As 2017 draws to a close, you may find yourself reflecting on the past year. While some of you may be feeling like this was the best year ever, there are many of you that may be feeling frustrated with yourself for not achieving all that you have set out to when the year began and you may feel like giving up. Not to worry, it’s never too late to get your sh*t together now.
In light of starting over, here are 12 ways to inspire you how you can be your best self, from now and into 2018.
1. Learn to forgive yourself
In case you forgot, you’re a human being and you’re allowed to make mistakes. Life would be boring if things were perfect all the time. Forgiveness is a process and it will take time, so you can’t just forgive yourself once and expect things to be peachy. You need to learn to forgive yourself on the regular so you can free yourself from guilt that may be holding you back from moving forward.
2. Embrace your dark side
You were probably always told to focus on the positive, to see the glass half full and to see the silver lining in every cloud. But screw that (for now, anyway)! Your dark side, together with your light side, is what’s makes you the unique being that you are. Without embracing, facing and understanding your dark side, how will you ever truly accept yourself completely?
3. Accept yourself as you are right now
When you embrace your dark side, eventually you will come to accept yourself as you are, and so you learn to truly love yourself. Acceptance is the first step, and the first step is the hardest. So if you can just get over that hurdle, you’re golden!
4. Prioritize your health
Your health should be your top priority. Think about this for a minute – you need to live in this body for the rest of your life (unless you’re some kind of shapeshifter, who knows?). Bottom line is, if you take care of your vessel now, you will thank yourself later. We all want to live a long, happy and fulfilling life and we can only do so when we’re feeling healthy and living a healthy lifestyle.
5. Schedule your self-care
Sometimes you’re so busy doing things that you forget to eat lunch, or you forget to remove your make-up at the end of the day, or you neglect to visit the dentist every 6 months. From simple daily routines to monthly to annually – when you preschedule these (add them to your calendar and set reminders, if you must) and budget for these in advance, taking care of yourself becomes a lot more effortless.
6. Eliminate toxic relationships
Life is way too short to waste your time investing in people who don’t care about you or don’t support you. As hard as it may be in the beginning – cut out, unfollow, unfriend, or block these toxic relationships – in the long run you will be grateful you got rid of all the negative energy. Focus on yourself for a while and align yourself with people who love, support and inspire you.
Be your beautiful self, and the right people will gravitate toward you instead of trying to force yourself to fit in with everyone else.
7. Stop caring about how people perceive you
It takes years to master the subtle art of not giving a f*ck about other people’s perceptions of you. There are a lucky few who learn this very early on in life, but there are many who still struggle with it and thinking they are always being judged by others. Truth is, if you find yourself judging others, then naturally you will think others are judging you. Therefore, the first step to stop caring about others’ perceptions about you is to stop judging others yourself. So simple, right? *gasp*
8. Trust your instincts
Ever get a nagging feeling in your gut about something or someone? Trust it! Unless you want to burn your fingers and then know better, rather learn from others’ mistakes to avoid making them yourself.
If you’re uncertain about what your instincts are trying to tell you, ask yourself this simple question: Does it make me feel expanded or contracted?
If you feel expanded, then it’s a nudge in the right direction and you should probably go towards it or give it a chance. On the other hand, if you feel contracted, perhaps it’s a sign that you’re not ready for it or it’s not the right thing for you at this point.
9. Learn to say no
This is a tough one, but you need to learn to say no. It’s not selfish to put yourself first – sometimes you need to take care of your own needs first before you can even meet other’s needs. When something feels uncomfortable, is not aligned with your life’s journey or doesn’t contribute positively to your life’s big picture in any way, there is nothing wrong with saying NO. This is where trusting your instincts will come in handy and then asking yourself that question – does it make me feel expanded or contracted?
10. Try something new or learn a new skill
While it’s important to learn to say no, it’s equally important to know when to say YES. Life wouldn’t be worth living or feel fulfilling when you avoid it altogether. Sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone and say yes to a good opportunity or try a new skill. Bring yourself back to that question again – does it make me feel expanded or contracted? Trust your instincts.
11. Track your progress
When embarking on a new journey or working on a project, it’s important to track your progress. Often you’re so focussed on the end goal, that you forget to acknowledge your accomplishments – no matter how small – along the way. Keep a journal, download an app or document it in a Google doc – do what works for you. I like to track my progress on my Google Keep notes.
12. Treat/Reward yourself
What’s the point of hustling and working hard and not enjoying the fruits of your labour? When you unlock an achievement, acknowledge your accomplishments by rewarding or treating yourself – whether it’s a yummy box of chocolates, celebrating over dinner with close friends or going all out with a trip overseas… whatever it is, do what makes the most sense for you, because you freakin’ deserve it!
Photo Credit: Marc Williams Photography