Posts in personal growth
You Should Go and Love Yourself

It’s the month of love. 

There’s lots of focus on romance and relationships in February.  Some of us may be tired of that focus. Maybe because we enjoy being single or maybe because we are single but waiting for that special someone. It isn’t ideal to see a huge focus on things that you can’t relate to or that give reminders of your potential unhappiness.  Valentine’s Day is usually marketed towards couples and lovers but in the last several years it seems that many people have begun to address singles even more on Valentine’s Day too.  There are more and more blog posts focused on singleness on Valentine’s, but this blog post won’t be about singleness at Valentine’s… or couples things. This post is for everyone.

Regardless of where you find yourself on the romantic relationships front, there is one person that will always be in your life forever, who is worth learning to love and being kind to, through the highs and lows of life…. YOURSELF! There is no time like the present to make sure that you are respecting and valuing yourself so that you can invest with excellence in the world around you!

hean-prinsloo-702751-unsplash (2).jpg

So how can you start treating yourself like the special person you are? Here’s some ideas on how to start valuing YOUrself:

Don’t Compare Yourself

Social media has many benefits but it is a comparison trap. We are all unique human beings on a journey of life. When we look at social media we can forget that. Everyone puts their best foot forward on Instagram and Facebook. Often they only share the good moments, the exciting moments or the 700th selfie they took that they spent 10 minutes editing. Next time you’re scrolling through your feed remember to have some grace for yourself and where you are at in life; remember that everyone is unique and everyone has a different story. Celebrate that you are different, celebrate where you are in life and enjoy the little moments you get to experience!

Affirm Yourself

Positive self-talk is important. What are you telling yourself? Is it kind? Oftentimes we are really good at loving and encouraging other people but we would never dream of saying the types of things we say to ourselves to a friend that we care about. Positive self-talk doesn’t mean we don’t recognize the reality of who we are as imperfect human beings, it means we speak truthful encouragement to ourselves. Realistic encouragement can empower us by reminding our brains that we are valuable and that we have qualities and abilities to offer the world.

Find Community

You might think being in relationship with other people is a strange tip when you’re trying to value yourself. But it can be really helpful to find people who love you where you are at but also encourage and support your growth as an individual. Good friends will encourage you in your talents, abilities and strengths, which boosts your confidence. Good friends will also help you achieve your goals and spur you on to become an even better version of yourself. Good friends shouldn’t make this a super painful process for you. Though it may hurt a bit to be challenged, they should also love you and challenge you because they want the best for you. We are all human and part of valuing ourselves is recognizing our weaknesses, struggles and humanity. Being known well by a supportive community will help us grow and be confident in our uniqueness and who we are becoming.

Help Others

Here’s another one that may not immediately come to mind when we consider how to become better at respecting ourselves. It might seem backwards to think about someone else in order to value ourselves but this actually does work. By taking the focus off of ourselves we can actually feel more optimistic about ourselves. Why? It feels good to connect with other humans, help people and see others thrive. It gives us purpose and meaning to invest in other people and that can make us feel good about ourselves for how we care for others.

Set Boundaries

Valuing yourself includes recognizing that you are a special person that has needs as well. You have limits on your time and cannot give your time to everyone. Valuing yourself means taking care of yourself and resting too. Valuing yourself also means that you respect that not everyone can have your time, your body or your compassion. Setting boundaries reserves your attention, emotions and intimacy for those that you have decided to give to. If you give yourself to everyone then you will eventually deplete your energy, drain yourself of emotion and lack the ability to share yourself with those you actually do want to share these aspects of life with. Setting boundaries helps you to feel confident about your relationships and abilities. You will be able to give 100 percent to the people and activities in your life and will feel most fulfilled because you are not drained in doing so. You will also feel confident in yourself because you will be able to give to others with excellence. You may also discover that setting boundaries creates more two-way, give-and-take relationships in your life. These types of healthy relationships will be a benefit to viewing yourself positively too!

What do you do to value yourself? What kinds of things do you say to yourself or do to help you grow in self-respect?

New Year, New Goals: How to Keep Your Resolutions

New Year… new you… new goals! Right?

The new year is a great time to look back on last year and prepare for the upcoming year.  People get excited about making new goals and resolutions and swear they “won’t be doing that again!”; especially when it comes to relationships.  It seems that resolutions related to physical fitness are most popular.  But people also resolve to make healthy choices and routines related to their own mental, emotional and/or spiritual health as well. 

Sometimes it doesn’t last very long though.  Strava conducted research that suggests that January 12 is the day that most people begin to give up on their new years resolutions.  That’s means we are almost reaching the weekend where our best intentions and efforts will begin to wither. 

So how do we keep our resolutions beyond January 12? Here are two tips to try:

1.         Create good goals

Goals are really hard to attain and maintain if they’re impossible to reach to begin with.  Making sure that your goal is SMART will help you keep striving towards it.  If you don’t feel a resolution is manageable or you feel you won’t ever “make it” then you won’t be likely to keep trying.  Make your resolution(s) S - specific. M – measurable. A - attainable. R - realistic. T - time-based.

If you are having trouble with this click here for help.

2.     Pursue accountability

Two are better than one.  There’s nothing like a friend telling you “you promised you would go on a run with me” to get you moving, especially if you’re a people-pleaser.  It’s a lot easier to brush off exercise when it’s not scheduled or planned.  Making your friends or family part of your new resolution can be beneficial.  Whether they reach out to remind you about your goal or they are your ‘workout buddy’, another person can encourage us to push on (or through) when we may not feel like it.  Maybe you’re not a people-pleaser like me so other people aren’t a good motivator.  If that’s the case, find something else that will motivate you and use it.  Maybe you’re also ‘thrifty’ like me and paying for a gym membership will encourage you to actually use the money you spent and not let it go to waste.  Find your motivator or accountability and use it to support your desire to fulfill your goals for 2019.

If you feel comfortable to share some of your resolutions from this year or year’ past feel free. Also, what are some of the ways you find help you stick to your goals?