EATING DISORDER RECOVERY GOALS: SETTING HEALTHY GOALS FOR THE NEW YEAR

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With a new year come fresh opportunities to change—to modify your behavior, to break bad habits, and to turn over a new leaf. That’s an appealing prospect for anyone, albeit a tough thing to achieve, and it’s especially enticing for those in eating disorder recovery.

And by all means, if you want to use the new year as a chance to form some healthy habits, do so! For some, the New Year is an excellent catalyst for better decision-making. As you set goals, though, make sure you do so in a way that is healthy and smart.

What does that mean? For one, it means making sure you don’t take on more than you can manage. Setting a dozen major, life-changing goals is noble, but also rather cavalier: It’s a recipe for burnout or exhaustion, both of which can trigger further problems.

Also make sure you remember that goals are exactly that—things to reach for. You’ll have some rough days and you may even mess up or relapse. Try to avoid those things, but when they happen, don’t beat yourself up or write off the whole venture as a failure.

As for the specific goals to set, consider these suggestions:

  • Resolve to be more patient with yourself.
  • Set a goal to find a new hobby or outlet, and to really pour yourself in it.
  • Strive to find someone you can confide in, and be more open about your struggle with an eating disorder.
  • Commit to keeping regular meetings with your therapist or dietician.
  • Don’t get caught up dwelling on weight, waistlines, or related issues.
  • Identity your biggest stressors, and work out a strategy to deal with them.

Set goals for the new year—but make sure you do so in a way that is healthy.

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