It’s that time again after Christmas winds down, when you’ve eaten one too many cookies or slices of apple pie not to reflect on the things you should’ve done this year. That’s when the big “r” word rears its ugly head: resolution. Of course you want to reach your goals as a new year progresses, but maybe it’s time to look at these objectives a little differently and start loving yourself a little more through the healthy things you already enjoy.
Let’s stop analyzing our shortcomings, and keep in mind this doesn’t mean you won’t still find ways to make personal changes. The difference is that you will do it in a positive, self-affirming way.
Love Your Habits
Diets and weight loss are always at the top of everyone’s list, but before focusing your energy on fixing your body, appreciate it first. Skip the new fad diet and instead challenge yourself to embrace healthier foods that are perfect supplements to the types of exercise you already love.
By finding enjoyment in foods and habits that enhance your healthy hobbies, it’ll be much easier to make positive changes. I used to dread exercise because I found no joy in hitting the machines at a gym on a daily basis. After trying yoga, I discovered that I actually do like strengthening my body; I just needed to condition myself to do it right.
Whether it’s exercise or food, try different things until you find what you like best. Make eating healthy and exercising an enjoyable task in and of itself, and not just a stopgap to losing weight.
Love Your Thoughts
Letting go of your self-criticism and loving yourself, flaws and all, can definitely be difficult when the negative thoughts don’t go away. But there are many little things you can do on a daily basis to remind yourself to stay positive.
Create daily affirmations you can use as a mantra during the quiet moments when the kids are in school or out of the house. This doesn’t require a lot of time; even just a few minutes when you wake up in the morning or drive by yourself in the car make a difference. Take a few relaxed breaths and repeat your affirmation, either out loud or in your head.
Instead of focusing on the negatives, celebrate the things you love about yourself. As a mom of two young, high-spirited kids, I realize some days can be hard, and by the end I often feel that “mom guilt” creep in over something I should’ve said or done differently. Rather than dwelling in the guilt and negativity, though, I make a point to shift my thoughts by asking myself what I did really well that day. This is an easy exercise anyone can do to help draw out the successes that matter when you wrap up the day and get ready for a new one.
Love Your Routine
It’s easy for people to frown upon the daily repetition—don’t be one of them. Simply put, have fun. Find joy in everything you do, and you’ll find yourself rushing through breakfast in the morning even less. Take a moment as you drink your coffee and appreciate the warm, energizing boost it gives you. Stop and actually smell the flowers as you walk down the sidewalk. When you brush your child’s teeth at night, make a silly face and giggle together in enjoyment of a routine that (literally) gets brighter because you do it every day.
What positive New Year resolution ideas will you be trying? Share your ideas on Twitter with the hashtag #GoodMatters.
Image source: Sher Warkentin | Flickr
This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.