Thursday, January 9, 2014

Learning to be kind

I've never really been one to set New Year's Resolutions. Mostly because I feel like no matter how good my intentions are, as time goes on, I will fail. So instead, this year I'm focusing on my 25 while 25 list, lettered letters and my happiness project. The highlighter feature on my iPad is getting a workout as I read through the book!

I'm in the process of setting goals for my happiness project. My list for January includes:
1.) keep clutter to a minimum (especially now that I've cleaned out my closet)
2.) put down the cell phone and be present
3.) learn to be kind

Let me explain #3. Seems fairly straightforward, right? Well, not exactly in this case.

I think that my friends would describe me as kind. But the reason I set that goal is that I want to learn to be kinder to myself.

The topic of forgiveness has been on my mind a lot lately. One thing that I really like about myself is that I have a very easy time forgiving people. I don't like to hold on to negative feelings, so as soon as apologies are made, I forgive and want to move on!

However, the opposite is true when it comes to forgiving myself. I have a really hard time letting go of the mistakes that I've made and the words that I've spoken in anger or frustration.

I can't remember what the context of the conversation was, but when my mom was here last week, she looked at me and said, "You really need to stop being so hard on yourself."

It's true. I am my biggest critic - overly critical in fact - and I need to learn to be kind. I need to forgive myself the way I forgive others; encourage myself the way I encourage my friends; be thoughtful and cater to my needs the way I try to do with others. I need to treat myself better.

How can I do that practically?
1. Get more sleep: allow my body & mind time to rest and recharge.
2. Make my physical health a top priority: start taking barre3 classes again regularly & eat nutritious meals, rather than small snacks throughout the day.
3. Learn to take a compliment: simply say "Thank you." Don't reply with "haha thanks, but that's so not true!"
4. Stop self-criticizing in every mirror.
5. Celebrate the successes and learn from the setbacks.

Man, if only it was as easy as making that list!

I added this print to the wall of my bathroom this week, and I have high hopes that it will help me remember to be kind to myself.

One of my new favorite blogs is Ilo Inspired. Maxie writes so eloquently and many of her posts really hit home. This was one of the first posts that I read of her's. Needless to say, I was hooked. 

I saw this image on another blog this week, and it's definitely something I need to work on....

I always feel terrible when I have to tell someone "no." Even if it's something as simple as not being able to make it to a lunch date. I feel like I owe a long explanation for why I have to say no, and I worry that the reason won't be good enough in their eyes. Well, in an effort to be kinder to myself, I'm going to let go of that worry and learn to just simply say "no."

Okay, I think that's enough about me for one day, but thanks for sticking with me as I worked it all out and put my January Happiness Project goals "down on paper!" 

xoxo, E

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