When you hear the words, “spring cleaning,” you’re probably thinking about that once-a-year deep clean you’re supposed to give your home. Though I love the look and smell of a tidy space as much as anyone, I am talking about a different kind of annual ritual: spring cleaning your soul.
Before you start thinking this sounds like a sneaky way to work in a new year’s resolution reboot, I’m not referring to kicking a bad habit or incorporating an aggressive workout regimen. To spring clean your soul means to take stock of how you’re spending your time and how well you’re attending to your own needs. It’s about recognizing where a shift or tweak is needed in how you go about the business of life.
Spring is a time for renewal. It’s when nature comes to life again. The birds begin to sing, buds burst from the branches of trees, and sweet little crocus push their way through the soil. All are signs of rebirth and what’s to come.
Let’s start associating these glorious, long-awaited changes with your own renewal each year. It will be your reminder that it’s time for a different kind of spring cleaning.
What Does It Mean to Spring Clean Your Soul?
Spring cleaning for your soul is giving that same time, care, and attention you give to, say, your bathroom grout once a year, to you.
It’s taking a tiny little scrub brush to those hard-to-reach places inside of you.
It means evaluating your stress levels and the measures you’ve taken to manage or reduce them.
It’s taking stock of who and what you’ve devoted your precious time to and whether or not it’s served you and the people you care most about.
It’s “checking in” with your inner being and finding out if she’s been treasured and taken care of.
It may sound complicated, but, really, it isn’t. As with most things, the hard part is just getting started.
7 Ways to Renew Your Soul
Here are 7 ways to renew and rejuvenate your soul.
Our modern lifestyles make it feel like we never have the opportunity to slow down. Life is busy, and there are people and responsibilities that demand our time and attention. Now more than ever, it is important to take time to just breathe.
Use that time for reflection. Grab your journal — it’s okay if you have to dust it off — and think about what needs attention inside of you.
If you’re not into journaling, try a simple deep breathing exercise or check out the yoga classes on Netflix. Explore meditation if you’ve been curious about the benefits.
However you practice reflection, studies show that practicing meditation and mindfulness promotes health and well-being. And less stress in your life is better for the soul.
Opening your mind to something new or cultivating a lifestyle of learning is a great way to renew the soul. And research has shown that continuous learning keeps us healthy. That doesn’t mean we need to head back to school; learning can come in any form.
Think about what subjects spark your curiosity. Feed those interests by reading a new book, listening to Ted talks, or exploring podcasts. Check out free and low-cost online courses — offerings have absolutely exploded since the onset of the pandemic. Find one that interests you and enjoy expanding your world.
As much as I love comfort food and lazy weekend afternoons snuggled with a good book by the fire, spring offers a much needed renewal for my body and soul.
Welcoming spring delights like strawberries, asparagus, artichokes, and spring greens back into my diet and trying new recipes rejuvenates me and rewards my senses. So does getting back into nature. Try bringing a little “green” into your life whether it’s by eating more fresh whole foods or working a short walk into your daily routine. Take a stroll around your yard or nearby gardens and appreciate the changes taking place — inhale the fragrance of a lilac bush, notice the buds that are about to burst on your crabapple tree. Open your windows. Let the fresh air and the fragrance of new life wash over you. It will renew your soul.
A lot of women still feel selfish about practicing self-care despite knowing how important it is to our health and well-being. We know we should do it, but we can’t seem to make it a priority.
Yet if we put self-care first, we won’t need to figure out how to make it a priority, right? Not only does self-care nourish our souls but it ensures that we have something left to give of ourselves to those we care about.
If you haven’t practiced self-care, start out by doing small things that give you joy or a feeling of renewal. Purchase a small orchid for your desk. Get your toes done in a spring pink. Plan a monthly evening out with a friend who makes you laugh, whose company makes you feel lighter.
Feeding our passions is as important as feeding our bodies. Do you have an interest or hobby that you absolutely love? Something that you’re compelled to do, that contributes to the well-being of your soul?
Is there something you loved to do that you stopped doing? Maybe you sketched portraits before life got busy with careers and childrearing. Perhaps you used to cultivate and grow your own heirloom tomatoes? Maybe you played the violin once upon a time? Whatever your passion is and whether you gave it up or you’ve struggled to find the time, try to nurture that passion again. Passions fuel life, interest, and energy. They can enrich friendships or create new ones. All these things are good for the soul.
Most adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep every night to feel refreshed. But 35 percent of women are getting less than seven. That is not enough sleep, ladies.
It is so important to make getting enough rest a priority. Rest is the best way to recharge and renew the body and soul.
But I totally understand. Sometimes there’s just not enough hours in the day. If you can’t find the time to get the recommended amount of sleep, see if you can improve the quality of sleep you are getting. One way to do that is by turning off electronic devices 2-3 hours before bedtime. We know that blue light impacts our ability to fall asleep by blocking melatonin. Taking that time to wind down allows our bodies to adhere to its natural sleep cycle.
Have you ever wondered why playtime seems to be reserved for kids? It shouldn’t be. Couldn’t everyone benefit from engaging in activities that allow you to lose track of time, that serve no real purpose except for fun and free-flowing laughter?
Play is good for the soul, so work it into your day or week however you can. Maybe it’s a 3-minute afternoon break dancing to your favorite song full blast. Perhaps it’s taking your lunch to the park and playing fetch with your dog. Maybe it’s scooting out of work an hour early and walking around the art museum. Whatever play means to you, make it a priority for the good of your soul.
Renew Your Soul With a Little Lift
Is your soul in need of a little spring cleaning? To determine whether it needs a light wipe-down or a deep, get-at-the-grout-type cleaning, click here now to claim your Good Self-Care Assessment.
And be the first to know when there’s a new article, free gift, program, and other helpful tips that will empower you to address the areas that need attention in your life. If you aren’t already part of my online community, click here to join us.
Up Next: Spring Clean Your Soul, Part 2
Stay tuned for my next article which will look at other ways to spring clean your soul. We’ll focus on dealing with the clutter that isn’t serving you, you know, the figurative kind, like negativity, stress, and guilt. That way you can create space in your soul for things that bring you joy instead. Click here to sign up for my articles and you’ll receive them in your inbox.
Until then, take care of you — and your soul.
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” ~ Maya Angelou
What does it mean to thrive?
Thriving is feeling empowered and abundant. Thriving is living life on your terms and acknowledging that you can achieve whatever you desire.
You might be thinking to yourself, I wish that were me.
Perhaps, instead, you feel powerlessness? Scarcity? Like you’re following a plan somebody else prescribed for you?
If this is you, it’s important to be aware that you do have power over your circumstances. You can develop yourself. You have the ability to thrive.
And thriving begins with cultivating your six pillars.
It isn’t enough to maintain one or two pillars. You need all six.
Each pillar contributes to a solid foundation on which you can build the life you desire. When all of your pillars are strong and well-maintained, you feel energized, inspired, and empowered. Your purpose is clear, and you’re able to manifest the life you desire.
But when any one of these pillars is neglected, your foundation becomes shaky… and collapses. This is when you start feeling overwhelmed, burned out, and stretched thin.
As you read on about each pillar, reflect on the condition of the pillars in your life. Are they fortifying your foundation? Or do you need to give two or three of those pillars more attention?
These reflections will help you understand where to focus your efforts this year.
Are you ready to learn how to stop enduring and start thriving? Let’s begin.
The 6 Pillars of Well-Being: How to Thrive in 2021 and Beyond
#1 The Pillar of Self-Care
Self-care is about tending to your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. Without self-care, your other pillars will certainly fall.
Because putting your needs secondary to others and playing catchup with your health puts you on a continuous swing between stress and ease.
When you maintain your pillar of self-care, YOU are the priority.
- You care for your body through nutrition, sleep, and exercise.
- You tend to your mind and emotions through journaling or meditation.
- You nurture your spirituality through faith and prayer.
A strong pillar of self-care will bring greater ease as you work on your other pillars.
#2 The Pillar of Self-Acceptance
Self-acceptance is about embracing all aspects of who you are, and that includes your not-so-favorite traits.
When you accept yourself, you tell yourself that you are worthy of love, support, and kindness. Self-acceptance can lead to more confidence, optimism, and attracting better relationships.
So, how do you accept yourself unconditionally?
Start with keeping your inner critic in check when it tells you that you’re not worthy of acceptance. When you overcome your inner critic and recognize your value, your shame and guilt diminish. In its place, love and acceptance can flourish.
#3 The Pillar of Self-Worth
The pillar of self-worth is about knowing your existence carries inherent value.
You don’t have to do anything to prove it to yourself. You don’t need to look a specific way, have a certain amount in the bank, or have some title attached to your name.
You are worthy as you are.
Recognizing your self-worth begins with reclaiming the power you’ve given away. Each time you put self-care on the back burner or let your inner critic win, you surrender some of your power.
To reclaim your power, return to your pillar of self-care. Each act of self-care reminds you that you are worthy of care and love. And when you can internalize this belief, you will slowly recognize the self-worth stirring within you.
#4 The Pillar of Self-Preservation
Self-preservation is integrated into our core DNA because it focuses on what is necessary to survive.
Yet, women often overgive their resources — time, money, energy, mental bandwidth — and suffer the consequences.
This is counterproductive to your survival.
Think about it.
Does thriving look like signs of burnout? Does thriving feel like you’re stretched thin in every direction?
You know the answer.
You may not realize you’re overextending yourself because you haven’t established boundaries that protect your interests. By clarifying, “This is what I need to feel balanced, and this is how I will do it,” you can know when a decision crosses those boundaries.
This distinction can help you begin saying no to others and yes to you.
#5 The Pillar of Self-Advocacy
Self-advocacy is about using your voice to ask for what you need.
Too often, you struggle in silence. Yet, you say nothing. Instead, you quietly wish for things to change.
If there is something you need, ask for it. If you need accommodations at work, ask your boss. If you need to change something at home, ask your spouse.
Stop asking if you even “deserve” such a request. You don’t ask if you deserve to breathe. You just do, because it’s natural to your survival.
Similarly, you don’t need to ask if you deserve to feel empowered, or centered, or heard. If the desire is there, the only thing left is for you to initiate the change.
Return to the pillar of self-preservation and enforce those boundaries when you or other people cross them.
#6 The Pillar of Self-Love
The pillar of self-love is exactly what it sounds like: loving yourself.
This pillar is often the most difficult for women to maintain.
Because self-love seems selfish or greedy? Caring for yourself means you’re not caring about others?
Self-love is anything but.
Rather, self-love is the pathway to achieving everything you desire in life, including supporting others.
When you love yourself, you take actions that improve you. And when you improve yourself, you become a more empowered woman. When you’re a more empowered woman, you have greater resources to share with others.
But when you fail to love yourself, you engage in behavior that sabotages your well-being — whether or not you’re aware of it. How can you love others when you’re not in the right mindset or conditions to share your love? Your cup is empty.
Loving yourself is a pillar to thriving. Tend to this pillar, and you will eventually manifest the life you desire.
What Does It Mean to Thrive?
You will probably agree that thriving is about living life on your terms.
- Before, you felt stretched thin. This year, you will feel fortified and empowered.
- Before, you followed the whims of others. This year, you will create and follow your own plan.
- Before, you felt like you never had enough. This year, you will have more than enough to share with yourself and your loved ones.
Take a moment to reflect on these six pillars of thriving. Which of these pillars need nurturing in your own life?
It may be one. There may be two. Perhaps even all of them!
The true blessing in life is that you have the opportunity to create the changes you desire. And this article offers a starting point for your self-development journey.
Isn’t it time to acknowledge that you’re the captain of your own ship? Only you can decide that you have the power to do whatever you want with your life.
To help you start making tangible changes in your life TODAY, I’m offering you this free gift: Your Building Blocks For Personal Empowerment Checklist.
When you develop your personal strength and resolve, any life you choose is within your reach. This checklist will provide:
- Stepping stones for building your reserves of personal strength.
- Encouragement to take action and go after what you want.
- Tips for enhancing your own sense of personal empowerment.
Click here now to claim your free gift: Your Building Blocks For Personal Empowerment Checklist.
It felt like everything changed last year.
The pandemic overturned our daily lives and many of us were unprepared for the ensuing hardships. Even now, we’re still navigating through the new developments surrounding the virus.
Will we ever have a moment to catch our breaths?
Unfortunately, the pandemic isn’t something with a definitive end date. And living through it can create an environment for pessimism to settle into your mind and heart.
Is there any way for you to feel positive again? With all that is happening, is it even possible to feel optimism for the future?
Yet, choosing optimism over pessimism is easier said than done.
So how can you do this?
What is the secret to feeling optimism and hope?
Read on as I share 3 vital practices for nurturing an optimistic attitude…
Why It’s Hard to Feel Optimism for the Future (Especially After 2020)
Each time you encounter a challenge, pessimism whispers…
This is why life is awful. This is why nothing is going your way. This is why it’s impossible to feel positive.
And we often believe it. As humans, it can feel like we’re programmed to notice what’s wrong in our lives. Finding the positive? That takes conscious effort.
This is why pessimism is so seductive.
Life is full of hardships — the pandemic continues to create so many for us — and these challenges reinforce our pessimistic beliefs.
Once pessimism settles into your mind and heart, even the tiniest inconvenience can feel like a cross to bear.
You can see why it’s hard to find the silver lining — you’re already bracing for the next bad thing to happen. If you continue carrying this mindset, you leave yourself vulnerable to:
Imagine, as you’re working on your goals, that pessimism is telling you your efforts are in vain. It may even be telling you that you’re not good enough or smart enough.
Just give up, it whispers.
Over time, this negative self-talk erodes at the foundation of self-love that you’ve built for yourself.
Why Optimism Can Be the Best Cure for Getting Your Resolutions Back on Track
Cultivating the mindset of optimism may be challenging. Yet, it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Those who are optimistic are more likely to…
- Live longer
- Have improved cardiovascular health
- Have stronger immune functions
- Experience less stress
Optimism has even been linked to increased longevity for those diagnosed with chronic diseases, according to Psychology Today. Optimistic people are also more likely to experience joy, gratitude, life satisfaction, and confidence.
Optimism is also one of the best ways to express self-love.
Because becoming the woman you want to be and manifesting the life you desire requires you to believe it can happen. Optimism is that belief.
Coming up are three tips for nurturing optimism and believing that what you desire is entirely within your reach.
How to Erase Self-Doubt and Use Optimism to Fulfill Your Resolutions
#1 If you’re in a negative thought loop, get out.
You’re working on another resolution? Why? You’re a failure!
Slipping into a negative thought loop can be easy. Getting out can take practice.
However, thoughts are just thoughts. They’re not necessarily grounded in fact or reality. And your thoughts can tend to create drama.
Noticing when you’re in a negative thought loop is the first step to getting out.
When you experience those negative thoughts, pause.
Become an observer. Pay attention to your racing thoughts.
Then ask yourself, is this the truth? Is it the reality of the situation?
Often, your thoughts offer a distorted version of your true emotions and reality.
When you become aware, you become more conscious about what is so. And when you become more conscious, you see what’s fact and what’s a story that you made up in your head.
#2 Find the lessons in the struggle
Adversity can’t always be avoided. And there are times when you might feel like you’re being swept away by it — powerless to change what’s happening.
While there are some things beyond your power — the pandemic, for example — these situations can hold a message for you.
You can find meaning in them.
There is something you can learn from even your most daunting challenges. They become sources of wisdom and empowerment. Instead of feeling like a victim of your circumstances, you have the power to lead a meaningful life rich in purpose.
Think of a struggle you recently experienced.
How did you react?
What meaning could it hold for you?
It may not be obvious at first. You may need to spend some time reflecting.
Even last year’s craziness offers nuggets of wisdom.
Isolation taught us about the value of relationships. The pandemic reminded us of our mortality and the importance of maintaining our health. The sudden changes encouraged us to adapt and be resilient.
You may not see it immediately, yet there’s almost always a lesson.
#3 Start a daily gratitude journal
Your mind seems to naturally find what’s wrong in your life. Seeing the positive is not necessarily as obvious.
A daily gratitude journal trains your mind to look for what’s RIGHT in your life, even when it feels like things are going awry.
Here’s what you can do…
Find a journal and a pen (or download a daily gratitude app) and follow these steps:
- Think of three things that make you happy
- Next to each thing, write why it makes you happy.
- Say it aloud.
Here are some examples of what you might say:
I am grateful for my spouse because he provides me with love, support, and compassion.
I am grateful for my home because it protects my family and me and keeps us warm.
I am grateful for my body because it helps me do the things I love to do each day.
To kickstart this gratitude habit, name something you’re grateful for and why in the comments below! I’ll start… I’m grateful for my sister because she is loving, kind, funny, and supportive.
Feeling Optimism for the Future is Within YOUR Power
You’ve made it through one month and still have the rest of the year to look forward to, with so many opportunities to seize, memories to create, and joy to experience.
If you’re uncertain about the future, you’re not alone. Yet, keep in mind that you proved in 2020 that you have the courage and resilience to face whatever comes your way.
You will still likely encounter self-doubt or pessimism as you work on your resolutions. Now, you can lean on these tips when pessimism weighs you down. Because feeling pessimistic is normal… but staying pessimistic is a choice you make.
For additional tips on how to kick pessimism to the curb and move through the year with greater optimism, click here now to claim my FREE gift: A Checklist For Keeping a Positive Attitude.
And if you’re not already part of my online community, click here to sign up and make sure you’re the first to know when there’s a new semi-monthly blog, free gift, program, and other helpful tips for how to be the master of your own well-being and enhance your existence in all areas of your life… from relationships, work, and finances to family, health, and quality of life.
In many ways, life is a series of endings and beginnings. Each year of your life is like a chapter. You write in the pages throughout the months, beginning a new chapter with each new year.
It’s one reason why we’re obsessed with new year’s resolutions!
If you’ve created new year’s resolutions, how are you progressing? Are you sticking with your daily habits?
…Or do you feel like you’re floundering in quicksand?
If you feel like you’re floundering in quicksand, there are 3 things that could be weighing you down… that you may be holding onto without being aware of it. This could be impeding your forward movement.
The simple answer would be to let go… But it’s not always that easy.
And so you hold on, creating more struggle as you labor at your resolutions.
The new year is fresh. You have time to manifest the year you desire with greater ease. I’ll share three common things that can weigh you down and tips for how to let go, so you can embrace a new beginning for you and your goals in 2021.
Why You Struggle With Letting Go
Humans often have a strange tendency to hold onto things — even when they hurt us.
Whether it’s a bad breakup, or a friend wronged you, or when you make a mistake, you may struggle with letting it go.
Why do we do this?
Perhaps it’s because we prefer to blame someone or something else for our hardships. Maybe it’s an excuse not to try new things in order to reduce your risk of getting hurt. Or perhaps you identify with your pain and don’t know how to move on from it.
Whatever you’re holding onto is holding you back. Hold on for long enough, and you do more than diminish your personal growth. You may also experience:
- Low self-worth
- Self-sabotaging behaviors
These emotional responses can impede you from fulfilling your goals this year. They sap your energy, motivation and excitement for life.
How can you strive for more love and joy when your heart carries self-doubt?
How can you love yourself when your inner critic has the loudest voice?
How can you see the opportunities available to you when fear clouds your vision?
Your new year’s resolutions become more wishful thinking than anything — a fleeting desire. You have neither the energy or drive to work on your goals. Just getting through each day can feel like a struggle.
Yet when you let go of what weighs you down, you open yourself to abundance. You can more fully experience…
A new year.
A new beginning.
A new opportunity to become the woman you want to be and fulfill your resolutions this year.
And it starts with letting go.
To experience greater ease as you work on your resolutions, let go of the three things that weigh you down. Here’s how…
Let Go Of These 3 Things to Embrace Your New Beginning With Greater Ease
#1 Let Go of Clutter
If you’re not making progress with your resolutions, and you’re surrounded by physical clutter… address your clutter first.
I know what you might be thinking… That’s too simple.
After all, stacks of paper on your desk, and piled-up dishes, and overflowing laundry hampers are minor things. What do they have to do with helping you let go and embrace a new beginning?
Clutter is a physical reminder of unfinished tasks. How can you focus on a new goal when household chores are stealing your attention at every turn? When you declutter your space, you allow for more space and energy to flow into your life.
Decluttering your physical space can also be a precursor to letting go of your emotional clutter. Decluttering your possessions is about removing what no longer serves you or adds meaning to your life.
Similarly, the pandemic may have spurned negative emotional clutter you still carry today. This is a new year and yet, this clutter may continue to occupy space in your heart and mind. Accepting the current situation and letting go of any emotional clutter — even as the pandemic continues to evolve — can help you create space for manifesting your values and goals in 2021.
Try scheduling a weekend for your decluttering project. You can start small with your closet or even a drawer. If you want to challenge yourself, try going through your entire home, and you’re sure to feel more air and lightness when you finish.
#2 Let Go of Shame and Guilt
Turning the page to a new chapter is challenging when you’re fixated on the pages you’ve already written.
Think of it this way…
Like decluttering your space, letting go of the emotions that keep you down helps create new space for opportunities to lift you.
Often, the best start to letting go is forgiveness.
Chances are, this isn’t the first time you’ve set a new year’s resolution. Maybe you’ve set the same resolution more than once because you haven’t fully completed it yet.
You might blame yourself for falling short. You feel guilty for not taking better care of yourself. You bear shame because you feel like you could’ve made better choices.
That’s in the past now.
It’s time to forgive yourself.
And I’m serious! Do it right now. Go to the mirror. Look at yourself and say, I forgive you.
However, words are not enough.
Forgiveness is about taking action. And this is often the hardest part. Because everyday, you have a choice to make: to fall prey to your negative emotions or to advocate for the woman you want to become. Forgiveness is choosing the latter.
- You choose to forgive yourself when you take care of yourself.
- You choose to forgive yourself when you work on your goals.
- You choose to forgive yourself when you accept what has passed and to feel blessed in the present.
The choices you’ve made in the past made you into the woman you are today. And the choices you make today will help you become the woman you want to be.
Remember to also forgive yourself in the future. We all make mistakes — it’s inevitable. You might skip a day with a daily habit you’re trying to develop because you’re busy or exhausted.
It’s okay. Forgive yourself.
Don’t let guilt and shame stop you from sparking beautiful change within. Forgiveness is the bridge that will help you cross into the life you’ve always desired.
#3 Let Go of What You Cannot Control
If you have felt like you were reeling in response to all the crazy changes from the pandemic, you’re not alone.
The pandemic has disrupted all of our daily lives and livelihoods. Forget about new year’s resolutions — many women have been figuring out how to stay safe and provide for their families. Even now, you might be coping with the new developments surrounding the virus.
This pandemic is beyond your control. Focusing on what should happen or what you wish would happen is wasted energy.
But that doesn’t mean you’re powerless.
The serenity prayer is a reminder that you always have a choice, regardless of your current circumstances:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference
You always have a choice with what you do and how you react. You can choose to not like your current circumstances and not do anything about it.
Or you can take action.
Achieving your resolutions for 2021 is fully within your power. Your mindset and your daily habits are choices you make every day that can either move you forward or steer you away from your goals.
A family emergency may have disrupted your daily habit streak. That was out of your control. What is within your control is showing up for yourself the next day, ready to once again work toward your goals.
“There is only the moment, the choices you make in the moment, and your commitment to make the best choices for yourself today,” said Dr. Lori Rylan.
Let go of what you cannot change. Do what is within your power today so that you can attend to 2021 with a dedication to growth, joy, and love.
Start Your New Beginning With the Right Tools
Do you need additional support with letting go of whatever is holding you back? Do you desire practical advice in helping you lead a life of more self-care, self-love, and greater compassion?
If so, here’s a gift that will enable you to create your best life. Let Go of What’s Holding You Back is a free 2-part gift, checklist and worksheet, which provides helpful tips for letting go of the things that cause struggle and overwhelm and allowing for more ease.
The checklist is a great reminder of what to let go of, and it will take you even further into the 3 things shared here. With this checklist, you can accelerate greater freedom, flow, and fulfillment in your life.
The worksheet walks you through how to let go of the specific things that you feel you need to let go of, giving you the steps to do this. You’ll be able to let go of the past and move into a future that you have designed.
Just click here NOW to claim your complimentary checklist and worksheet, Let Go of What’s Holding You Back, and learn how to create your future and all you desire.
The beautiful part about life is that you never have to go through it alone. If you can be vulnerable and open yourself to outside support, you will find the resources you need to make positive and lasting changes in your life.
What’s one thing you’re letting go, so you can kickstart 2021 feeling empowered? I’ll start: I’m saying goodbye to feeling guilty about taking time for me and my well-being! Share YOUR answer in the comments below.
Each year, you make your new year’s resolutions.
And by the end of each year, how many of those resolutions have you fulfilled?
An Ipsos poll showed that over 50% did not fulfill their 2020 resolutions — 11% gave up after only one month.
You start the year with determination, and yet delivering on your goals somehow eludes you.
In 2021, how do you set a goal and actually achieve it?
What if I told you that the way you’re viewing your resolutions is counter-productive? Part of the solution is reframing your process for new year goal setting.
Let’s learn more.
The Danger of Outward Accomplishments
When women create new year resolutions, it usually involves some external achievement.
My new year’s resolution is to…
Outward accomplishments are fine. Here’s how they become unhealthy:
When I lose 30 pounds, then I’ll be happy.
When I get a promotion, then I’ll be happy.
When I move into a bigger home, then I’ll be happy.
When I make this much, then I’ll be happy.
But what happens when you don’t reach those external goals? First, you feel unhappy because you made your happiness dependent on that outcome. You may also…
- Blame yourself
- Feel weak
- Lose faith in yourself
- Question your self-worth
This is often the pitfall of setting resolutions that focus on external accomplishments.
What you can do instead…
Instead of creating 2021 resolutions that depend on outcomes (that usually involve some arbitrary number), focus on small daily habits rooted in self-love and self-care.
Because here’s the thing about self-love and self-care…
When you learn how to love and care for yourself, you become empowered. And when you’re empowered, you are more likely to attract abundance into your life.
And isn’t abundance what most resolutions are about?
- Being healthier so you can access increased energy and inspiration.
- Being more financially secure so you can provide for your loved ones.
- Being more balanced so you invite greater ease and joy.
Small daily habits — daily walks, 10 minutes of meditation, 5 minutes of prayer, and journaling — slowly manifest those outward accomplishments.
Self-care and self-love become the pathway to the abundance you desire.
Are you seeing the difference?
Now, let’s move on to two tips for following through with the resolutions you set for 2021.
2 Tips for Sticking with Daily Habits that Will Manifest Your New Year’s Resolutions
#1 Focus on the trees, not the forest
Remember: resolutions are only dreams until you have a plan for achieving them.
It isn’t enough to say, I want to lose 30 pounds. That’s looking at the forest.
Dive deeper and ask yourself, What small daily habit can I do to lose 30 pounds over the year?
Now you’re looking at the trees.
Small daily habits for losing 30 pounds might look like:
- Walking around the neighborhood for 30 minutes
- Adding 20 minutes of yoga to your morning routine
- Eating a piece of fruit with your lunch, instead of chips or sweets
- Enjoying a light salad before meals to help fill you up
Looking at the forest is great for setting a direction — lose 30 pounds, feel more balanced, be more organized. But looking at the trees involve those daily acts of self-care and self-love that will manifest those resolutions into your reality.
And start small.
Let the habit form over three weeks of daily practice. And when you’re ready, either add another new habit or increase the difficulty of your original daily habit — try jogging instead of walking or try more challenging yoga poses.
#2 Stop the all-or-nothing mentality
You know what I mean.
How many times have you started a diet, and then this happens on a Friday night…
I overindulged and ruined my diet. I might as well go crazy this weekend and get back on track on Monday.
You use one cheat meal to justify bingeing for the rest of the weekend!
It’s time to stop the all-or-nothing mentality.
Chances are, you’ll slip up throughout the year. Instead of letting one stumble excuse more counterproductive behavior, try this:
Don’t let it happen twice in a row.
Resolve to get back on track as soon as possible. Don’t postpone your resolutions to Monday or next month or next year!
Your Resolutions Are About Empowering You
Empowering YOU improves all aspects of your life — including supporting others.
Women, especially, can fall prey to over-giving to others at their expense. Despite your best intentions, this behavior is counterproductive.
Because you can’t pour anything from an empty cup.
When you fill your cup, then you can fill the cups of others.
When you love yourself, then you have greater capacity to love others.
When you accumulate resources for yourself, then you have more to share with others.
No matter what your resolution is, this truth is what will drive you forward. Each act of self-care is about helping you become the best woman you can be. And, as a result, you become a woman capable of getting what she wants out of life and supporting others to do the same.
If you’re looking for additional ways to get more of what you want and improve all aspects of your life in 2021, I have a gift for you. Click here NOW to claim your complimentary checklist, 15 Ways to Have Your Best Year Ever, and discover simple ways to enhance your life.
Plus, in the comments below, share your new year’s resolution and the daily habit that will help you fulfill it in 2021! I’ll start: My resolution is to complete my dissertation and get my PhD in 2021 by spending 30-60 minutes daily on reading, writing or research.
Wow, what a crazy year 2020 has been!
If you told me last December what would happen this year, I might not have believed you.
A pandemic? Mandated quarantine? Business shutdowns?
I would have sooner believed you were describing the plot of an upcoming sci-fi movie about the end of the world!
But, all of this has happened.
2020 presented new challenges and many of us felt like we were barely staying afloat with all the sudden changes. A CDC report showed that the number of adults who reported experiencing anxiety or depression (31%) had tripled since last year. Things weren’t looking so good for us.
Yet, we prevailed.
We’ve made it to the end of 2020. And looking back at all that has happened, I see golden nuggets of wisdom worth harvesting.
Wisdom that teaches us how to live a more meaningful life rich in love and compassion. Lessons that remind us of the importance of self-love and self-care. And trials that encourage making YOU and YOUR well-being a top priority.
Here are some lessons we can glean from 2020…
5 Life Lessons from 2020 on Self-Love, Self-Care, and Self-Compassion
#1 Socializing with your loved ones this year needed a little creativity
Fitting socialization into your life during quarantine has been tricky.
Non-essential businesses were closed. You couldn’t meet up with friends. No large crowds. Stay 6 feet apart. And no hugging…
Human connection is built into our DNA. And that’s why I encourage physical distancing. Not social distancing. Because support systems — surrounding yourself with people who love and uplift you — is also a way to express love to yourself.
But what can you do when there’s a stay-at-home order in effect?
You get creative. You can’t meet up with friends for coffee, however you can schedule a video call and spend more time with family at home. I had virtual dates with my girlfriends, complete with appetizers and bubbly!
How about you? How did you get creative with keeping your relationships strong? Share it in the comments below!
#2 This year, it sometimes felt like everything was taking a wrong turn. Don’t let your thoughts hold your back too.
Your mind is more powerful than you think.
Ever hear about self-fulfilling prophecies?
It happens when reality unfolds the way you predict it will. For example, if you believe you will nail that Zoom presentation for work, you are more likely to succeed.
However, if you think you’re unworthy of love, you might engage in self-sabotaging behavior, like substance abuse and social withdrawal.
There is a powerful connection between your mind and body. Your thoughts will often influence how you behave.
And so, if you struggle with self-limiting phrases, like…
- I’m unworthy of love. Nobody, not even myself, can love me.
- I’ll never have balance in life.
- Nobody will ever want to help me. They’ll always say no.
. . . Then it’s time to reverse that script in your head.
Using tips like creating a list of your strengths and positive visualization — vividly imagine yourself going through the motions it takes to succeed — can help you feel empowered again. More importantly, telling yourself that you are worthy of love is one of the most important steps to loving yourself.
You are never a victim of your circumstances.
You will always be at power to change what you can and create a better self-fulfilling prophecy for yourself.
#3 Put your phone down already! (Obsessing over the media isn’t doing you any good)
It was challenging to break away from the media this year. We were so plugged in, anxiously anticipating the next COVID-19 development. Then there were months of social unrest following the racial injustices committed against our black communities.
But there’s also a cost to scrolling through the latest headlines:
If this is the case for you, it may be time to unplug.
While helping others is important, advocating for YOUR well-being is also essential.
My favorite ways to unplug?
Go on a digital detox, and unless it’s for work, no screen time. Return to nature. Spend time with my family at home. And shift my focus to loving and empowering myself through regular self-care.
#4 This year demanded so much from you. Did you remember to fill your cup?
Raise your hand if you felt pulled in every direction this year.
As a high-performing woman, you want to be everything to everyone — a perfect mother, career woman, wife, community leader, and more.
As a recovering perfectionist, I get it.
But after spending years feeling burned out and coping with fibromyalgia, I realize the best thing I can do is be the most loving caregiver to me.
You might think that’s selfish or uncaring.
But here’s the thing.
You can’t pour from an empty cup.
When you start, your cup is brimming with vitality and inspiration. But each time you give away your time and energy, your cup slowly empties.
Eventually, there’s nothing left to give.
Self-compassion helps keep your cup filled through self-care. By empowering yourself — giving YOU the resources to feel more energy, clarity, and inspiration — you create more opportunities to give to others.
Always fill your cup first.
#5 Self-care is essential but there’s more to it than #selfcaresunday
Self-care isn’t always what you see or read about on social media.
Scented bubble baths. Spa days. Treating yourself to online shopping sprees.
These things sound nice and feel good, yet that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily self-care.
Self-care is doing what is necessary for your long-term well-being, which can be different for each woman. If you’re struggling financially, for example, then treating yourself to a shopping spree is self-sabotage, not self-care.
See, the reality about self-care is that it’s sometimes hard. Self-care won’t always feel good.
Sometimes tough love is the best form of love you can give yourself.
Getting up early to maintain my morning ritual of exercise, journaling and prayer can sometimes feel like the hardest thing in the world — especially when my cozy bed calls for me.
But I promise you… Stick it out, practice self-care regularly, and you will reap the benefits for years to come.
What Lessons From 2020 Did You Learn?
2020 has changed my life, but it has also taught me much.
By loving myself, I can become a more powerful woman who can better support others.
What about you?
What is one lesson 2020 has taught you? Let me know in the comments below.
To help you put these life lessons on self-care and self-love into action, I offer you a free gift: a list of my favorite holiday self-care practices (which take 15 minutes or less). These small acts of self-love can remind you how important it is to prioritize self-care and your well-being during this special time of year.
Click here to claim your copy of 24 of My Favorite Holiday Self-Care Activities That Take Less Than 15 Minutes.
Wishing you a happy and healthy new year!