Establishing your 2024 goals and resolutions with intention 

With the year coming to a close, this is normally the time that we’re sitting on the couch feeling guilty for binge-eating our way through the holidays; promising ourselves we’re going to be better starting the first of the year. However, our idea of “doing better” commonly manifests itself through extreme and unrealistic expectations we set for ourselves under the disguise of a “New Year’s resolution”. It’s hard enough to navigate the process of setting intentional goals for ourselves when we are not pregnant or nursing, but then throw those hormones, cravings, sleep deprivation, and mom-brain into the mix, and not only is our diet out the window but so is our drive to do anything physical. As if the daily pressure of motherhood wasn’t heavy enough, let’s just add some unnecessary self-deprivation into the mix.

OR instead, we could realistically assess our stage of life, and instead of setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves based on societal pressure to do it all; we set attainable goals that appropriately fit into our current stage with intention and grace. Instead of rushing to swear off all sweets and committing ourselves to an unrealistic exercise schedule, let’s simply reflect on the past year. What was our “resolution” last year, and how did it pan out? Instead of fixating on the things we didn’t do last year, try to give credit for the things we did improve on even if we don’t consider it a complete success, improvement counts! 

Then, we can address the areas we could really use some growth in, but through a realistic lens. Instead of swearing off all sugar, maybe decide to limit the amount we buy, or to only eat sweets if they’re homemade. In regards to fitness goals, first remember that this period of time is one of the hardest in terms of body image and the way we see ourselves, as well as the hardest to actually manage to follow a fitness regime. If you’re pregnant, your body is already in overdrive creating another being so don’t expect yourself to be at the gym for an hour five days a week; however maybe set a goal to walk three times a week. If you’re nursing, it’s actually not recommended to be pushing your physical limits either as your body is working hard to appropriately distribute your calories and create nutrient-rich milk for your babe. So instead of pushing yourself to get back into the gym in avoidance of a “Mom-bod”, focus on hitting your caloric intake each day, prioritizing healthy fats and celebrate what your body is doing, honestly the goal to nurse is commendable enough; however low-intensity strength training would be an ideal implementation for a nursing mama. Ultimately, set attainable and realistic goals and do so with intention, showing yourself grace and celebrating the body God gave you and the life it is either creating or sustaining.