Building Resolutions That Create Lasting Change

Woman recovering from eating disorder due to meaning

This time of year is fresh with excitement about the prospect of starting new and turning over the pages from the past. While the New Year symbolizes the opportunity to start anew, set new goals and strive toward overall betterment of oneself, it can also create a sense of struggle for many individuals, particularly those who might be struggling with an eating disorder.

New Year’s resolutions are customary during this time of year, and it is perhaps most common to hear of plans for weight loss, among other things: exercise more, eat out less, save more money, travel more, etc. With all the hope for changes made for the better, are resolutions the way for making a lasting difference?

Focusing on the Priorities in Eating Disorder Recovery

The danger with resolutions, particularly with eating disorder sufferers who may already be self-critical, is that they can impose an impossible standard or unrealistic measure of change. Striving toward a goal that may not be completely reasonable, especially for someone in recovery, can lead to greater frustration, feelings of failure, and more.

Typically, a person following a New Year’s resolution may last for a few weeks, maybe even a few months before their original intention begins to fade. This may not necessarily be a reflection of lack of desire or will to change, but more of a goal that may have been unrealistic to start with.

If you are considering setting goals for yourself as part of the transition into the New Year, build yourself up toward focusing on your recovery, and no matter what, you will be successful. Think of realistic goals that will support your ongoing effort in your journey while allowing room for errors and a generous amount of grace. Remember that the recovery journey is not about perfectionism.

Reaching goals inevitable feels good, but think more about the outcome of these goals. Are you setting resolutions as a means of feeling as though you have achieved something? Keeping recovery in your perspective when planning for the future can help with building a balance when it comes to goal setting.

Striving Toward Change

CWoman with in eating disorder recoveryhange is always hard, no matter what the goal. Remember to be gentle with yourself through any transition and strive toward change that is lifting you up, not tearing you down. Some goals that may support positive, lasting change in your life might include the following:

  • Incorporate regular meditation on a daily basis
  • Do something every day that supports self-care
  • Make intentional time to connect with loved ones
  • Schedule regular appointments with your treatment team
  • Join a support groupIntentionally nourish your body
  • Engage in a hobby you love
  • Enjoy nature regularly

Above all, continue to support your recovery, which is the foundation for living.

Community Discussion – Share Your Thoughts Here!

What resolutions are you making that support recovery?

Crystal Headshot 2About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Director of Content and Social Media for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on December 29, 2016
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