By Mary Sue Somyak. This may sound trite, but sometimes I put myself down, almost to the point where I can safely say that I hate certain things about myself. Hate is such a strong word, but no matter the compliments, the cheers, or the accolades I may be blessed to receive there are times where I can only see the negative. How awful, right? Unfortunately I know I’m not alone in this self-hate attitude. I read the results of a Real Body Image Survey reporting that 60% of adult women have negative thoughts about themselves on a weekly basis. More alarmingly, 78% of teenage girls have similar feelings. We are literally breeding a self-hate mentality! Why can’t we be positive about ourselves? We have so much going for us, ladies. We really do!
As we enter a new year, I propose a challenge for all of us: think happy thoughts and give yourself credit for all that you do. Be kind to yourself and that will resonate in your surrounding environment. I’m not advising to demote your fitness, saving or dietary goals that most of us make with the start of every New Year. I’m simply asking you to add one: be kind to yourself. A simple pat on the back won’t cut it, though. Here’s three ways to self-promote in 2015:
- Accept compliments. Think back to the last compliment you received. My guess is that it was something positive about your appearance. For me it was a kind comment praising a shirt I wore and my new haircut. What did I do? I didn’t say thank you and return the sweet comment. I said, “Oh this top is too tight right now from all of the holiday treats and my bangs are too oily.” That was an awkward response on my part. I think this must have made my friend feel uncomfortable. What I should have said was, “Thank you! And by the way, you look incredible in those jeans!” That simple response could have changed an awkward situation to a happy one for everyone.
- Tell friends when you achieve a goal. Even if it’s a small accomplishment, those near and dear will help to cheer you on. For example, I have a goal to run a marathon next year, but since I am not a runner I have many doubts about my running abilities. However, when I told friends that I have been going on three mile runs recently they congratulated me and said, “See? You have to start somewhere and that’s a great start! You can do it! Keep going!” That small confidence boost is what I needed and I am eager to go out for my next run. I also know that I will be more mindful when friends share such achievements and cheer them on as well.
- Write it down. My friend shared a fun article with me about creating Rememberlutions Jars. The concept is so simple and I think it could be quite effective: every time something positive happens in 2015 that you achieved or makes you smile, write it down and put it in a jar. At the end of 2015 read all of them and remember all of your memories and accomplishments over the past year. I personally plan to create such a jar to capture fun, silly and memorable moments from the past year. Who’s with me?
I believe that 2015 is promising for everyone: new memories and new opportunities to seize and achieve. Rather than beat ourselves up for our past eating, spending or fitness habits, we should resolve to focus on the positive in our lives in the New Year. Simple acts of kindness to yourself are reflective and will, in turn, help others. Seeing the good in ourselves helps to see the good in others. I resolve to be kind to myself in 2015 by accepting compliments and support from my friends as well as writing down memories and accomplishments. I think these simple acts will spread and help me be kinder to others as well. 2015 is looking kind and happy to me!
Did I miss any tips? What do you resolve to do to ensure a happier you in 2015? Please tweet to us @_HoneyGood!