Welcome to 2016! Another year has arrived and with that comes a lot of excitement and an overwhelming amount of pressure. How will we better ourselves this year? How will we define 2016? What will we resolve to do?
Let’s talk about my New Year resolution and why it’s an awesome idea for you too:
The Issue with New Year Resolutions
“Motivational” quotes further instilling the need to define your year and make it great appear everywhere:
Common New Year resolutions often create a lot of pressure to renew yourself and change quickly.
“I will lose weight”
“I will diet and eat healthier”
“I’ll exercise and get really fit”
And local health food stores see a huge surge in clients for the first couple of months. It’s the one time of year that I have a hard time loading up on kale! (Luckily I don’t mind eating and juicing other green goodies).
But by mid-February things often go back to normal, old habits return and we wait for January 1st; a new blank page to a new 365 page book whose plot we must define blindly. Not only does this behaviour put an awful lot of pressure on us, it may be bad for our health.
According to a New Brunswick psychologist, Tom McAvity, beginning the year by vowing to make often unrealistic, grand life changes can place us under a significant amount of stress, increasing our cortisol levels. Consequently, this can affect our thyroid function, weight, digestion, and suppress our immune systems (spoonie or not, this is definitely an unwanted side effect). This stress is further realized if the New Year resolution is not achieved, reducing our self-esteem and sense of wellness.
Instead of placing ourselves under unnecessary stress and defining a year that has yet to unfold, I think we should change our perspectives:
Every day is a blank page. Every moment is an opportunity to change. Positive change must come for a positive, loving place.
If you do plan to make a vow to yourself this year may it be this:
Vow to love yourself. Love yourself every day. Support yourself through the wonderful and no doubt difficult moments that are sure to arise as 2016 comes to life around you. Love yourself enough to be gentle with yourself as you make positive health and lifestyle changes. Love yourself enough to face failure without self-hatred, and enough to forgive yourself in the moments when you do fall into self-criticism.
Work on gently changing your internal dialogue. Build a self-loving habit, one day at a time and you will have a beautiful foundation to stand on as you face the world around you.
This is not about grandiose changes. This does not rest on the need to fit into a smaller pants size or see a lower number on the scale. 6 packs and biceps are not a necessity for a self-loving lifestyle. This has nothing to do with your debts, or the clothes you wear… telling yourself that you’ll love yourself when you meet a specific standard is counterintuitive. Work on loving yourself as you are.
When we love ourselves, we treat ourselves with respect and we make loving choices that support our health and wellness. Our relationships with ourselves are lifelong and subject to change, but we deserve to have relationships that are kind, supportive, communicative, honest, humble, and positive and that includes the relationship we build with ourselves.
Work on your relationship with yourself with positive self-talk.
When you look at yourself in the mirror tell yourself that you love yourself (out loud or in your head). This may seem strange and awkward at first, but eventually it will become habitual. You’ll notice a shift in your self-talk and self-image.
When your inner dialogue turns to self-criticism and negative self-talk, gently apologize to yourself and turn to kindness. Keep a positivity journal, focused on Gratitude and Self-Love. Make a list of all the things you love about yourself and all the things you love yourself enough to do.
I love myself enough to say no when I need to.
I love myself enough to enjoy guilt-free, lazy days whenever necessary.
I love myself enough to feed my body with kindness and support my health and biological functions with good nutrition.
I love myself enough to keep a collection of good books and get lost in every story.
I love myself enough to make sure that I get fresh air daily.
I love myself enough to surround myself with the people I love, who inspire me and bring me joy.
I love myself enough to make time for my hobbies a priority.
I love myself enough to make certain that my health is my top priority.
I love myself enough to make certain that I have moments of solitude and rest
I love myself enough to treat myself with love, kindness and respect.
Keep your positivity journal nearby and review it and add to it whenever you need inspiration. Like most things, self-love requires thought, repetition and practise. But you deserve it.
View yourself and your life from a more positive angle. With a new perspective, you may notice how incredible and beautiful you are and how amazing the world is around you. No matter what hurdles lie ahead, not matter where 2016 takes you, you are enough. You are incredible. You are brilliant and worthy of love.
Happy New Year!
Health and love,
Thought of the day: I resolve to love myself and treat myself with absolute kindness.
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I encourage you to try to keep a gratitude and positivity journal. List at least 10 things you love yourself enough to do for yourself and 10 things you are grateful for every day. It may be difficult at first, but after a while you’ll be amazed at all the wonders in your world and the things that you deserve. Let me know in the comments bellow what you would add to the list.