Want to feel your best? Set New Year intentions instead of New Year resolutions
Skip the resolutions this year! Here at Gennev, we are setting intentions instead of resolutions and want to encourage you to do the same, especially when it comes to taking care of yourself. Menopause can be challenging, but you don’t have to suffer through another year of miserable symptoms. Too often we hear from women who wish they hadn’t waited so long to take action. There are solutions, and our intention for the coming year is to help you thrive by encouraging and supporting you to take better care of yourself—right now! No more putting other’s needs ahead of yours. You’ll be more helpful and effective in all of the roles you juggle—wife, mom, employee, friend, volunteer, advocate—when you take care of yourself and feel your best.
Let’s start a year of self-care by first ditching the New Year resolution-setting ritual. Despite its popularity, it does little to help most people live healthier, happier lives or achieve other goals. About one in four people abandon their resolutions by January 7th. The failure rate jumps to nearly one in two by February. “Resolutions often lead to all-or-nothing thinking, so if you don’t accomplish a goal, then you think that you failed,” says Katie Linville, registered dietitian and Gennev Health Coach. But there is no all-or-nothing mindset, or failure with intentions.
“Resolutions and goals are things you set for yourself that are measured in the future, like losing 10 pounds,” says Anne Sussman, a certified meditation and mindfulness instructor and author of The Bliss Buddy Project: How Sharing Gratitude Increases Joy. “An intention is something you do in the present. It’s not future-focused. It’s how you want to feel in the moment. Intentions are more in the feeling or being realm, whereas goals are more in the doing realm. They’re both good to do, but intentions are like your North Star, a guiding light.”
While intentions are personal and can be about any area of your life, we encourage you to consider your menopause journey as you set your intentions for the new year. How you approach this stage of life dramatically impacts how you experience it. Fighting against the changes happening in your body and grinning and bearing it through hot flashes and mood swings affects how you feel in other areas of your life and how you show up for others. All of the negativity makes it harder to achieve any goal. "Pain is inevitable, it is part of life. Everyone has pain. Suffering is a choice. Suffering comes when you’re trying to make what is, isn’t,” says Sussman. “It just is. You can’t change it.”
While you can’t stop menopause, you can change your thoughts around it, how you show up for it, and how you respond to it. You can regain your energy and vitality to thrive during midlife and beyond. It starts by setting intentions around being more in touch with your body, and practicing self-care and self-love. “Self-care allows women in menopause to make sure that their reserves aren’t depleted by all the demands around them and transitions happening on the inside,” says Jessica Gingrich, registered dietitian and Gennev Health Coach. “When you feel cared for and fulfilled, you’ll feel stronger and more confident in your ability to handle whatever life throws at you.”
You can probably rattle off a half dozen resolutions as you count down to the New Year, but setting intentions requires more thought. Here are three steps that will help you determine the right intention for you. You can write it down, talk about it with a friend, meditate on it, or simply think about it.
Step 1: Reflect
Step 2: Intend
Step 3: Act
When thinking about being your best self this year, and giving yourself the care and support you need or desire, what might this look like in an intention? You might acknowledge your efforts to get more sleep and realize that when you do, you have fewer mood swings. For the new year, you may want to feel more energized. Based on how you want to feel, your intention may be to replenish yourself. With replenishment as your intention, an easy way to get started might be by walking outside—even if it’s just five minutes—every day. A strategy that takes more time would be to improve your diet.
For information and solutions surrounding menopause symptoms, check out Gennev’s library of articles.
Remember that you don't have to go it alone in menopause. Enlisting the help of our Integrated Care team of physicians and RDNs will provide you guidance and support as well as the accountability that will enable you to achieve your wellness goals.
Here are some strategies to help you set intentions and follow through on them.
Give it time. You don’t have to set your intention by midnight on New Year’s Eve. Giving yourself time to think about your intention—meditate on it, journal about it, or talk to a friend about it—can ensure that you’re setting the right intention for you.
Keep it positive. Instead of saying, “I don’t want to be angry,” a more effective intention would be, “I want to be calm.” “Your body hears everything you think,” says Sussman. “If you’re thinking negatively, you internalize that. If you change your language to be more positive, you tend to have more positive outcomes.”
Pick a word. Intentions don’t need to be elaborate. Sometimes a single word, like calm, strong, or joy, can be powerful. By regularly focusing on your word, it keeps it front and center in your life. So, the next time a situation makes you angry, thinking of your word can change your response. For example, if your word is calm, you may take some deep breaths to diffuse your anger.
Share with others. Letting friends and family know about your intentions helps to make you more accountable.
Set reminders. Hang post-it notes with your intention on them in spots where you’ll see it throughout the day. Repeat your intention aloud every morning when you wake up. Create artwork with your intention or word and display it prominently. You can even get jewelry with your intention on it.
Celebrate success. Pay attention to any progress you make—even the little stuff. Share your achievements with family and friends. Treat yourself to a beautiful bouquet or a massage. Acknowledging your success increases motivation and helps to reinforce the changes that you’re making.
No matter what your intention is for the new year, Gennev’s team of physicians and registered dietitians are here to support and encourage you. Together, we can make this important stage of your life healthier, happier, and more fulfilling.
Don’t wait another minute to start thriving!
The information on the Gennev site is never meant to replace the care of a qualified medical professional. Hormonal shifts throughout menopause can prompt a lot of changes in your body, and simply assuming something is “just menopause” can leave you vulnerable to other possible causes. Always consult with your physician or schedule an appointment with one of Gennev's telemedicine doctors before beginning any new treatment or therapy.