3 Intentions to Boost Your Self-Love In 2019
In our self-improvement obsessed culture, year-end reflection is focused not on gratitude for what we have, but on striving for what we have not yet obtained. We make BIG resolutions to change all of the things that we don’t like about ourselves. And then, despite the grand plans that have taken shape during the final days of December, by Valentine’s day, all has fallen by the wayside. Our lives are not the visions of perfection that we had imagined on January 1st. Often we feel as though we have failed. This same script seems to repeat itself year after year.
Are you ready to break away from this frustrating cycle?
Let’s start by shifting our focus away from the “New Year, New You” mentality. Rather than waiting to become our best selves with a life make-over this January, what if we recognized that we already are our best selves and worked to nurture ourselves through love and compassion? Believe it or not, self-acceptance is actually the cornerstone to making meaningful changes in your life. And that means accepting all of yourself, including the parts that you would like to change. As Carol Rogers, founder of Humanistic psychology, said: “the curious paradox is when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”
If you are ready to ditch the “New Year, New You” mentality and welcome 2019 in with an attitude of self-acceptance and compassion, check out these 3 intentions that I’m setting for the New Year.
1. Build a Gratitude Habit
Research has shown that expressing gratitude has a multitude of benefits including improved physical and mental health. It even increases happiness! Expressing gratitude towards your body can improve body image and decrease weight-bias internalization, both factors associated with mental and physical wellbeing. If you want to create a regular gratitude practice in the new year, you may want to consider investing in a gratitude journal or a daily planner that includes gratitude prompts. But you really don’t need any special equipment, simply listing a few things that you feel grateful for on a piece of paper, reciting them to yourself, or sharing with a friend, family member, or partner can do the trick. And remember: even when things feel like a train-wreck (I’m looking at you, 2018!), you have survived and that in and of itself is something to be grateful for.
2. Make 2019 a diet-free year.
While many of us fantasize that dieting is the path to a happier, healthier, thinner, and all-around better life, the reality is that dieting doesn’t work. And not only are diets designed to fail, but dieting is also linked with a host of problematic outcomes including increased risk for eating disorders and disordered eating, weight cycling, low self-esteem, and much more. The whole system is premised on the idea that we aren’t good enough as we currently are and that we need to change ourselves by fighting against our bodies in order to make ourselves acceptable.
In case you haven’t guessed it yet, I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions, but there is one resolution that I’m making this year: not to diet. I’m resolving to make 2019 a diet-free year (you can read more about my resolution here) and I hope you’ll join me. And if you want support in saying buh-bye to dieting and learning how to listen to and trust your body, sign up now here to receive an exclusive discount for The Anti-Diet Plan, my 6-week online signature program with weekly live group support, starting January 2019.
3. Set an Intention for Meditation.
Mindfulness has become quite a buzzword, and for good reason. It helps us create mental space to observe what is happening in the current moment; a process that enables us to make conscious aware choices rather than impulsively reacting. In essence, it helps us get back in the driver’s seat, rather than being a passive passenger on life’s wild ride. Mindfulness meditation can help us foster a sense of self-acceptance by recognizing the harsh automatic thoughts that typically fill our minds and gently shifting our focus to what is actually happening in the here and now. It’s a powerful tool that is largely experimental. That means I can’t just tell you about it, you’ve gotta try it to really get it. If you want to learn more about setting up a meditation practice, I walk you through that process and give you access to a 3-minute meditation to get started in Day 2 of The Anti-Diet Plan FREE 5-day mindful eating challenge. And if you think that you don’t have enough time to meditate, I’ll be hosting a Facebook Live event on January 9th, 2019 all about how to integrate mindfulness into your life when you think you don’t have enough time.
I hope that these 3 intentions will help you foster an attitude of self-acceptance and compassion in the year to come. I’m wishing all of you a happy, healthy, and mindful New Year! May 2019 be the year that you realize you are perfect in all of your glorious imperfections and accept yourself exactly as you are!