Resolve to Love Yourself This Year

love yourself

“Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Be true to yourself. How you treat yourself sets the standard for how others will treat you.” ― Steve Maraboli

It’s been a while since we made our New Year’s resolutions, and all our vows are quite well-intended.  Exercise more.  Pick up a long-lost hobby.  Reconnect with friends.  Maybe you’ve been sticking to your resolution, or maybe you’re disappointed that you haven’t gotten things quite off the ground yet.  But no matter how things are going, I urge you to tack on one additional resolution this year:

Love yourself as you are right now.

I’m a very self-critical and goal-oriented person.  I hold these traits dear because they made me who I am today.  But being driven comes with its own set of problems.  I am hard to satisfy, and I find there’s a fine line between self-criticism and self-doubt, even self-loathing.  I want so much to become a future version of myself that I often forget I’m a pretty great person today.

If you find yourself in the same boat, here are a few tricks I’ve taught myself to keeping loving the current me:

Know when you’re being overly critical of yourself.

A good rule of thumb is, if criticism helps you become a better person, then it works.  If criticism only succeeds in making you feel bad, give yourself a break.  Stop criticizing yourself and instead focus on what makes you a good person now (even if it’s only that you’ve recognized you want to change, which is a huge first step).  Once you can find something good about yourself, break down criticism into small actionable goals you can achieve.

Keep a list of your good qualities.

It’s easy to be lost in all the things that are “wrong” with you.  We keep this mental list at the forefront of our minds.  Make sure you cultivate a list of all the things that you are good at.  Write it down if that helps and refer to it as often as you need it.  There’s nothing arrogant about recognizing the ways in which you rock.

Make time to love yourself. 

Praise yourself the way you would compliment others.  Give yourself a smile in the mirror on your way out the door.  Notice how you make time to help others even when there’s nothing in it for you.  Make sure you’re giving yourself a daily pat on your own back, even (or perhaps especially) if you’re having a rough day.

Celebrate past victories. 

The current version of yourself was once a “future you.”  Think of all the times you worked hard and succeeded in the past.  For example, if someone praises you at work, remind yourself that you earned it through past efforts.  Knowing that you worked hard in the past can make it easier for you to love the current you.

Remind yourself that happiness is relative.

You may think that in order to be happy, you need X, Y, and Z.  But in reality, people living the hardest lives can come out smiling while others with all the wealth and luck in the world remain unhappy.  It is possible to love yourself right now, no matter the circumstances.  If you can’t do it on your own, don’t be afraid to find help in loved ones, counselors, or support groups.

***

Loving yourself has all sorts of positive benefits, so if you need any more motivation, know that you can’t become a better person if you don’t love your own potential.  And here’s to a great 2015!

Photo by ►►haley

love yourself

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14 thoughts on “Resolve to Love Yourself This Year”

  1. Hello Deborah,

    Just a very quick hello and a thank you. Your post was so very appropriate for me! I have recently been knocked back and from a source that I never knew resented me at all let alone so much. A real demolition job. Instead of fighting back I automatically searched for the truths but to be frank, after an awful lot of time and energy, I don’t think I deserved the flattening I received. It was his stuff; not mine.
    Unfortunately, I was brought up to service everyone else’s needs so I do attract an awful lot of needy people. Hey, ho! I am still learning (still trying to find some fun to go with it).
    Nevertheless, thank you for your post – please accept my kindest regards.

    1. I’m glad this post came at a good time for you. Being hurt by someone you thought supported you is, perhaps, one of the worst blows you can endure. If you find that you are attracting needy people, it likely means you are a kind-hearted person, and you are definitely worth being loved and supported.

      Best wishes to you.

  2. Hi Deborah. I enjoyed your post because loving ourselves is one of the most difficult things to do. I thought your point “keep a list of your good qualities” was a good suggestion for those of us who have difficulty loving themselves, and that includes me. I see myself as I am with so many faults. My self-loving goal for the weeks ahead is to take time for self praise. That’s a good point. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  3. Deborah,
    I love this! It is so easy to get lost in all things that are “wrong” with us that we forgot how amazing we really are. Personally, it took me a long time to appreciate “me”. It’s all about taking those baby steps to form new “self-love” habits. When we were children, we had no doubt that we weren’t fabulous and able to accomplish great things..until someone told us differently.
    A great baby step is the next time someone gives you a compliment…just say thank you. That’s it. No explanations. No yeah..buts. Just. Say. Thank you. It will be hard at first but you’ll get used to it! Thanks again Deborah!

  4. I can feel the positivity Deborah!

    Your post resonates deeply within me. It brings back to mind the words of one of my mentors, “what ever you give your attention to, grows significantly”. Although he wasn’t the first to say it :).

    This law works for everything. You want a healthy relationship, give it attention. You want a bigger bank account, give it attention. You want a healthier body, give it attention.

    And I’m not talking about a half-ass attempts at self affirmations (although affirmations with convictions do help). But rather having laser-like concentrated focus on what you want to change, making a very quick and simple plan to achieve it and fiercely holding yourself accountable to achieving this change! Believe me, you are on the path to becoming unstoppable!

    This is an example of loving yourself! Sending nothing but positivity to you Deborah!

    1. Thanks for these great additions to the article. Having a laser-like focus and simple plan are great additions to keeping yourself positive and moving yourself toward change. Best to you as well!

  5. Self-love is so powerful. It changed my life completely. Unfortunately, we live in a society where we are taught on a regular basis that we are not good enough as we are and we first have to DO or BECOME something (different). It is so vital to take our level of self-worth and -esteem in our own hands and understand that we ARE enough. Thanks for this!

  6. Inspirational. Thank you for the poignant post. Loving yourself is the way to peace. To truely love, respect, honor other people, the individual has to do that first for himself/herself. Or one can look at it that it happens at the same. When a person starts to love himself/herself, he/she starts to truly love other people. Our consciousness is all connected.

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