4 New Year's Resolutions That Fit Me, Not My Eating Disorder

New Year’s resolutions.

Most people make them, but few people follow them. I’ve made resolutions for as long as I can remember, but I can’t remember a single year that I’ve followed all of my resolutions. There’s only one I can remember actively following every year — to lose weight.

My eating disorder’s voice told me that was the only resolution that mattered. Now that I’m actively in recovery and have been for more than a year, I’m creating a list of resolutions that fit me and not my eating disorder.

1. Find a new hobby.

The thing about hobbies, for me, is they teach me to be kind to myself. I love writing, but I wasn’t always the writer I am today. I started painting fairly recently, and I’m not incredibly great at it, but I love it. Hobbies teach me that I don’t have to be perfect to enjoy something. I can just enjoy it and continue to practice. Maybe I get better, maybe I don’t, but I’ll learn more about myself and about being patient in the process.

2. Drop the self-deprecating humor.

I will be the first to admit it is easy to make jokes that do not show myself kindness. It is easy to respond with self-hate in order to make myself more approachable to other people. I don’t feel that way though. I do not hate myself. The humor I use is a coping-mechanism I picked up a long time ago and never really let go of. Now, it is nothing more than an old, bad habit. Breaking the habit will be hard, and it will require heightened awareness, but it is another step toward living my recovery fully.

3. Get out of my comfort zone.

There’s a reason for my comfort zone. It’s where I feel safe to exist. My comfort zone isn’t a place of growth, though. Inside my comfort zone, I’m not challenged. Right now, I follow a pretty strict routine. I want to get out of my comfort zone and have more experiences. I want to go swimming at midnight and dance until the early hours of the morning. I want to say yes to opportunities that present themselves, even if they scare me (as long as they’re healthy!) I want to get uncomfortable, learn from it and grow from it.

If you or someone you know has an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorders Association helpline: 800-931-2237.

4. Do the things that scare me the most.

This goes along with getting out of my comfort zone, but its focus is different. I’m still scared of realizing my goals. I am still trying to push myself to do what I want to do. What scares me right now is the concept of people knowing me beyond surface level.

Another thing that scares me right now is the idea of making a career out of my hobby of writing. My goal for this year is to get past the fear and try. I don’t expect full success because that isn’t realistic. However, I do want to try. I want to push myself to realize the goals I have now.

When I was in my eating disorder, my only goal was to disappear. I no longer want that to be my goal. I want to take up space and be loud. I want to meet and interact with people in a heart-driven way. I don’t want to simply survive this next year. I want to live it.

 If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

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