The new year is a time for self-reflection; we examine what went well in the past year and what needs more work, setting goals for the year ahead. Often these goals are related to diet, weight loss, or exercise habits with an intention to change our physical appearance. But what are other ways we can foster our best selves in the new year? Here are some ideas for non-diet resolutions to bring into 2020.

Make time for self-care

Self-care means a little something different for everyone. Sure, you can treat yourself by grabbing a latte or getting your nails done, but what about self-care on a deeper level? Self-care is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve your health and really taking an active role in your own well being. Take inventory of what makes you feel your best and prioritize making time for those activities; sleep, spending time with friends or family, engaging in a hobby, spending time outdoors, joyful movement, mindfulness or spiritual practices are examples of ways we can actively engage in promoting our own well being. Add this time to your planner or calendar as an ongoing appointment.   

Learn a new skill

Whether it’s playing the piano, taking an arts workshop, or getting to the top of the rock climbing wall at Ramsey, UGA has got you covered on resources for developing new skills. Need something with a shorter time commitment? Resolve to explore something new once a week or once a month. Check out the UGA Master Calendar for daily event listings.

No more negative body talk

Negative body talk, or disparaging thoughts or comments about one’s body, is associated with body dissatisfaction, poor body image, and disordered eating behaviors in college students. Start by being aware of the thoughts you have about your body and when you hear negative thoughts, practice reframing them. If you hear friends engaging in negative body talk, challenge it. It’s also okay to remove yourself from a situation that exposes you to negative body talk that makes you uncomfortable. For more resources, check out a body positivity workshop on campus led by the Be You Body Positivity Peer Educators.

Build and develop your community

You may have a well established group of friends or be looking to add to your circle. A strong support network is associated with a myriad of health benefits, including enhanced ability to cope with stress, improved mental wellness and self esteem, and lowering cardiovascular risk factors. This resolution may be to spend more quality time with friends in person, or to find more friends with similar interests. There are plenty of student groups throughout campus and in the Athens community to explore finding people with shared interests. Set a goal to explore potential groups and their meeting times. You could also get involved by volunteering with a community or neighborhood organization – see the following resolution!

Be generous

What are some ways you can be generous with others? Resolve to spend more time giving in a way that works for you; that could be supporting a cause with a small monetary donation or volunteering your time. Need ideas? Check out the event and organization listings at the Involvement Network and Engage Georgia to find opportunities to volunteer within UGA organizations as well as the Athens Community. Volunteering can be a great way to give back while also learning or honing a skill; cooking at Campus Kitchen, drying medicinal herbs at UGArden, or coaching with Athens Clarke County Leisure Services. Did you know UGA has a student food pantry located in Tate? You can pick up a few extra grocery items (rice, pasta, canned tuna or chicken, peanut butter, and prepackaged fruits and vegetables are all requested items) and donate them to the pantry or make a small monetary donation online to help support your fellow Dawgs.

Need support in goal setting? UHC offers wellness coaching, a program that offers collaborative support to set and achieve goals, sustain wellness behaviors, and balance health and well being. Make an appointment by calling UHC Health Promotion 706-542-8690.

Written by: Beth Kindamo, Nutrition Education Coordinator, UHC Health Promotion