Only a few days have passed in the New Year and many of us have already let our resolutions slip, doing things we swore that we would be better at, more and less, in 2017. More Exercise, More Sleeping, More Veggies, Less Alcohol, Less Sugar, Less Caffeine, and the biggie, Less Stress, there is so much we’d like to improve upon. Then that internal dialogue kicks in, reminding us that we’re supposed to develop better habits this year. This year should be the year that we make it all happen. How could we have let this happen already, as the self-defeating words running rampant through our head continue. We’ve already failed, and possibly we’re crazy for even trying.
When most people are asked what do they want out of life they usually reply, simply and humbly, that they just want to be happy. A few proclaim that they want more money, a better job, to lose weight, become healthier, or simply to have someone to love. So the conversation quickly turns in to what are you willing to do to have the life you want to live? And then the self-defeating drama circles back to our original thought that we can’t get our New Year’s resolutions going in the first place. How could we possibly achieve happiness.
So my thought and suggestion for everyone is to pause, in fact, and go get a piece of paper. Yes, I want you to actually get out a piece of paper. First, I want you to create your main set of intentions. In this column, list your goals, your intentions, what you would like to do more or less of, and fully describe how you want your life to look like. When you’re finished, I want you to draw a circle around that whole set of resolutions and label it “Set A.” Next, I want you to draw a second, larger circle around all of it. This is going to be your “Superset B.” it includes all of “A” and more. In Superset B I want everyone to write in the same thing, and if you only have one resolution this year, I want it to be this — SELF LOVE!
Surrounding our intentions in self-love, solves the biggest challenge of how to begin. We imagine the life we want to live. The idea is set in place, Yet, we continue life the same way we did yesterday and you realize nothing has changed. We make excuses as to why we are not doing the things we want to do, why are we not making it happen, and why can’t it just be easy and fast. Remembering self-love, It’s easier to say — just begin.
Self-love enables us to treat ourselves like we would treat a friend. It allows us to say that if we fail to go to the gym one morning, or are finding it hard to cut back on TV time — it’s okay. Our job is to do the best that we can in the moment. We’re not always going to be perfect — try again. Surrounding our New Year’s resolutions with self-love will keep us filled with compassion for ourselves, always. If we’re 3 steps forward, and one step back, we’re still two steps ahead of where we were, and at the end of the year we’ll find ourselves at our goal, or at least very very close.
If you’re still overwhelmed, do nothing else, stop in that place of self love. If you want to take it just a little further, then I want you to begin your day in an early morning ritual. Taking a moment to honor yourself, to honor the life that you are living now, with compassion, respect, and of course, self-love. Practice a little yoga and/or meditation. It doesn’t have to be long. Just 15 minutes will do. Remember a little bit over time adds up. Starting a small practice every day will make you feel healthier, happier, and will give you clarity of mind to reach those goals without you even realizing it. Letting go of the details, often brings you everything you want and more. The mind will become more silent as you begin to live in peace. The peace will bring you happiness, and in the end isn’t that what we all really want anyway.
Originally published at medium.com