. This is the last episode of 2021, which I can’t believe honestly. It’s wild that we are now going on to the third calendar year of podcasting. I am really excited. Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas, if you celebrate Christmas. Happy Kwanza. Happy Hanukah. I know Hanukah was a while back, but Happy Hanukah, nonetheless. I hope that the holidays have treated you with love and kindness, because we all need a little bit extra of that, especially during these times.
Alyssa Scolari [01:01]:
Today, I have a rather short episode coming at you. Not going to be super long. We will get back into the regular swing of things in 2022. I have a guest episode coming at you for the first episode of the new year, but today I wanted to talk a little bit about an alternative approach or what I think is a little bit more of an effective approach to new year’s resolutions.
Alyssa Scolari [01:29]:
Now that the holidays, the religious holidays, so to speak, are behind us, which I had a very good holiday by the way. Not that any of you asked, but I just thought I would put that out there. Last year was really hard because of the pandemic and this year, I mean, things are still really bad, so we didn’t do anything huge. I took off this week, so I am just vibing and relaxing. I currently actually am in a onesie.
Alyssa Scolari [01:59]:
Yes, I am about to be 30 years old and I am in a onesie and I am not ashamed about it. I cannot believe that I have never worn a onesie before now. Friends, it is the best thing ever.And I actually don’t think that they’re called… I don’t think they’re called onesies. I think that’s what you call them for like babies or whatever but you know what I mean? One of those like outfits that are just all one piece. I guess it could be like a jumper, but mine is like a lounge jumper that I have that I got for Christmas and I am in heaven. I am vibing in that as we speak. I have a blanket wrapped around me, some hot chocolate. I am in full relaxation mode and it’s actually snowing out here today in Pennsylvania, which is really magical.
Alyssa Scolari [02:51]:
If you know me, you know I love the snow. Love, love, love it. So that’s where I’m at this week and yeah, it’s really nice to have a week off. I know that the last solo episode I put out was really heavy because I was talking a lot about my struggles right now and my battle with endometriosis. I know that that it was an episode that was hard to listen to. Endometriosis is really a life altering disease, but you know, as an update I am doing okay right now. Knock on wood, I have not had a ton of pain. Thank goodness. It’s really nice to get a break and yeah, so I’m doing okay right now. Thank goodness. Thank you for who reached out, especially after hearing that episode and just connected with me and wanted to touch base. I really appreciate it. It was very tough being that vulnerable, but I know that I’m not the only one who feels the way that I feel, so I thought it was really important to share.
Alyssa Scolari [03:57]:
So okay. Transitioning back to new year’s resolutions. I have always hated this holiday and looking back on it, I mean, I think because nobody really hates a holiday unless you have some kind of personal or vulnerable reason for hating it. I have a very strong reaction to new year’s and I think it’s because of all of the, I guess, emphasis on drinking and partying and I was never really into that, but I think honestly more than that, I also, when I was younger and in like in high school or whatever, I was never invited to any parties. I never really had any opportunity to party on New Year’s Eve, but now I’m kind of like over it. I don’t really have any interest in it.
Alyssa Scolari [04:53]:
So as I’ve gotten older and I’ve become, I think less bitter about not being invited to the parties, which I totally was a bitter teenager, I realize that New Year’s is about more that just parties. It’s really about having a resolution, if you believe in that. Some people don’t and I never really did. I was always like, oh, resolutions. It’s just a setup because you’re just going to fail but I think that I was always looking at that from a very like diet culture, frame of mind, where everybody’s New Year resolution was, I’m going to lose weight this year. I am going to become a size, whatever.
Alyssa Scolari [05:39]:
I remember in years past, my friends or one of my friends, actually took out a pair of jeans that she used to fit into, honestly when she was a teenager. So like it doesn’t even make logical sense that she would fit into them now because she is an adult, but she took out her jeans that she wore from when she was a teenager and she hung them up in her room every day, as a reminder that it’s her New Year’s resolution to get down to that size.
Alyssa Scolari [06:07]:
I think that’s part of why I also resented New Year’s cause it was just like diets and weight loss and this and that and it felt like so much pressure. I think that New Year’s resolutions generally don’t often work out, or people don’t usually follow through, because the resolutions themselves are so overwhelming and so vague. Y’all know how I feel about diets and diet culture at this point. I’m just using this as an example.
Alyssa Scolari [06:41]:
If somebody wants to lose weight, they make their New Year’s resolution, I’m going to lose weight or I’m going to get down to a jean size, X. But then there’s really no full-detailed planning on how that’s going to happen. I’m going to buy this to gym membership and maybe I’m going to join Weight Watchers, which again, I’m putting this out there, not because I believe in any of this, because you all know that I don’t. I am not a fan of diet culture whatsoever, but this is what people, or this is what I have found, most of us and myself included at one point, often do.
Alyssa Scolari [07:18]:
I’m going to join Weight Watchers. I’m going to join a gym. I’m going to hang my pants up so I can have that daily motivation that I need to lose weight and that’s kind of just this reminder. But that feels so overwhelming, right? It’s like, now I have to learn this brand new diet and then I have to try to find time in my schedule to go to the gym three to four times a week. Then I have to be looking at these pants every day and feel guilty that I am not that size right now. It’s like very, very, I don’t know, overwhelming. I know I’ve said that several times, but that’s just how it feels and I think that the same thing could be said for other types of goals that people have.
Alyssa Scolari [08:03]:
Sometimes your goal is I want to make more money this year. Or sometimes your goal is I want to learn, I don’t know. I want to learn how to crochet or maybe more goals related to like your mental health. I want to beat my depression this year. Or I want to love myself more this year. Things like that. All amazing goals, right? Love those goals, but they’re super vague and there’s a million different ways we can get it to those. We can reach those goals.
Alyssa Scolari [08:44]:
So, here’s what I would recommend. Here’s what works for me. I do not really put any kind of like major stakes into New Year’s resolutions. I’m like just kind of like, oh, this year I really want to focus on X, Y, and Z. If it doesn’t happen, I’m not beating myself up over it because I just don’t. I’m always making new goals for myself and I guess I just personally don’t feel the need to create like a New Year’s resolution list.
Alyssa Scolari [09:12]:
But if this is what you want to do, I have worked with a lot of clients and I have chatted with a lot of friends who often put a lot of weight into their New Year’s resolutions. So I could definitely offer some tips on how that can be done and what I recommend is making your goals much, much smaller.
Alyssa Scolari [09:36]:
So, if your goal is to practice more self-love. Again, broad concept. How are we going to bring that down? How are we going to… Because we cannot, especially with the times right now, honestly, it’s going to be so hard to decide that we are going to make a habit right now and stick to it for the next 365 days. That’s a lot to ask, especially when the state of the world has so many question marks around it.
Alyssa Scolari [10:07]:
So, what can we do instead? Well, what would be one act of self-love? Perhaps it is creating some type of like gratitude journal. That might be it. That might be it for you. Now, are we going to start off by saying, I need to write in this journal every single night before bed or every single morning when I wake up? I mean, no. I wouldn’t recommend that because again, that’s going to be very overwhelming and you are now adding another task to your life, to your already busy life.
Alyssa Scolari [10:45]:
So, how about this? How about I am going to aim once a week. Let’s get even more specific. On Saturday mornings because I’m not rushing to get to work. I’m off. I have some time. I am going to aim to write a gratitude journal on Saturday mornings. Now we’ve cut our amount of journaling from 365 days of the year to 52, but that seems so much more manageable and honestly, if you have made a gratitude list for 52 days of the year, that’s amazing. Absolutely amazing. So try to come up with goals that are more tangible.
Alyssa Scolari [11:34]:
For me personally, I actually, one of the things that I’ve really been wanting to do this year is try to work on the way that I speak to myself in my head, because I tend to give so much more love and kindness to other people, but I have zero love and kindness when it comes to myself, sadly. So what I want to do is I want to start writing all of the kind things that happen to me.
Alyssa Scolari [12:03]:
When I get really overwhelmed or when I get depressed, I can only see the bad. That’s it. I’ve got to filter on, where only the bad things are coming in and I would like to have a tangible item where I can go to and reflect back on some of my darker days, and remind myself of how loved I am. Because like I said, when I’m depressed, it gets really, really hard for me to go back into my memory and be like, oh, remember, on this day, when this person said this really great thing about you.
Alyssa Scolari [12:34]:
So something I would like to do moving forward would be, like I said, to start writing things down when they happen to me, when really good things happen. I had somebody reach out to me maybe a week ago at this point, and tell me what an impact I have on their lives and their text message was absolutely beautiful. And it brought me to tears. It’s those moments that I really want to hold onto because those moments are the moments that will help get me through the darker times. And if I have them in front of me and can access those memories or those reminders anytime, I’m hoping that I will be less likely to be constantly filling my head with negative self-talk. So there’s an idea for you. If you are looking for ways to take better care of yourself or love yourself a little bit more as your New Year’s resolution.
Alyssa Scolari [13:36]:
Now, the ma… I won’t say the majority, but many, many, many people have a New Year’s resolution of getting back in shape or eating healthier or losing weight, et cetera. And again, you all know, I am an intuitive eater and I practice intuitive eating with my clients and with myself through and through. That’s what I talk about on this podcast. That’s what I believe is the ultimate way to health and food freedom. But I also acknowledge that that’s not where other people are and some people just want to lose weight and they want to get in shape and they want to change their bodies and manipulate the number on the scale.
Alyssa Scolari [14:22]:
If that’s where you are at, okay, okay. But let me recommend this. So here’s what we know. We know that 95% of diets fail. Yet, the diet industry is a 60 billion dollar, per year, industry. 60 billion dollars with a 95% failure rate. 60 billion dollars with a only a 5% success rate. I just want you to marinate on that, because that really blows my mind.
Alyssa Scolari [15:15]:
I’m not going to say don’t diet. If that’s what you feel called to do in this moment, you have to do what feels best for you. But what I will recommend is this. Before you decide to give the diet industry any more of your money, any more of your time, any more of your stress and any more of your health, knowing that there’s a 95% chance this could fail, I want to encourage you to reevaluate your goals a little bit. And by that, I mean, I don’t mean drop everything and just become an intuitive eater, because some people truly don’t believe in that and that’s okay.
Alyssa Scolari [16:04]:
But maybe instead of investing your money in the diet industry, maybe invest your money in a nutritionist, a holistic health nutritionist. I cannot say that word today. Maybe invest your money in somebody like that. Maybe find an intuitive eating person, a dietician, who can help you with one of your goals, or multiple of your goals, but maybe try to look for health outside of the diet industry, because you might have better success there in terms of becoming the person physically, mentally, and emotionally, that you would like to be. Just a thought.
Alyssa Scolari [16:56]:
And honestly, looking outside of the box in terms of like looking to different types of professionals to help me with food, with medical issues, with everything has been the most healing for me. So that’s just something I’m recommending, if you know, one of your resolutions is diet health, weight loss, maybe try somebody who’s not really fully affiliated with like the diet industry. Somebody who can work one-on-one with you, because at the end of the day, you’re going to invest your money either way, but maybe invest your money in somebody who can help you achieve the goals that you want, but also might have a higher success rate than diet industry.
Alyssa Scolari [17:42]:
So there’s my two cents. You can take that or leave it, but basically the concept applies with any kind of resolution. Start small, take it slow, and remind yourself to check in. Start small, give yourself compassion, keep loving yourself through it, and know that if you mess up or if you do not achieve all of your goals at the end of this year, you did nothing wrong. At the end of the day, if all you did was survive, especially with the state of the world right now, you have succeeded.
Alyssa Scolari [18:21]:
So Happy New Year, everybody. I hope that this is helpful. I am holding you in the light and I will see you all in 2022.
Alyssa Scolari [18:30]:
Thanks for listening everyone. For more information, please head over to lightaftertrauma.com or you can also follow us on social media. On Instagram we are at lightaftertrauma and on Twitter, it is @lightafterpod.
Alyssa Scolari [18:47]:
Lastly, please head over to patreon.com/lightaftertrauma to support our show. We are asking for $5 a month, which is the equivalent to a cup of coffee at Starbucks. So please head on over again. That’s patreon.com/lightaftertrauma. Thank you and we appreciate your support.