You don't have to make a New Years resolution.

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It’s hard to believe we are beginning a new year.

With every new year comes a slew of resolutions and promises that we make to change our bodies, self, habits, routines…. Many of them fueled by diet and wellness culture, and many times, like diets, we feel we fail to commit for longer than January.

And that’s okay-because if we are struggling to commit to them they likely are not serving us in a way that is right for us or were too black and white (like most of diet culture, the all or nothing mindset seeped in and as soon as we didn’t keep our ‘promise’ to ourselves… we let it go).

Also, that’s the beauty of goals and resolutions… we can begin and quit them whenever we please. We don’t have to wait until the new year, new month, new week, or new day to set a new goal or resolve to do something that we feel will improve our health, our life, or our sanity.

It’s also never a requirement to make a New Years resolution.

You never have to set resolutions or goals pertaining to changing mind, body, soul, or otherwise.

You don’t have to exercise an excessive amount, try a new fitness craze because they promise ‘results’, or go on the latest fad diet (in fact, I strongly discourage all of these).

Now I’m not saying goals and resolutions aren’t helpful-because they truly can be, but when setting goals there are things to consider that are likely more important than the goal itself.

  1. Motivation

  2. Realistic and attainable

  3. Flexibility

  4. It’s okay not to reach the goal

  5. There are no rules to goal setting

  • Motives behind goals should align with your values. If a goal is just for the sake of having a goal, to fit the ideals of someone or something else, or motivated by other outside factors it is even harder to keep up with it because it doesn’t have as much meaning for us.

  • Goals should also be realistic and attainable. If you only do something that you want to increase once a month it’s likely unrealistic to set a goal of doing it daily right off the bat. Make sure you can hit your goal-sure you can have a long term goal that will take time to build up to, but start with something that is more realistic at first.

  • Allow your goals to be flexible. If you set a goal with an all or nothing mindset and intention… if it’s written in black and white, without shades of gray, it will be too difficult to stick to and therefore easier to let go of. Go in knowing there may be days, weeks, or even seasons when this goal will not be met. Allow flexibility to enjoy life without making your goal a rigid rule. A key of thumb I go by when making new goals is starting them with “For the most part…” to allow for built in flexibility.

  • Sometimes goals don’t do what they hoped they would. Sometimes they need altered. Sometimes they just don’t work for us. In any of these cases it’s absolutely okay to adjust, dismiss, and completely rewrite any goals we have . If they don’t servers, they don’t serve us and it’s okay to let that sh!t go.

  • When it comes to resolutions and goals there are no real rules. Sure, there are suggestions and guides on how to write goals, but in reality they are yours and how you choose to use them is up to you. You can set them or not. They can be a page long manifesto of how you want to live your life or a simple word. They can be laid out traditionally like a goal or simply an intention. You can share them on every social media account and with everyone you know because you feel it keeps you accountable or they can be something private. Whatever you do has to work for you and you alone!

I personally have chosen not to set New Years resolutions for the last couple of years, I set goals as needed and desired, and instead choose a word to guide my year! Last year for me it was wholehearted-which served me well as it not only inspired my day-to-day life but my business name. This year, inspired by my time on a break from social media, I’ve decided to carry a piece of that with me into the new year and for 2019 my word is intentional.

I would love to hear-if you want to share-what your goals, resolutions, intentions or words are for this year in the comments below. I hope all that the journey and the outcome that you are striving for serves you all this year and beyond!

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If you don’t take a picture of your food, would it taste just as good?

“Pictures or it Didn’t Happen”

I read this phrase recently and was both outraged and inspired all in the same moment.

I get it. We live in a privileged time where we can literally (and simultaneously feel compelled to) document every single thing that happens to us (or at least the good stuff).

As someone who enjoys documenting my life, but also strives to be present, it doesn’t sit well with me that if I don’t snap a photo to document my experiences that they may be considered irrelevant. Even when I’ve totally been the person to take a picture of everything.

So of course, I took on this phrase as a personal challenge. Now I didn’t stop taking photos cold turkey (I’m not a monster-of course, I’ll never stop taking or sharing photos of my dog with you) but I am trying my best to limit how much energy I put into getting the perfect picture - or pictures things that I just won’t care about in a month, a year, 10 years - and how easy it is to be become enveloped by my phone when I should be immersed in the good time to be had. And this past weekend was a good time. But according to the above, much of it may not have happened.

After the matter, I realized one moment when I faltered that really wouldn’t matter next week… I stopped to take a picture of our meatballs from Mimi’s Blue Meatballs in Indy. Don’t get me wrong, they were presented beautifully, they tasted great, and we’ll definitely go back again… but I had no intention to make a post with that photo. I certainly am not going to print that picture off and frame it or include it in a photo album to cherish for years to come. It will be uploaded to the cloud and never thought of again. And those meatballs didn’t taste any better because I documented them.


Earlier that day, I was surrounded by family telling stories of yore with no pictures to aid. And I just sat there thinking how much better our stories would be, our experiences would be, our life would be if we weren’t so determined to document it all by photograph and video and posting on social media as soon as possible… and sometimes missing the moment entirely.

Our food will taste just as good

Our experiences will be just as (if not more) enriching

Our life will be just as fulfilling

Even if we choose not to snapshot every single moment

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-pictures. My living space is filled with photographs documenting beautiful memories. I love living vicariously through other’s photos. I have a blog and social media and enjoy sharing photos with others. But I also have hundreds of shots on my computer that are just taking up space.

So I’m working towards choosing to be in the moments worth keeping first… and take a photo after the memory’s made. I think it’s part of the journey to live more wholeheartedly. I think this is part of finding freedom, including food freedom.

Are you with me?

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Amanda is an anti-diet dietitian and nutrition therapist practicing in Bloomington, IN and virtually. If you are looking to work with a dietitian, she is currently accepting new clients. Check out her services or reach out to set your FREE discovery call today. She would love the opportunity to work with you!