Happy February! It's the second month of the year, the second month of our new year resolutions and if you've stuck to it, congratulations! If not, it’s ok... but don't give up hope yet. Most of us tend to identify this month as the month of love. We've come to realize that Valentine's day does not have to be specifically aimed towards a spouse or significant other but can be shared with all loved ones- family, friends, our pets. However, there is another love- self love- that we forget all about. Too many of us defy ourselves of the love and care we need especially if we believe we don't deserve it. However, if you want a job done right you've got to do it yourself!
Adopt a mantra. Find or create your very own motivational quote. It could be as simple as reminding yourself, "I'm strong and getting stronger." This mantra will become your personal theme that you can live for any given amount of time. Write it down on notepad and hang it somewhere you can see. Recite it to yourself daily. By doing this you divert your thoughts from the negative and move towards a positive journey. Motivation comes easier when we are feeling uplifted and empowered. Even if you don't believe it at first, eventually it can come to fruition. Try this for each day in February. Say it to yourself instead of making an excuse to skip the gym or right before you grab the sweets instead of a healthy snack. You never know what may blossom from it.
Make a list of your accomplishments. Sometimes we get so busy that we take for granted how many tasks get completed. Instead, we may fixate on the failures or unfinished projects at hand. Quickly make a mental note of the successes you had for the day no matter how small. Did you park away from work so you had to walk a little farther? Maybe you said no when someone offered you fries or maybe you chose sleep over an extra episode of your favorite television show. By acknowledging the baby steps we begin to see a clearer path towards the bigger steps. How can you top the day before?
Reward yourself. Always plan a day to treat yourself for reaching your goals. Although there is the obvious reward of good health to look forward to, we all need regular pick me ups to help you along the way. Plan a reasonable cheat day at the end of the week. Do not let yourself get caught up in "all work." We deserve a break, we deserve a little play and it is ok to indulge, so long as it's only once in awhile. What's something you love but don't want to get carried away doing? Maybe now is the time for that tv marathon.
Don't be hard on yourself. In order to build muscle we first have to break them down. We experience the soreness but we know we are getting stronger. Try to think of failure in the same way. By discovering our weaknesses we have the potential to grow stronger. It may hurt in the beginning but so long as you keep moving forward you will continue to accomplish one amazing thing after the other.
Do not compare yourself to others. In the process of learning to love yourself it can be difficult not to notice the accomplishments of others. Congratulate them and be proud for them. Remind yourself that every person has strengths and weaknesses and each of us is unique. Never assume that you are not good enough because someone else appears better at something or farther along than you. Use it for inspiration but your journey is 100% your own. Speak your mantra to yourself, remember the goals you've met so far and pat yourself on the back for it. So long as you're still in it for the long game, you are successful.
This Valentine's Day give YOURSELF the gift of love.
- Raiye Rippy