We have all heard the saying new year, new you. Many of us live by this mantra. We swear that when the clock strikes midnight on December 31st we will magically force ourselves to morph into a “better” version of who we currently are. I would like to challenge this idea a bit. What if, instead of focusing on all of the things we can do to change ourselves, we simply find ways to embrace the hot mess that we already are and shine ourselves up a bit? Here are 5 things I would like to challenge you to do in the new year…
- Stop obsessing over your weight. Seriously. You can make goals to lose weight, that’s fine, but please do not let it consume your every thought. A person’s happiness should not be dependent on whether or not they were faithful to their eating plan every second of every day. We are human. Sometimes we will slip up. Sometimes we will gain instead of losing. Sometimes we will eat half a pizza. Life happens. Do not get discouraged. Press on. If weight loss is important to you then make it a priority, but don’t make it your only priority. Chances are you are already pretty adorable in the skin you are in.
- Give compliments, not criticisms. There’s a pretty good chance that the parts of you that you criticize the most are actually important pieces of what make you, you. Do you have wide hips? Awesome. They’re perfect for carrying babies (or small dogs) on, they’re great for shaking when you’re dancing, and they come in handy when you need to knock someone out of the way at the grocery store if they’re going in for the last pack of Oreos (trust me, I know). Do you constantly feel like a subpar parent? In the grand scheme of life we are all subpar in one way or another. As long as your kids know they’re loved you are doing just fine. We find so many ways to beat ourselves down in the course of a day, but why? You are awesome. End each day by reminding yourself what is great about you.Not only do I want you to compliment and not criticize yourself, I want you to apply this to your interactions with strangers as well. We are very quick to criticize people, but there is a high probability that many of those same people we cast judgment upon are carrying some heavy baggage that we know nothing about. I ask that you compliment people often. A compliment can change a person’s day. I also ask that before you criticize you take a couple minutes to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
- Learn from your mistakes. In this new year you will make mistakes. Bad things will happen. This is inevitable. That does not mean that you need to allow these occurrences to define you. You’re allowed to be sad, and you’re also allowed to feel bad for yourself, but work through the pain and learn from it. Do not get discouraged if mistakes are made. Make better choices next time. These mistakes cannot stop you from being your best self.
- Do what you want to do, and do not feel even remotely guilty about it. Yes, it is important to help contribute to your family’s happiness, but it is even more important to contribute to your own happiness. You are allowed to have a night out with friends. You should be able to sleep late once in awhile. Do you need a day to just stay home and relax? Do it. Let your family know that your feelings and needs matter too.
- Laugh more. We have become so tightly wound lately that we just do not laugh enough. I’m not talking about a chuckle every now and then. I am talking about a laugh so epic that you end up in tears gasping for breath. Also, cry more. It is healthy to have a good hearty cry every now and then to help you work through what is bringing you down. If you need to cry, but do not feel like you can allow yourself to, watch Beaches and/or Hardball. I promise you that tears will be shed. If you don’t cry then you’re basically a robot (kidding, obviously). Allow yourself to feel your emotions. It will help you to better connect with yourself, and also to empathize with those around you.
In this new year do not try to recreate yourself completely because it will inevitably lead to sadness about not reaching your goals. Just take the you that is already here and spiff it up a bit. Laugh more, cry more, give more compliments, eat pizza, and learn from your mistakes. New year, new you? Nah. New year, same great you that you have always been, but with a little glitter on top.