How to Make Sure Your New Year Goals Are Mindful Resolutions

The year is wrapping up, and now’s the time for those new year goals!! You might be thinking about all of the big and beautiful ways you want to change in the coming year before the countdown to midnight is even done. But are these new year’s resolutions mindful??

We’re all about the “new year new me” vibe, but you should make sure you’re not putting yourself down or being pushed into setting certain goals by toxic mindsets. Your 2023 goals should be more about taking care of your wellbeing rather than focusing on changing something that’s “wrong.” 

We want to help you think about what it means to make good new year resolutions while taking care of yourself and your mental health. So here’s 6 ways to set mindful new year goals!

1. Write Out Your Goals

What are your goals, anyway??

It’s very possible that you made it to this article looking for a list of positive goals you can set. Which is great! Welcome, get comfy, get settled, and let’s talk. Truth is, no one can set mindful goals for yourself but you.

Which is a lot less convenient than someone giving you a list, we know. But would that even be helpful?? The best resolutions have your own interests in mind. If you love being a homebody, then would setting a 2023 goal to buy a camper van and live life on the road make sense? Alternatively, if you loooooovvveee going on adventures and want to make it a big part of your year, someone else telling you to ditch that resolution wouldn’t be great, either. Only you know what’s best for you.

That’s why we recommend journaling through your 2023 goals. It’s a really great way to check in with yourself and see what you want, without the outside influence. A helpful exercise you can do is to write out your goals, explain why you set them, and how they serve you. Try to ignore what everyone else suggests and focus on yourself. Do you really want to get into hiking, or are you doing it because your granola friend has been bugging you to go with them? 

There’s no harm in challenging yourself—it’s actually pretty vital to grow—but ask how and why you’re challenging yourself with your goals, and if it’s in the way you want to be challenged. Not everyone wants to scale a mountain, and that’s okay. 

The DiveThru app has hundreds of journaling prompts, if you want to get more into journaling. Which you should. Because journaling is pretty great. Check it oooouuttt. 

2. Use Mindfulness to Check In with Yourself

Mindfulness is a really great way to slow down your everyday life. Okay, you can’t actually slow down time with mindfulness (we wish!). It’s more of a way to slow down your racing, anxious and stressed out thoughts to ground yourself in the present moment.

This will be super helpful while making goals for 2023. You’ll want to approach the new year with a centered mind in order to set goals that serve you well. This is true especiallyyyy if you’re the ambitious type that will set astronomical goals and then push yourself to work super hard all the time, to the point of burnout. Let’s skip the burnout in 2023! One of those goals could include “introduce ways to practice mindfulness every day” — it’s much easier to implement than you’d expect! Check out Dr. Justin Puder’s 14 Day Mindfulness Practice in the DiveThru app to get started. He’ll go through two weeks of mindfulness exercises to get you into the habit!

Use mindfulness to help you approach your goals with less stress and anxiety than you would without it. Clear mind = clear goals! 

3. Challenge Diet Culture Resolutions

Every year, soooo many people set diet and exercise goals for themselves that lead to disappointment and kill self-confidence. They shell out money on juicers, diet plans, and gym memberships without really checking in with themselves first. So before you go and force a change in lifestyle, ask yourself: who told you that you need to change? And is this change serving you or damaging you?

We’re all for mindful movement and nutrition at DiveThru. You should take care of yourself, and those things are part of a balanced lifestyle! But we’re pretty tired of toxic diet culture and its insistence on very specific, unrealistic, and often unattainable body types as being the pinnacle of health.

You shouldn’t dread movement. When you choose an activity that you genuinely enjoy, you’ll be excited to go back to it, which makes all the difference! If a dance class would get you pumped to move, or kickboxing, swimming, cycling, or yoga, pick one (or more) of those! Movement should bring joy, not shame or guilt.

And when it comes to nutrition, it’s a lot more complicated than cutting out certain foods and eating “healthy” things. In fact, cutting out foods is unrealistic, and sets a negative mindset around food that can become toxic very quickly. Try intuitive eating in 2023 if you want to modify your eating habits. What food gives you energy, and what drains you? What food makes you feel good, and what doesn’t? Listening to your body’s cues is a great way to approach nutrition in the new year.

If you struggle with disordered eating or eating disorders, intuitive eating won’t be a realistic goal for you to set just yet. Seeing a therapist will be an important first step instead. Having someone helping you on this journey can truly make a difference.

4. Set SMART Goals

SMART goals are all about setting goals that you can actually achieve. If you set a massive goal that you won’t ever reach, or set a goal that’s unrealistic to achieve in the timeframe you gave yourself, then you’ll get discouraged when you fall short of your goals.

SMART is a fun little acronym that is explained by Paul J. Meyer in his book “Attitude Is Everything: If You Want to Succeed Above and Beyond.” SMART breaks down goals into five parameters: 

  • Specific: your goal is ultra-specific and clear.
  • Measurable: there’s a way to track the progress of your goal.
  • Achievable: you’re able to complete your goal.
  • Relevant: your goal matters to you and makes sense with your life.
  • Time-bound: your goal has an end date to work towards.

If you go into 2023 with a resolution to “read more,” then it’s not going to pan out. What do you want to read more of? How much more? When will you know you’ve finished your goal? How much time do you realistically have available in your day to read?

A SMART version of that goal could be to read 20 nonfiction books this year, completing at least 5 books every three months. That way, you can do three-month check-ins on your goal, focus on nonfiction as a genre, and know when you put down book 20 that you’ve completed your goal. It’s a lot clearer than “read more” and helps you set guidelines for what you want to do! 

5. Practice Gratitude

Resolutions are always about aiming for things we don’t have or don’t do. We make goals to be more active, save money, read more, do more, have more, be more. But why don’t we make goals to appreciate where we are now?

Practicing gratitude is a fantastic way to reflect positively on your current circumstances. This isn’t toxic positivity—if your life sucks right now, it’s allowed to suck, and you’re allowed to feel like it sucks. Practicing gratitude is more about finding the little things to be thankful for everyday to build a more confident, self-assured mindset. Let those sucky days suck, but you can learn to appreciate the ones that don’t suck that much more. 

Setting a resolution to build gratitude, along with all your other goals, is a great way to remind yourself of how dope you already are while reaching for things you want to achieve. 

6. Turn to Self-Compassion 

Mindful resolutions are less about the actual resolution and more about the feelings and reasoning behind them. Toxic resolutions are all about what you aren’t, what you lack, and what you “should” be. Mindful resolutions focus on how you can best take care of yourself, while reaching for your (SMART) goals, to live a life that makes you happy and satisfied. Keeping that in mind, a big part of mindful resolutions will be self-compassion.

This year, we are SO done with punishing ourselves over new year goals. By approaching them with self-compassion, we allow ourselves to set realistic goals that align with a hopeful vision of our future. Slip-ups are okay. No one is a perfect goal-accomplishing machine, and a misstep doesn’t mean you’ve failed. As long as you’re taking care of yourself while working towards something you want, at a pace that works for you, you’re absolutely nailing your mindful resolutions.


Feeling the Holiday Blues? 15 Things That Will Make You Feel Better

It’s supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year”… but you’re just not feeling it. The holiday blues can be especially hard because the holiday season comes with the expectation that everyone is supposed to be joyful and festive. There are lots of reasons you might not be feeling like Buddy the Elf, like missing family members who are either not with you anymore or are unable to travel because of the pandemic. 

Holiday depression is REAL and doesn’t make you a Grinch! You’re allowed to feel your feelings and that means sadness too. But if you’re looking for some ways to cheer yourself up this holiday season… your friends at DiveThru are here to help with some ideas for how to beat the holiday blues! 

Five Feel-Good Holiday Movies

Love a good wholesome story? Ready to escape into a cheesy rom-com? Well, here are suggestions for both!

1. Elf

A classic! If you’re looking for a charming and heartwarming movie, Elf is a perfect choice. Buddy is a human who was adopted by elves and now works at Santa’s North Pole Workshop. When he learns that his biological father is on the naughty list, Buddy heads to New York City to meet him. Hijinks ensue. 

Elf has some serious star power, too! It’s directed by Jon Favreau and stars Will Ferrel, James Caan, Zoey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen, Bob Newhart, Ed Asner, and Peter Dinklage. 

2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas 

The Grinch is a bitter creature who lives in a mountain above Whoville. Whos are obsessed with Christmas, and this year the Grinch has had enough—so he decides to dress up as Santa and commit grand theft Christmas. 

If you’re feeling the holiday blues, you miiiight just start out rooting for the Grinch as he tries to stop his loud neighbours from celebrating Christmas. But just as the Whos eventually get to the Grinch, this story will make your heart grow three sizes, too! 

You’ve got some options here! You can watch the 1966 animated TV special narrated by Boris Karloff, the 2000 live-action movie Jim Carey version, or the 3D animated movie with Benedict Cumberbatch voicing the green meanie from 2018. 

Also, turns out you can actually pay to have a real Grinch come to your house and ruin Christmas…not sure we recommend though, haven’t tested it ourselves yet.

3. The Holiday  

This one’s for all you rom-com lovers out there! Cameon Diaz and Kate Winslet play women from Los Angeles and London, who arrange a home exchange over the holidays to get away from heartbreak. Enter Jude Law and Jack Black! 

The Holiday has been called charming, hopeful, and a modern Christmas classic. If you’re looking for something sweet that’s not going to give you a toothache, this is a great choice! 

4. Klaus 

Finally, Santa’s origin story! Klaus is a reclusive toymaker who is befriended by a mail carrier in a northern town. The town is divided by a feud between two large families, so the mail carrier and Klaus team up to bring the town together over the joys of Christmas. 

This animated movie stars J.K. Simmons, Jason Schwartzman, Rashida Jones, Joan Cusack, and Norm Macdonald. The film was distributed by Netflix, so it’s available in every country where Netflix is available. 

It will make you laugh and it will make you cry and then it will make you laugh some more. We cannot recommend this holiday movie more. 19/10.

5. Single All the Way

This one just came out in December 2021, so you probs haven’t seen it yet! Single All the Way tells the story of Peter, a newly-single guy who just wants to avoid his family’s questions when he goes home for Christmas… so he gets his best friend to come with him and pretend to be his boyfriend. Except, before they can announce their fake relationship, Peter’s mom announces that she’s set him up on a blind date. Classic rom-com situation!

Five Feel-Good Activities 

You can do these alone or with a loved one! Sometimes you want some company, and other times you need some quality alone time. Totes up to you! 

1. Bake Cookies 

Perfect holiday activity! Baking cookies can be a creative outlet, from picking and choosing ingredients, to decorating the finished product. You also engage all your senses, from hearing the mixer to feeling the flour in between your fingers, and that engagement boosts endorphins. Mindfulness FTW! Then you get the satisfaction of seeing something that YOU made, and that’s also a boost! 

Not only that, but you also get the enjoyment of eating as many cookies as you want to once they’re out of the oven. We guess you could also give some cookies to your neighbours and friends if you reaaaaally wanted to… (acts of generosity also boost your mood!) Speaking of—

2. Donate Your Time 

Practicing holiday self-care doesn’t necessarily mean being selfish! Whether it’s helping out at a soup kitchen or wrapping presents at the mall for a charitable fundraiser, there are plenty of opportunities to give back that don’t cost money. Acts of charity have a tangible health benefit (known as helper’s high). A 2006 study found that donating to charity activates the part of the brain that is associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust. 

Volunteering also helps foster social connections, because groups of people get together to do something for the sole purpose of doing good—and what do people generally want in friends? Good people with similar interests. If you’re feeling that holiday depression, giving back might be just what the doctor ordered! 

3. Listen to Christmas Music

Upbeat tunes can boost our mood, and oh my are there a lot of happy upbeat Christmas songs… so take your pick! Maybe Frosty the Snowman or Santa Claus is Coming to Town will boost your spirits! Music is also tied to memory, so hearing festive songs on the radio can make you nostalgic for your childhood Christmases. 

On the other hand—maybe Happy Xmas (War is Over) is just the right vibe for your holiday depression. Or maybe you listen to the other half of Lennon/ McCartney singing Wonderful Christmastime and be amazed at how different those two Beatles feel about this time of year. 

4. Take a Stroll Under the Lights

Sure it’s dark and cold outside—and that might even be why you’re not feeling so cheery—but getting bundled up and going for a walk to enjoy the decorations can be a nice break from the holiday stress. Many places have either a town square, shopping district, or neighbourhood that takes decorating v seriously. 

Even if it’s chilly, grab your toque and mitts, fill up your thermos, and go enjoy the wintry beauty! And that leads us to—

5. Warm Beverages  

We ask you: is there anything better than warming up with a nice steaming mug of hot chocolate? “Not being cold in the first place,” you say?

Whether you’re a hot chocolate lover, coffee fiend, prefer a nice tea, or enjoy a nice cup of mulled wine, warm bevvies are legit good for mental health. One study found that people formed better opinions of people when holding a hot coffee instead of an iced coffee. We are JUST NOW realizing why coffee dates are so popular… 

Plus, warm drinks make us feel better when we’re sick—and who isn’t a little sniffly when it’s freaking cold out??—and you even get to use your fave mug (everyone has one!). This fits with pretty much all the above tips, too! Watching a holiday movie? Eating cookies? Volunteering? Listening to music? Going for a walk? All of the above can be made better by your fave hot drink! 

Five New Traditions 

If the source of your holiday blues is missing loved ones who are either unable to travel because of the pandemic or unable to do the traditional Christmas dinner because of gathering restrictions, here are some new traditions you can try: 

1. (Virtual) Game Night 

Depending on your family or friend group’s ages and interests, this will look different for everyone! Maybe your friends gather on Xbox Live and play a multiplayer game (complete with some light trash talk!), or everyone downloads one of the many apps like Jackbox that allow people to virtually play party games together. Just because you can’t pass cards around a table, doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy game night in another fashion. 

2. Cheer Train 

Pack up the family, string some Christmas lights around the car, and drive past your loved ones’ homes! Be honest, you’ve always wanted an excuse to just lean into the horn, so now you’ve got one! Blast some Christmas tunes on the radio and wave out the window! 

There are so many different ways to do this, too! Maybe a few families form a convoy and drive past the grandparents houses, or a bunch of people plan ahead and go for a drive through downtown with decorated cars to brighten people’s spirits (NOT during rush hour tho… because people will honk back and they won’t be friendly honks…). 

3. Fires 

If indoor gatherings aren’t allowed, or your loved ones aren’t quite ready for packing dozens of people into a house, having a fire can be a nice compromise. It’s an outside activity that allows people to maintain their distance, the fire keeps everyone warm, and it’s an opportunity to gather and socialize (and drink warm drinks!!). Of course, this is only a good idea if your local health authorities allow for outdoor gatherings… so best to double-check before sending off invites! 

4. (Virtual) Movie Night 

If you’re missing out on a tradition of watching holiday movies, you can always gather virtually and just have everyone hit play at the same time. Or just text each other the whole time, if your internet connection doesn’t love streaming and video calling at the same time. We know it’s not the same as getting together and all sharing a big bowl of popcorn, but technology at least offers a way to keep traditions going until it’s safer. 

5. Zoom Dinners 

It might not be ideal, but it’s better than nothing! If you can’t gather in-person, at least hearing your loved ones’ voices and seeing them squishing together to all fit on camera can be a boost. Just pick a time and drop the link in the family group chat, and away you go! 

There are benefits too! You can make whatever you want without worrying about any allergies or aversions that your loved ones may have, and you can totally wear sweatpants to family dinner and no one will judge you (or know)! 

Happy holidays from your friends at DiveThru 🎄⛄️


Mindfulness for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know

It’s no secret that we’re all feeling like our world is turned entirely upside down right now. There’s the daily stuff keeping us busy — school, work, family, and friends — and the scarier/bigger stuff like inflation, cost of living, war, the ongoing climate crisis, you name it. It’s hard to escape those constant feelings of fear and anxiety about everything that’s going on. So how do we unwind and rest?? Well, with a practice that has actually been around for years and years! This article is a little intro to mindfulness for beginners — for anyone who just wants to feel better, really.

You may have seen the term mindfulness trending on Instagram and TikTok. It has become an increasingly popular approach for many individuals to alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression! It is so beneficial for mental health and it’s an approach included in various current psychotherapies.

So if you’re wondering, 

What exactly is mindfulness, and how do I practice it? 

How do I know when it’s “working”?

And what are its benefits??

We’re about to answer all of those! Let’s break down everything you need to know to get started on your mindfulness journey and incorporate it into your busy busy life.

What Is Mindfulness? 

Mindfulness is a form of meditation that engages you in the present moment by tuning in to your mind, sensations, and physical emotions. It is a process of becoming aware of your thoughts and emotions without labeling them as “positive” or “negative” and instead allowing them to flow freely. This can help you self-regulate your emotions when dealing with stress and worry, allowing you to be less consumed by them.

Mindfulness is not a new practice. It has been practiced for literally thousands of years, and derives from Buddhist meditative techniques. It was only approximately 50 years ago that it was brought into Western medicine, mainly owing to the work of molecular scientist Jon Kabat-Zinn

The best part about mindfulness is that we all have the ability to practice it! But it is something that you must tune into and learn how to access, a skill which takes a little bit of time and effort to develop.

Throughout his study, Kabat-Zinn found mindfulness to be so beneficial that he tested the techniques on people with chronic pain, with incredible results. By practicing mindfulness, they lowered their levels of pain, improved their quality of sleep, and felt greater life satisfaction.

Why Is Mindfulness Important? 

Short answer? It helps you lead a mentally healthier and more fulfilling life. The practice comes with a lot of benefits to your health, both physical and mental. We mention better sleep and lower levels of chronic pain but the list goes on! 

These are just a few of the other advantages of practicing mindfulness:

  • A boost in the immune system
  • Reduced blood pressure 
  • Better emotion regulation
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Reduced risk of depression
  • More resiliency in healing from trauma

Mindfulness helps you pay attention to and examine your thoughts and feelings. When you focus your attention in this way, it actually helps you understand those thoughts and feelings that are racing through your head. Cool, right?? 

Same goes for when you’re stuck in autopilot mode (literally the opposite of racing). If you find yourself driving to work and completing zoning out the entire way there, or going through your work day in a daze, mindfulness could do the trick to get your sweet little brain engaged again.

How to Practise Mindfulness 

Beginning a new practice can be hella intimidating, we know! First things first. Mindfulness is not actually about having an “empty” mind without any intruding thoughts. Your thoughts will always be there and if they happen to pop in while you’re practicing mindfulness, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed.

What you wanna strive for is what Dr. Justin Puder describes as “moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness of the present” in his course on an Intro to Mindfulness. Let’s break that down!

“Moment-to-moment” means being aware of moments as they’re happening instead of focusing on the past or the future.

“Non-judgmental” means not labelling your thoughts as good or bad, positive or negative and just letting them be.

“Awareness of the present” means paying attention to what you’re experiencing in the present and taking in those experiences to the fullest.

Sounds easy, right? Well, there’s a bit more to learn!

1. Mindful Breathing

One of the first things Dr. Justin Puder teaches us is that your breath is such a powerful tool and it can be used to regulate your body. Did you know the average human breathes more than 20,000 times each day?? Did you know that how you breathe can actually impact what happens in your brain?

Our breath is a direct communicator between our body and mind that may be used at any moment to ground ourselves. That’s why the breath is called an anchor in the practice of mindfulness! It’s pretty dang important — just like a ship’s anchor. 

If life’s got you feeling like you’re rocking up and down in the waves, your breath can keep you steady. Cheesy, maybe, but also true. Don’t sleep on your mindfulness breathing exercises.

Let’s do a basic one together! Get comfy and sit or lay down in a position that can allow your lungs to expand.

Now, activate mindful breathing by deepening, slowing down, and observing your breath.

Breathe in for a count of 4, hold it for a count of 4, then breathe out for a count of 4. That’s all there is to it — just repeat those counts as many times as you need. 

As you’re breathing, if you notice your thoughts trying to pop in to remind you that you haven’t finished studying for your midterm or finalized your quarterly report yet, bring your attention back to your breath moving through your lungs. Always try to bring your attention back to your breath.

There are also tons more breathing exercises in Dr. J’s Intro to Mindfulness course in the DiveThru app if you wanna learn a few other techniques!

2. Mindfulness and Journaling

Could we ever pass up the opportunity to tell you about journaling?? Nope. We’re journaling stans. 

Journaling is a practice that lets you take the messy tangled thoughts and feelings in your head and dump them all onto a crisp piece of paper (or in your crisp Notes app). 

If breathing exercises aren’t your thing (totally forgiven) then you can use journaling to bring some awareness into your every day. Here are a few mindfulness journal prompts that might get you started on your moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness of the present:

How am I feeling in this moment?

If I was to pause in this moment and take a look at my surroundings, what do I notice?

How can I accept today without judgment?

What can I do right now to feel more grounded in the present moment?

What am I dwelling on in this moment and what do I want to dedicate my focus to?

3. Practicing Mindful Movement

Alright alright, maybe journaling isn’t your thing either (honestly though, so good for mental health). But as you can tell already, there are so many ways to practice mindfulness. Maybe you’re a person who prefers movement and activity to release tension and work through stress! That’s cool too!

You can totally use movement to practice mindfulness — and still get all of the benefits. Heavy duty exercise, also defined as whatever makes you sweat, is really great at keeping your mind focused on how hard you’re breathing/sweating/working in that moment.

But you can get the same reverie through a walk or any type of movement, really! Bring your attention to the way the ground feels beneath your feet, the way the sun feels on your face or the number of dogs in the park! People-watching is pretty great for keeping you in the present too…just saying.

You can also focus on observing your body in movement. Pay attention to the sensations in your body and observe how it feels as you’re walking or doing yoga. Always remember a key part of practicing mindfulness is being present without judgment.

We explored only a few tips to practice mindfulness for beginners! To really dig into it, take Dr. Justin Puder’s Introduction to Mindfulness course or check out the 14 Day Mindfulness Practice in the DiveThru app. It’ll give you a ton of mindfulness exercises and day-by-day guidance on how to start your practice.