As I scroll through Instagram, hours away from the New Year, most of the 2018 memes seem to think this past year was a disaster. Whether you’ve made progress on certain areas in your life or have experienced disappointments, there will always be ups and downs. Just because 2018 is coming to an end, doesn’t mean it should get tossed out the window. I think it’s so important to use this past year’s experience to shape the way we want to move in 2019. However, before you go shouting New Year, New Me, consider these three things to keep in mind while cultivating goals in 2019.
If you’re like me and keep a journal, then this would be the time to flip through a few “Dear Diary” entries to jog your memory. If not, then set aside time to reflect on any life changing moments, accomplishments, or other significant events that happened this year. Once you have a list of memorable moments, begin to assess them for value. What was successful? What could have been done differently for better results? The point is to recognize the lesson within the past experience. For example, my back injury has taught me to take longer recovery periods, practice frequent yoga, and stretch in between lifting sets. Self-reflection will help you understand what you would like to do again, but better in the New Year.
Make it Meaningful
I believe goal setting needs to feed your unique essence. You should be consciously creating the person you are becoming. As mentioned earlier, I learned that integrating more frequent yoga into my life was a successful way to keep back injuries at bay. While I’m not a morning person, I love how early morning yoga sets the stage for a positive day. To get myself out of my comfy bed, I knew I had to make the yoga practice even more meaningful. So I made it into a ritual. The night before I would set my alarm and choose an online yoga video. In the morning, I would wake up, sip a glass of water, change into a yogi outfit, burn sage, write a few thoughts down in my journal and then flow. I turned my original goal of I want to do more yoga into I want to do more yoga so I can improve my physical alignment and have a more productive and happy day. By making my goal more meaningful, I had more of a reason to get up and do it.
Of course, settings goals are easier said than done. You should also be considering how you will execute your goals. I find keeping a journal allows me to write down goals by year, month and week. At the start of each week, I’ll write down smaller actions that will eventually help me get to my monthly or yearly goal. This method helps me to stay organized and keep my goals top of mind. However, execution certainly comes down to accountability. Perhaps you can share your goals with a friend or family member and ask them to check in with you every so often. A friend who is willing to keep you on track, is a real one! Lastly, consider rewarding yourself for achieving certain goals. For every goal you hit, put away $5 in a piggy bank for a rainy day. If you successfully complete all your workouts in a week, drop an Ab Lincoln into your fun fund!
A successful glow up requires a shift in mindset. It’s the pivotal point when one realizes their real worth. Suddenly, all of the bullshit you’ve put up with, is no longer something you are willing to accept. For months, I would write down my intentions to the Universe as I am open to receiving love, happiness, and opportunity. The Universe responded here and there on those requests. When I shifted the language of my intentions to, I only accept love, happiness and opportunity, the Universe began to respond quicker and more frequently. Things that I had asked for would pop up in the most unexpected ways - all because my language became more direct.
But let’s back-up for a second. A glow up is a moment in one’s life when a chapter needs to close, in order to make room for something bigger and better. Glow ups can occur after a break-up, leaving a job, graduating from college, or spontaneously just because. I highly recommend as step one that you pull the trigger on that badass haircut you always wanted. Listen, hair grows back and every pharmacy in America sells Biotin. Don’t wanna take the plunge on a new do? Get a blow out. The glow up is an extra acceptable time to make yourself feel pretty.
While staying on fleek is absolutely part of a glow up, its essence remains in the mindset. Sure, it can seem scary to move on from something and dive into the unknown. However, that’s why it is so crucial that a new attitude be the focus of your glow up. At the core of it all, it's about believing that you deserve the best, recognizing that you are allowed to want certain things and giving yourself permission to go ahead and get it. If you accept your worth and deny fuck shit, then you are only allow the good and positive in your energy space.
I’ve been called a c*** for cutting people out of my life. While I understand the initial outrage that can be felt, I don’t think ending a friendship or a relationship is the worst thing in the world. It’s normal to outgrow certain people and situations. Hell yeah I’ve distanced myself from people who began to drain my energy or were low key haters. Things in life aren’t meant to last forever. The utter truth is that sometimes your frequency no longer matches up with someone. This can happen over time naturally or with big life changes. From personal experience, big life changes such as breakups, new jobs, phases and growth have shifted certain friendship dynamics. A sudden life changing event can really reveal true colors and put someone you thought you knew, into a whole new light. When I broke up with a long term boyfriend of six years, certain people invested in this friend dynamic weren’t able to accept the situation and adapt. I no longer felt accepted, but instead judged based on my relation to someone else and my decision for ending it. Me as a whole, wasn’t enough for certain people to accept. So I cut all ties. Friends who can’t adapt to new situations or appreciate the essence of you - have got to go.
Pay attention, sis - energy doesn’t lie. Learn how to observe your thoughts and feelings.If someone or something is constantly giving you that deep gut wrenching feeling, then it’s not good for your soul. I’ve been there, many times. As I’ve gotten older and experienced that deep pitted feeling in my stomach, I now recognize that bitch as a warning sign. I’ve felt it with job situations, past relationships with exes and other moments of deep vulnerability. It will suck your soul and consume your thoughts.
What happens when a bad habit or situation is replayed one too many times and it slowly morphs into a new norm? It then just becomes a habit, not even labeled as ‘bad’ anymore. But for those who are not quote on quote, woke, a bad behavior can easily become a new norm. I think this is why people find it so hard to let things or people go. If you’ve indulged in it a thousand times over, it now becomes comfy, something familiar. It becomes so ingrained in you, that the thought of breaking free, actually is scary. I ‘dated’ someone for a year and a half, who refused to commit and wouldn’t even say ‘I love you’ back. But when you are in it, you can’t always see clearly. Eventually, there’s a breaking point and you simply run out of fuel. In hindsight, that situationship was an emotional rollercoaster, I never want to be on again. I firmly believe that we need to cut the dead weight that may be dragging us down, in order to feel and see the light. Once you muster up the courage to do so, that dead weight will be lifted and you’ll feel the light actually radiating on your skin.
The good news is, you have more control over your situation than you thought. Most of the time we feel attached because of time invested in something or someone. It’s never too late to prioritize your well being. I don’t regret any of my past relationships, friendships or situationships that I’ve been in. In fact, I often like to think about the good memories that were created during those times in my life. I believe it’s important to acknowledge that those memories were real as fuck and will always remain in the past; acknowledge in order to let go.
& how to cultivate positive body image
When I was a kid, I hated ballet. The thought of putting on an unflattering leotard made me feel hella chunky. As I developed through my adolescence, my body shifted in many different ways. I went through heavier stages as a kid, dropped weight in college, and then leveled out into my early adulthood.
As kids, we absolutely internalize certain views about our body based on what we are told. Moving into adulthood, depending on the state of our self-esteem, subtle comments turn into big blows. These subtle comments shape how we view ourselves and perceive others. Whether we do it with malicious intent or are unaware of what we are saying, subtle comments suck.
As a women, our bodies are constantly under inspection by the male gaze. So yes, years of the goddamn patriarchy have formed what society thinks women should look like. I also seem to think that women on women crime for body shaming is still very much active in our world. As a health and wellness enthusiast, who exercises regularly and strives to eat healthy consistently, I STILL get shit.
“Oh, you’re too skinny.”
“No wonder you’re cold, you have no body fat.”
“Ugh, I hate you, you look so so skinny.”
“You aren’t thick enough.”
“Oh wow, you actually have an ass in that dress.”
First of all, I didn’t ask for your opinion. If I’m minding my own business and you come at me with comments like that, how is that ok? Let’s all take a step back and realize we should stop giving backhanded compliments. Backhanded compliments come from a bitter place. Giving a genuine compliment will make you and the other person feel good. Don’t we all want to feel warm and fuzzy inside? Say something nice, or don’t say it at all.
I firmly believe that negative comments can sometimes stem from one’s own unhappiness. As much as subtle negative comments do drive me up a wall, I try to not to take it personal. At the end of the day, the only approval I need about my image, is from me. But seriously, usually people are so unhappy with their own lives, that they need to say some nasty shit to you to try and make themselves feel better. Learning to take not take things personally all the time can help you deflect the haters. Let the hate roll off your shoulders.
In order to cultivate our own and help grow someone else’s positive body image, it needs to be a give and take. We simply need to put out positive vibes to receive positive messages. Just let that sink in for a bit.