Keep your Motivation Ignited All Year Long
For some, the new year signifies a time of self reflection and dreaming about upcoming goals. Others are over resolutions and have sworn them off completely. Unused gym memberships and feelings of disappointment still linger from past goals that never saw the light of day once February rolled around. Excitement may keep us afloat for awhile, until we slowly begin to sink back into old habits. How can we keep our internal motivation burning all year long, so we don’t fizzle out? If your usual approach toward achieving your goals isn’t exactly working out, change it up this year! Scrap your typical resolutions and come at this year with a brand new perspective. I propose making it your intention to be the best version of yourself through this powerful trifecta-self love, self compassion and self care. When we are lacking this foundation, we are not operating at our highest level, which may be why it’s so hard to truly stick to our goals or why it can be a painful process.
The concept of loving yourself is thrown around so often, but what does it mean to truly love yourself? Contrary to belief, self love is not a destination we get to by following a series of steps, but rather it is a choice we consciously make. This shift in our perspective is difficult because we’ve put so many stipulations around our self worth. Does this sound familiar?
I will feel good about myself when I lose 10 lbs and tone up. I will be proud with where I’m at in my career when I get a promotion.
By delaying our idea of self worth and happiness until we reach one more goal, we are stuck in an endless chase with no finish line in sight. To counter this, you must give yourself permission to be exactly who you are, as you are. This is the hardest part-learning to finally accept ourselves.
Our culture is very goal driven and focused on striving toward the next big milestone, which isn’t a bad thing in itself. I’m definitely not saying to be complacent. It’s more about how are you going about reaching these goals that is in question. Are you beating yourself up along the way? Is your self love contingent upon losing those pounds or getting the promotion? Time to take an honest look at yourself. Do you have a loving relationship with yourself or do you tend to lean on other people, food, working out or work for validation? They may be fulfilling for a time, but the feelings is fleeting when it does not come from within. Are you ready to make this shift in your thinking and let go of any ingrained beliefs holding you back from fully loving every part of yourself? By taking away some of the pressure, desperation and negativity that comes from not accepting yourself, you can accomplish your goals more freely and in a better state of mind.
Sure, it’s great to treat yourself to a mani/pedi or red velvet cupcake every once in awhile. Self care is so much more though. It’s about making choices and building habits that make you feel like your best self. Create a list of things you do on a daily basis. Does each task nourish or drain you? What habits no longer serve you?
Self care looks different for everyone, but try to create habits that reinforce your intention to feel your best all day, not just in the moment.
I love how refreshed I feel after a morning workout.
I choose foods that don’t make me feel weighed down, but makes me feel energetic
I choose not feel guilty about eating certain foods and instead mindfully enjoy my food.
I silence my inner mean girl and challenge any negative self criticism.
I am grateful for the gifts I have been given and the lessons I have learned.
I have a zest for life that encourages me to be adventurous.
This shift in our perspective from “I have to” towards “I want to” will make these intentions a lifestyle, rather than a New Years resolution that falls to the wayside.
Most of us have a great understanding of how to be compassionate when a close friend turns to us for comfort. We show them kindness, understanding and support. We might tell them, “It’s okay to make mistakes, you’re human. You’ve got this.” There is no judgement. Do you reciprocate this compassion and kindness to yourself when you screw up? If you are way harder on yourself, why is that? Any underlying fears come up? If you started showing yourself this loving support, how would things change for you?
Self compassion is also acknowledging when you’re having a rough day (or week) and not just pushing through. It is pausing to ask yourself, What do I need in this moment to comfort and care for myself?
Again this is not easy. When we miss our morning yoga class because we had one too many glasses of wine at dinner with friends, our first inclination is to get down on ourselves. Realize that reaching your goals is a process and one that will have ebbs and flows. Flexibility will help make the ride a little smoother. Don’t forget to give yourself credit when you do make it to yoga for a week straight. We oftentimes gloss over these moments, so make it a point to celebrate your victories, no matter how small.
The beauty is that when you build this solid foundation, all the other goals and dreams you have for yourself will fall more easily into place. Wishing you a fun, exciting, and insightful journey to falling in love with yourself.