Setting goals for 2016? Here are 5 things to do next year to love yourself more

There’s so much going around the Internet about preparing for 2016. And I have to admit, I’m no exception to it,...

There’s so much going around the Internet about preparing for 2016. And I have to admit, I’m no exception to it, with my upcoming year program launching right now.

Yet, with all these preparations and the goal-setting for 2016, I haven’t seen a lot about how to care for yourself in the new year, or how to make sure you don’t forget to love yourself first. And that’s why I’m balancing the scale and writing this post.

Because I believe that, especially when you work on your goals, making sure you keep yourself and your well-being at the heart of what you’re going to do next year is essential for your success and happiness.

So, here is a list of 5 things that you can do next year to love yourself more.

#1: Give yourself a break
Goals and actions are so important when you want to achieve big things in your life. But that doesn’t mean that you have to be in action all the time or that everything you do needs to lead to a goal-oriented result.

Giving yourself a break once in a while is essential if you want to stay in action throughout the year—certainly, if you want to enjoy the process while you do so. You must always try to remember who you’re doing all of this action-taking and goal-setting for. That’s right: you! Although we all know this on a certain level, while we’re busy working on our goals, it’s so easy to forget the leading role we’re playing in that plan. And when we do, the results are not always pretty. We start living on auto-pilot, and executing a plan based on what needs to happen… rather than why it needs to happen.

Imagine the sense of being overwhelmed or the stress that shows up sometimes when people are in the midst of wedding preparations. We’ve all heard about it, and many of us have experienced it firsthand. When that happens, we’ve lost touch with our why and need to refocus. Granted, the wedding example is a tough one because there are so many actionable parts, but at the same time, it’s the ideal example because it’s one of the biggest projects or goals many of us take on in our lifetime.

And with your wedding, as with many other goals, things get tough when perfectionism sets in. That’s why you need to practice giving yourself a break. Breaks allow you to put things back into perspective, and yourself back into the middle of what you’re doing, by remembering why you’re doing it in the first place. And letting go of how things are going to turn out.

#2: Write yourself a love letter
Have you ever written a love letter to yourself? If you have, congratulations. And I hope it was a juicy one that filled your heart with warmth and longing for yourself. If not, don’t despair. Now is a good time to start enjoying the benefits of being in love with yourself, and I’ll show you how to get the courtship started.

Writing yourself a love letter can be very powerful. I love to do it (although I don’t do it nearly enough) because it forces me to take a good look at who I am. I’ll discover or remember beautiful parts of myself, but I’ll also come across less exciting bits that I’ll have to accept and love just the same. By writing myself a letter, I’m really looking at myself, and telling me why it is that I love myself so much, while allowing myself to be just me at the same time.

The letter is a mix of love, compassion, and excitement. Writing it and reading it are powerful actions in themselves. But what I like to do is to mail it to myself, as well. Getting the letter back through the mail is a beautiful reminder and surprise—it makes me happy every time.

#3: Say ‘I love you’ to yourself
When someone says ‘I love you’ to you, it can feel so good, and sweep you off your feet. But why wait for someone else to make you feel this way?

Saying ‘I love you’ to yourself is a bit awkward—at least at first. But the benefits far outweigh the weirdness, I promise. Making a habit out of telling yourself that you love yourself will have a positive effect on you and your life. You might want to do it every morning, when you see yourself in the bathroom mirror, or you might prefer to do it at night or at some point during the day. Whatever you prefer, it’s all good.

Doing it while I’m looking myself in the eyes is what works best for me. And I believe it’s the most powerful too. But of course, as with all things related to self-love, doing it the way that feels best to you is the right way to do it.

#4: Just be there for yourself
Sometimes, what we need is a shoulder to cry on or someone to listen to us, and have pity for us. And, very often, we find that in our friends and our loved ones. But we can be there for ourselves, as well.

Being there for you is about showing compassion for yourself. This does not mean that you have to indulge in self-pity all night long or that it’s okay to choose to stay miserable or sad for longer periods of time. That is not what I’m saying. What I mean is that it’s really okay to allow yourself to cry sometimes, or to feel overwhelmed, or to have enough and just need to crawl under a blanket and feel sorry for yourself.

Being vulnerable like that, and simply being there for yourself when you are, is good medicine for your heart and soul. It allows you to slow down, and recharge your batteries so you can go about tackling your goals with renewed passion and enthusiasm.

#5: Allow others to love you too
The fifth and final tip that I want to offer you today is for you to allow others to love you too. Self-love is great, and it’s beautiful to be in love with yourself. But receiving some of that warmth, compassion, and tenderness from others is magical, too, and something you should cherish. It’s not about choosing between loving yourself and accepting other people’s love (or giving others love, for that matter), but rather about embracing both kinds of love in your life.

The more you practice loving yourself, the easier it will be to work on your goals, and the more you’ll enjoy the process. And joy and happiness are precisely the reason why we have goals in the first place, isn’t it?

So if you want to achieve big things in 2016, don’t forget to love yourself first.

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