With a new year comes the chance for a clean slate. To start over and perhaps become a better you — at least, that’s what society tells us. For some folks, that means going on a diet.
But did you know that roughly half of all people who make New Year’s Resolutions end up quitting by the end of January? Maybe that’s because dieting in the traditional sense doesn’t usually work.
We shouldn’t restrict how much we eat in the hopes of feeling better about our bodies or ourselves; you won’t automatically find happiness on the size-two rack. This year, I invite you to #ditchthediet and try a new form of dieting — one that will actually benefit your mind, body, and soul. These diets have nothing to do with starving yourself or spending way too much time on the elliptical. These diets won’t make you feel like a failure if you can’t always stick to them. They are, instead, a series of suggestions on how we can simply live better lives — no purchases required.
The Stress Diet.
There’s not a single person on this planet whose life is better due to stress. Yes, stress can sometimes be a motivating factor, but at the end of the day, you don’t need it. In fact, stress causes a number of negative effects on the body, ranging from head and stomach aches, to anxiety and eating disorders. If anything, you need to go on a stress diet and learn how to relax. There are plenty of ways to reduce your stress levels, though. For starters, try yoga, meditation, listening to soft music, and getting a good night’s rest.
The Feeling-Bad-About-My-Body Diet.
Many people who resolve to diet and/or “lose those 20 lbs” in the new year do it because they have a negative opinion about their bodies. But what if, instead of putting all this pressure to look like the next Bachelorette, we worked toward embracing and loving our bodies instead? Go on the Feeling-Bad-About-My-Body diet and let go of those yucky thoughts and insecurities. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve published a number of pieces on self-love, including these tips for falling in love with yourself.
The Impatience Diet.
Another reason why so many diets fail is that folks want instant results. But guess what? That’s not how life works, that’s not how transformations work, that’s not how happiness works. You can’t just try and force something to happen right away if it needs time. So rather than buying up a bunch of 200-calorie frozen dinners in the hopes of shedding a couple of pounds, why not try the Impatience Diet? This diet will help you achieve zen by reminding you to slow down. Life is a marathon, not a sprint, and if you really want to change something about how you live your life, understand that it won’t just happen one minute to the next.
The Spending-Too-Much-At-Target-For-No-Reason Diet.
Alright, I don’t just mean Target (though we’ve all been hypnotized at some point by that red dot-in-a-circle, enticing us with their $1 section). But in general, it’s never a bad idea to save your money. And chances are, you’re probably spending too much on things you don’t quite need. Go on a financial diet rather than a food diet and you’ll soon feel better about a lot of things in life. See, when you’re overspending, you might end up making poor food choices in the hopes of saving somewhere (I, too, love Taco Bell, but I know my digestive tract doesn’t). Be smart about your purchases and you’ll have extra cash to buy yourself a hot dress or suit or maybe even some lingerie that reminds you that your body is beautiful no matter what.
The Reading-The-Comments Diet.
There’s a saying in many writer's circles that states: Never read the comments section. And really, you’ll never get a better piece of online advice. The internet is chock-full of haters spewing all sorts of nonsense in the hopes of getting a rise out of people. I’m not really sure what drives these people to live this way, but so far it seems that we all just have to deal with them. That said, we don’t need to feed the trolls, so to speak. So this year, make a commitment to avoid reading the comments (and the messages from trolls via any social media). I guarantee you’ll begin to feel better in no time.
The Procrastination Diet.
Never leave for tomorrow what you can do today. It’s a motto we should all live by, yet so many of us suffer from procrastination that chances are if you’re reading this, there’s something you’re avoiding doing. Your life will definitely change for the better if you begin to adopt this philosophy into your everyday life. Now, don’t go overboard and burn yourself out by never giving yourself a break, because you don’t want to procrastinate relaxation, either. This diet is more about sticking to your priorities and getting things done, rather than waiting until it’s too late.
The Social In-Activism Diet.
In the new era of Trump (and hate-ridden politics), it’s more important than ever for us to become more politically aware and social justice-minded. That means we can’t continue to sit around waiting for others to pick up the slack and save us. It’s up to us to save ourselves and make the world a better place. So if there’s one diet you really want to go on, this is the one. Stop filling your mind and time with cat videos and Drake memes (okay, once in a while is alright), and start writing to your representatives. Go volunteer at a shelter or clean up a beach or adopt a child. Do whatever you can to make this a better world. By the time you’re done, I guarantee you won’t be thinking about thigh gaps or cellulite.