“How are you?” is a pretty standard greeting when you enter your workplace, or coffee shop, or anywhere with gathered friends and acquaintances.

Today, I could only muster, “Pregnant.” as a response.

And this wasn’t me being glib. That answer fully encapsulated how I’m feeling - large, itchy, stuffed, slow-moving, tired, achey…you get the idea. The great news is that I actually actually know how to turn off these feelings.

In my last pregnancy, it felt like all this stuff was just happening to me and I had no control over it. That’s didn’t feel great. It’s part of the reason why I disliked being pregnant so much. I had come to rely on my body acting and feeling a certain way and the curveballs were not welcome.

This time around, I’m putting a lot more attention on my various actions and how they make me feel. It’s not rocket science that if you drink more water, eat less salt and sugar, and move a little that you’ll feel better as a human being. One thing I’ve noticed in pregnancy is that the “feel better” quotient can be exponential. We all feel a little better when we take care of our bodies. But the difference between “feeling like hell” and “feeling like a normal person” is a wide gap during gestation and makes the consequences of that second cookie all the greater.

So when I can remember that, it makes it a lot easier to put the right things in my body and do what I need to feel my best. It’s not about denying myself the cookie for some small gain. It’s about wanting desperately to feel normal and doing the things that will get me there.

This general philosophy is the only way I’ve been able to stick with any habit. I know a lot of people try to change their habits for the new year. They set resolutions like go to the gym, lose weight, call my parents more. These are all great aspirations, but without the “why” behind them, it’s tough to make them stick.

Keeping the real goal in mind such as, “I want to feel this amazing energy again tomorrow” or “I want to feel connected to my family” can make us all so much more motivated to do the thing that will get us that result. In my case, I don’t want to feel like an achey, giant whale tomorrow so I’m going to drink a lot more water today and eat regular, balanced meals.

Did you make any resolutions this year or even general goals or habit changes? If so, can you share why you made them? What’s the real end result you’re seeking? I’d love to hear your why if you’d like to share. And if the habit change is already starting to feel like a drag, try reminding yourself of that why. It just may help make the habit stick this year.