Resolutions: Who Are They Serving?

Written By: Erin Bach

Every January, I notice a buzz in the air—an energy in the atmosphere that rings of hope and promise and change. Determined sneakers hit the pavement, inspired hands put leafy greens in the shopping cart, and everyone swears that this will be the year.

With the addition of social media, this buzz turns into a frenzy, and if you’re not careful, it’s very easy to get sucked into feeling like you NEED to declare resolutions, renounce all things tasty, and beat up your body under the guise of “getting fit.”

I’m here to tell you that you do not. You do not need to have resolutions, you do not need to give up anything, you do not need to get anything.

Now, I’m not against bettering ourselves or letting go of habits that don’t serve us, but the way New Year’s resolutions go about it make that transition forced instead of organic, shame-based instead of loving.

In terms of masculine and feminine energy, it is the masculine side that goes for goal-based, result-oriented practices with strict deadlines and harsh rules. Feminine energy is based in intuition, fluidity, cycles, and awareness.

Although I know a change is coming, our society has long been obsessed with the masculine side of things—numbers, charts, graphs, timelines, results. Look at any “health” program and you’ll see it. We buy into the dream of a different self by being seduced by numbers because we think they’re real.

Here’s a real number: 95. Ninety-five percent of diets fail. Yet when they fail we don’t blame the diets, we blame ourselves. Then we go out and spend more money on a new diet. How insane is that?! The weight loss industry is a 60+ billion dollar a year industry (and that doesn’t even take into consideration the “wellness” trend revenue). Basically, they’ve has created the perfect way to shame us into giving them more money and getting nothing but disappointment in return.

Honestly, thinking about those numbers makes me angry. I hate how often we are duped into feeling shitty about ourselves, and I hate that other people profit on our society’s unfortunate self-loathing. I hate that women have inherited the diet mentality from their mothers and grandmothers as if it were a genetic trait. I hate that every January we are made to feel we need to “fix” ourselves.

What do I do with this anger? I can’t fight the diet industry, but I can choose not to participate. I can choose to view this new year and my desire to feel better in my body through a feminine lens. I’m not setting any resolutions, I’m not buying any “wellness” shit, I’m not overhauling my diet or exercise.

But I will listen to my body. I will move her in ways that feel good and energizing. I will try to undo the damage that living in this diet-focused culture has done to me. And I will do so by honoring myself instead of fixing myself, by valuing cyclical nature instead of artificial timelines.

If you’ve already made resolutions or are feeling pumped for your new habits, I don’t mean to discredit or demean them in any way. But I would ask that you at least try to look at them through a softer lens, sit with them and see if they feel good in your soul. Then ask yourself who they are truly serving—you or a billion dollar industry? Let that answer be your guide.