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New Year’s Resolution: Be Nice to Yourself

Nearly 50% of people in the western world will make a New Year’s Resolution. The most common of these goals is to diet and exercise to some degree more. Yet all resolutions are about self-improvement.

If you’ve made a resolution this year, we wish you luck! But we’d like to suggest an alternative goal you should consider striving for. It’s simple. Be kind to yourself.
The best way you can work on self-improvement is to give yourself the kindness and love that you deserve. We’re going to show you why you should be nice to yourself. We’ll also give you some tips on how you can form new habits of self-kindness this year.

Kindness Brings Out the Best in Everyone, Including You
If you’ve ever taken a course in leadership or management, you’ll know that the best way to motivate people is to encourage them. Encouragement is always more effective than fear or harsh treatment. So it’s a skill that every leader should practice. After all, the best leader is the one who can bring out the best in their followers.

So think of yourself as being your own boss. You are leading yourself through life. How would you motivate yourself? We can tell you the best way is through kindness and encouragement. If you’re a parent, you know that children respond far better to love and nurturing, instead of just criticism. So try to take that same approach with how you deal with yourself. Nurture yourself, and teach yourself with the same kindness and encouragement as you would a child. It will help you find the best version of you.

Self-Discipline does not mean Self-Criticism
We often think we have to be tougher on ourselves in order to succeed. If you’re struggling to achieve your goals, it’s natural to try to work harder or push yourself even further. And yes, that might work for some people, even yourself. Sometimes it does help to push ourselves to strive for greatness. But this can become harmful if it turns into self-criticism. Sometimes we have to stop and ask ourselves; are we trying to motivate ourselves? Or are we just beating ourselves down with shame and guilt?

Self-criticism can be extremely demoralizing. You might think beating yourself up will motivate you. But in truth, it’s a huge drain on all your energy, leaving you feeling tired and exhausted. Worse, this builds up over time. Sometimes just the thought of working on your
goals can make you feel overwhelmed. That’s because your mind is now associating your goal with all the self-criticism that usually comes with it.

The trick is to push yourself in a positive, healthy way. Set deadlines and remind yourself of your goals. But never, never shame yourself if you fall down or suffer a setback. That is when you should remind yourself to try again. Not to give up. And encourage yourself to do better next time.

Spend Time Doing the Things You Love
Many New Year’s resolutions are about accomplishing large goals, such as advancing in your career or improving your health and fitness. These are noble things. But you could also try making a goal to simply do things you enjoy. How often do you think about your hobbies and interests, and realise it’s been weeks since you last did them? Well, maybe that’s something you can try to improve on this year.

Start setting aside time for the things you love. If you enjoy walking on the beach, then make Saturday morning your beach time. Or if you enjoy music, make sure you sit down at your
piano and play something, even if you do it badly! These are the things that make life so wonderful. It’s easy to forget about them when we’re so focused on our goals and responsibilities. So make the time for enjoyment today.

Take a Break
Rest is an integral part of a healthy, happy life. Look at the eight-hour day format, for example. We work for roughly eight hours, sleep for eight hours, then the remaining eight hours is for anything we want. In fact, it’s those last eight hours to ourselves where we do most of our living. So it’s important to get those right. These are the hours for having fun and resting. However, most of us spend those final eight hours taking care of a million and one little tasks. Taking care of family, housework, or running errands. That time can disappear very quickly!

Remember to take a break from time to time. Rest and relaxation is a healthy part of the self-care process. It’s a sign that you’re being kind to yourself. So try to use your eight-hour gap for resting. This might mean putting off some tasks until later. That’s ok! Be kind to yourself and relax for a little bit every day.

So remember to be kind to yourself. You really do deserve it! And if that’s the right New Year’s resolution for you, then we wish you luck in achieving your goals.