Every year we all grow and every year I think I’ve got it all figured out only to discover that 365 days later I’ve got even more ideas on how to improve. The point is, we never stop growing, learning, maturing, and developing. Finding ways to allow ourselves to continue to grow and keep an open mind and a loving heart towards ourselves is key.
With that being said, here are the ten things I’m vowing to do for myself starting now and throughout 2014:
1) Process before responding. Now this is bigger than listening. I’ve become a much better listener in the past year than I ever have been. I’m no longer just waiting to talk, I’m listening. But often times I’m not processing enough before I’m responding. I find myself responding in ways that I think must be “correct” or “appropriate” in the moment but that really aren’t the best for me. And that down the line aren’t solving anything. When I’m discussing with people and they are truly asking for my response I need to drop the urge to do so immediately and allow my mind to fully engage.
2) Forgiving myself and trusting my past actions. For the first 2 years after I lost my Dad I made some huge, some hasty, life changes and decisions. I cut out more people in my life than I ever thought was possible and some of them weren’t even for what seemed like logical reasons. But looking back I don’t regret it and I see how clear my scope was. I was given a gift of being able to see what truly mattered in my life after such a great loss. I wouldn’t have had that strength and courage to bravely say no to people and consciously walk away from toxic friendships without that. I’m now in a beautiful zone of clarity surrounded by the people who have meant the most all along.
3) I will be patient, loving, nurturing, and more caring with my body. Self hate runs deep within my veins. It’s easy to spiral in that doubt and pain cycle of critiquing myself and doubting my own abilities. My body is going to constantly shift and change. I’m not always going to look one way but I can always work on how I feel. I need to take more deep breaths and focus on the beauty within my body and stop making hateful comments on it it at any given moment.
4) Lead the way instead of merely pointing in a direction. I can preach all I want about how I disagree with someone or how much I believe in something else whether it be women’s issues or how much sugar to eat. While words are powerful, the act of doing what you believe and living a life full of those actions speaks stronger than any article you post ever can. More internal focus.
5) Truly owning independence in the face of a co-dependent nature. Like a lot of people, I want to make others happy. I want my family to be proud of me and support me and I’ve always tried so hard to do things to ensure their happiness and others as well. While it’s important to care about the ones you love, it’s necessary to find a balance and realize that sometimes feelings of guilt are normal and just that, feelings. We all have to move forward with our lives and sometimes make choices that won’t be as convenient for others.
6) More nothing days. Today I took a 4 hour nap. I was so exhausted from being exhausted my body finally gave up. Planning more days to do absolutely nothing and not feel guilty is key in order for me to feel well rested and regain that energy and motivation for a healthy life.
7) Set measurable and attainable ways to do new things. Merely saying “I’m going to write more this year” won’t help me accomplish anything if I don’t actually set specific goals. The same goes for weight loss, exercise, you name it.
8) With that being said I’m going to write more. I want to set aside 10 minutes a day to free write. To write about my day, to vent, to free my mind of clutter. That and I want to truly commit to one blog post a week. What could you make time for with just 10 minutes a day?
9) Listen when my body is trying to speak to my mind. Ever hear that quote about how if you judged every animals ability by how high they could climb a tree then fish would never get any praise? The same is true for communication throughout your body. While your mind may say to you “put down that cupcake!” your knees won’t tell you to stop running, in some cases they’ll just give out on mile ten. When we can quiet our inner voice (and mine is loud so sometimes I really have to tell it to shut up) we can truly begin to notice the language of our bodies. My headaches also tell me more than just pain, they tell me I’m dehydrated, that I need a better bedtime, that maybe I should finally make amends with that old friend. Your body is smarter than you think, it just doesn’t talk to you in the same ways. Listen.
10) Remembering that most of the time it’s not about me. When others act out, seem distant, or whatever it make be, it’s human nature to immediately think “well what did I do?” or “they are being so rude to me!” Chances are while it may be painful, the source is usually not you, it’s something they are going through. And when we all go through things nothing is more frustrating than everyone needing you to coddle them because they think it’s about them. Be aware of this and while you make sure to keep boundaries in place, realize that sometimes people aren’t present or there for you because they have too much going on in their own lives. It doesn’t mean they don’t care about you.
While I could go on and make a list of other things like less chocolate and more vegetables, these are true life changes that I can make from the inside out. That I can make into habits from the core of my very being. These are New Years resolutions that I’m finally excited and truly aware of.