I love the start of a new year. The energy feels lighter and the possibilities for the future seem boundless. It’s the perfect time to start afresh, re-evaluate what’s important to you and map out how you want the year to look.
You might set resolutions that include losing weight, getting rid of your cellulite, exercising 7 days a week, or to stop eating all junk food. The problem with these resolutions is they all focus on the negatives. You might set goals like these because you think you need to change yourself before you can be happy. But you’re already enough, exactly as you are.
So instead of setting the same New Year’s resolution you set every year, try something different.
Try setting goals that focus on the positives, that are set with love and that celebrate who you already are. Make your 2017 New Year’s resolutions ones that will bring joy to your life every day. You can do this by setting goals that are based around self-love.
Here are 7 self-love goals you can set for the new year, including tips to help you achieve these goals.
1. Make regular dates with yourself
This can be weekly, fortnightly or monthly but needs to be something you schedule in. Because we all know that if it’s not scheduled it’s easy to skip. There are so many things you can do on a date with yourself but here are a few ideas to inspire you. You can head out to your favourite cafe, taking along a book or a journal, and switching your phone off. You can go for a swim at the beach or on a solo hike. You can go to the movies on your own. Or join in on #selflovesunday and dedicate the whole day to doing things you enjoy.
2. Love and appreciate your body
Losing weight tops the list of resolutions set each year. This year instead of trying to lose weight set a goal to love your body as it is. Rather than trying to drop a few kilos to feel better in your body, if you show your body love and acceptance now you’ll feel confident and happy in your body sooner. You can repeat affirmations each morning. You can keep a gratitude list, detailing every reason your thankful for your body, or write your body a little love note. And I highly recommend ditching the scales and banning the ‘f’ word from your vocabulary. Stop saying you feel fat and instead find positive words to describe your body, for example, I feel strong, I feel energetic, I feel sexy.
3. Indulge in frequent pamper nights
You can easily show your body love by regularly pampering it. You can use a face mask once a week, take a bath full of essential oil, get a massage or try a float tank. You can drink a glass of good wine while reading your favourite book, or try a homemade hair treatment. Again book in some me time and devote this time to self-care.
4. Focus on your positive attributes
Instead of asking yourself what you want to change, ask yourself what you want to accentuate. Wear clothes that make you feel good and that highlight your favourite body part. When you look in the mirror don’t focus on the parts of your body you don’t like, instead seek out the parts you do love. Give thanks for your strong legs that carry you through the day, or for your sense of humour that always brings a smile to your face. And as you go to bed ask yourself this question: What is one thing I did today that I’m proud of and that made me happy?
5. Expand on what self-love means to you
As self-love becomes a consistent part of your life, the way you define it will begin to change. Just as the practice of self-love is ongoing, so is what it means to you. I’ve expanded on my definition of self-love by reading and journaling. There are so many books to read on self-love. There are the classic books by Eckhart Tolle, Gabrielle Bernstein, Louise Hay and Brene Brown. I also recommend High: A Party Girl’s Guide to Peace by Tara Bliss, You Are Enough by Cassie Mendoza-Jones, Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini and Radical Self-Love by Gala Darling. As you read and learn more about self-love it’s important to reflect on what comes up for you. Journalling is the perfect way to reflect and expand upon the self-love journey.
6. Become the queen of boundaries
Self-love means prioritising yourself. And this sometimes means saying no to other people. Many of us find it hard to say no, even to things we don’t want to do. But saying no is something you’re allowed to do. If you don’t want to go out after work, you don’t have to. If you don’t want to go to that party, you don’t have to. If you don’t have time for another project at work, you can say exactly that. It’s ok to say no. It’s ok to create boundaries and stick to them.
7. Be conscious of what inspires you
Your self-love practice doesn’t need to be worthy of an Instagram post. It doesn’t need to be expensive. And it certainly doesn’t need to look like anyone else’s practice. When you practice self-love you want it to feel good. So when you’re setting goals keep this question in mind: Will it help me feel good or am I doing it because I think I should? Be inspired by what makes you feel great and remember you don’t have to do something just because it’s popular. If you don’t like massages you don’t have to one. If you don’t like pedicures you don’t have to spend time in the nail salon. Look inwards for inspiration and keep doing the things that bring you joy.
Self-love goals may not be measurable in the traditional sense and there’s no real end-point. Instead, self-love is something you choose to prioritise every day and it’s an ongoing, ever-evolving practice. It’s something you can return to, time and time again.
However you choose to practise it, I hope you join me in making 2017 a year dedicated to self-love.