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The new year has been called and now is the time to show yourself, because the truth is that in 2020 you do not want to be part of the statistics!

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When you plan to make a New Year’s resolution, you probably imagine a scale, a bicycle ergometer and a list of groceries decorated with fruits and vegetables. However, given the coronavirus pandemic and racial justice protests last summer, experts say new types of resolutions focusing on social justice must be where people can transfer their energy.

“The New Year’s resolution needs to have more substance and something that you believe you can stick to and actually keep and extend,” Patrice Williams Marx, author and cultural consultant, told USA TODAY.

Exercise and weight loss still top the list of the most common New Year’s resolutions for 2021, according to a recent study by YouGov among adults in the United States.

But “even if you say you’re going to lose weight, even if you say you’re going to play sports or even, you know, be a good person, it’s really just a small change for just one person, and usually not the last,” said Rene Carr, a clinical psychologist.

Experts say people need to strive for tangible, meaningful tasks when making New Year’s resolutions – and understand what’s left in the process.

What types of resolutions should I make?

The key to a solid New Year’s resolution? Pragmatism.

“Different people need different motivations,” says Carr. “And I believe that whether it’s the beginning of the week or the beginning of the day, or the beginning of the year, sometimes having such a marker can help give extra motivation to someone, as long as it can help you. But just make sure that the goals you set are realistic for this period of time. “

Just wanting to be a good person, for example, can be too boring and not specific enough. Think about how to make this applicable.

Carr suggests using this idea by handing out 10 bags of cereal once a month to a group of homeless people. “It’s something that interests you, you can measure it and you can see if you’re obviously doing it or not,” she says.

Williams Marx says that people should strive to realize thoughts: “If someone believes that Black Lives matters, or believes that we need to do something about climate change, or that the criminal justice system needs to be redesigned, then it should be part of a New Year’s resolution, “she said.

Miranda Nado, a licensed psychologist, is reluctant to use the word “must.” But she has seen through her clinical work that true happiness comes from people striving for a rich and meaningful life. It’s “not just something related to what you might feel when you lose or gain a few pounds, or wake up that extra hour early. I think some of these resolutions can be tempting, but they don’t always turn to what really matters to us, “she says.

How do I achieve these resolutions?

Research will be needed to make the right New Year’s resolution for you.

Try visiting the Census Bureau’s website, Carr says, and look for the richest and poorest zip codes around you. See where they compare and where they differ to understand the issues around you. Are more children dying from pneumonia in one area? Or older citizens who can’t afford drugs?

Also pay attention to local news programs and the activists who speak. Which organization do you work for or is there one you can contribute to?

“You may not even want to do anything, but you may want to help learn more and understand more, then maybe look for a small social group that helps talk openly about it and can give you information, ”says Carr.

Carr says the easiest thing you can do is recognize the stereotypes you engage in on a daily basis. Take out a piece of paper and write down for the whole month of January what your automatic thoughts are when you see a certain person. “When I see someone wearing glasses, I think when I see someone with natural hair, I think of him,” she says as an example.

In February, work to change at least one of these perceptions every day. You could attack a different stereotype monthly or weekly.

“To have a real thought and a real change of beliefs, you have to have more than one day and more than 21 days,” says Carr.

Williams Marx says that donating money regularly or volunteering to organizations can be another way to respect your decisions.

“There are so many things you can do from home,” she says. “And it’s not just a one-time thing, it’s something you can invest in your weekly life and continue throughout the year.”

Does this mean that I can’t have weight loss goals?

People should not avoid weight loss resolutions.

“I don’t want to tell anyone that judging their health by others is wrong,” Nado said. “However, I know that there are some ways in which we can be harmful to ourselves and through our resolutions by putting ourselves in boxes, giving ourselves ideas about whether we can really limit ourselves and do more harm than good. . “

Williams Marx added: “I don’t see anything wrong with trying to improve or have the typical New Year’s resolution.” She also says there is room for multiple resolutions; you can quit smoking and also fight climate change.

When thinking about diet, try to include dishes from many cultures in your rotation.

Carr suggests choosing a culture each week and an accompanying dish. Spend time learning what these foods mean and what motivated groups to start

“Maybe we have an OK research project, well, that’s our culture for this week,” Carr said. “This is the dish, what did you learn about this culture? And what is this dish? Why do they have this dish? And what motivates them to start doing it?”

Try to understand what foods many crops eat that are similar (ie flat foods of flour and water, such as pancakes, snacks and tortillas). Then you can see the similarities between the cultures, Carr says, as opposed to the differences.

“Include your diet in a way that helps your fitness and health goals, but still expands cultural awareness,” she says.

Keep in mind, however, that resolutions must be something you can stick to; Carr says that training for two hours every day may not be possible, for example. Anything can distract you from your diet and weight loss plans – something as simple as your birthday or the reality of being alive during a pandemic.

Carr says it’s important to choose something that goes beyond serving you. Think, “I can lose weight in a day or a week or a bikini season. But if I can help change legislation that can help change the outcome of a whole group of people and set legal precedents for generations to come, it will take much longer than not eating a Krispy Kreme donut. ” she says.

New year, new you? (In case you want to follow a diet anyway): Here is what experts say is the best diet for 2021

Good luck eating on New Year’s Eve: Why foods from black peas to grapes promise prosperity

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