Resolutions to nurture health and wellbeing
As 2020 draws to a close, it’s important to take a kinder approach when making resolutions for the New Year, says Moneisha McKenzie, the Director of Physical Wellbeing at Sydney Local Health District’s WellMD Centre.
She suggests drawing upon science-based tips from positive psychology to nurture health and wellbeing.
“It’s important to take the time to reflect on the past year and recognise the good – acts of kindness, small and large wins, silver-linings, joys and accomplishments.
“Creating a list that celebrates what you have already accomplished can provide the much-needed energy and motivation to set goals for the New Year,” Moneisha said.
She recommends picking a maximum of three resolutions and then breaking them down into smaller actions and/or tasks to do now, and in three month intervals, which will contribute to a successful year-long resolution.
“Instead of saying ‘I want to lose 15 to 20 kilograms’, set an intention to make healthier eating decisions, have mindful conversations around food choices and set a time in your diary to exercise for 30-minutes three times a week,” Moneisha said.
She also suggests turning resolutions into S.M.A.R.T goals (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) to create a plan to keep you accountable and also tracks your progress – celebrating your wins (however small) and addressing your obstacles.
Nickolas Yu, who is the Program Manager for Staff Wellness and Patient and Family-Centred Care, has also created a Wellness Flower - which highlights science-based wellness strategies.
“It comprises of three core inter-related meta-skills that are interrelated: Seeing good, Feeling good, Doing good. The themes outlined in the Flower are science-based tips for being happy and well,” Nickolas said.
It may be a useful starting point for people devising their resolutions for 2021.
“Remember, no one is perfect, neither the best laid out resolution. If you’re finding it difficult, take the time to reassess your expectations and create smaller actions to overcome your obstacles,” Moneisha said.
“Creating some fun, enjoyable resolutions may also be a great way to connect with friends or family. You don’t have to do it on your own. Look for ways your resolutions could be shared experiences of wellness,” she said.
For example, choose an activity that you enjoy – it could be hiking, dancing, cycling, or walking – and reach out to someone to be your ‘active buddy’ and schedule activities into your diaries that you can do together once a week, fortnight or month.