Okay, so February is kinda the new January because those of us who didn’t get on the detox, shed weight, eat clean, sweat more track last month are now looking around at everyone else who is either shakin’ it or have already given up, and thinking… Why didn’t I go for it?
Here’s what I think about that:
30 Days to fitness, 30 Days to health, 30 Days of clean eating, 30 Days of sweating, 30 Days of detox, 30 days of organized living, 30 days of sleep, 30 days of meditation, 30 days of yoga… blahbiddy blahbiddy blah blah blah… WILL NOT STICK for 60/90/120/365 days if it doesn’t start with the seed from which all else grows. Ready? It’s simple. Now don’t cringe all you skeptics and brooders out there (of which I’m one btw). Don’t turn your nose up at this. Don’t skim past it because you think it’s overly simplistic and stupid (again, I’m a mega resister too), and for heaven’s sake, CONSIDER just BREATHING while you READ THESE TWO WORDS.
Here’s the deal, when we throw ourselves into 30 days of anything to ‘better’ ourselves, to ‘escape’ ourselves, to ‘change’ who we are – as if who we are isn’t already ENOUGH, we’re already screwed and we haven’t even begun yet.
The habit you’re working on WILL NOT TAKE – and instead will become that new thing on your list of ‘what didn’t work’ – and it’ll hammer another nail into your coffin called ‘what doesn’t work for me’. Really? Does it not work for you? Really? I’m pretty sure clean eating works for everyone, as does exercise, as does yoga, as does being more organized. Yes, I just fish smacked you a little bit (that’s a cold fish across the face fyi…).
The habit didn’t take because we did it (and I say we because I have done this numerous times myself) because we were trying to fix ourselves as if we were broken.
We might be off-course, not honouring our body, not loving our psyche, not paying attention to the needs of our body, mind and soul, but we’re not broken.
Here’s what I suggest: Start every 30 day ‘fix it’ program with 30 days of SELF-LOVE first. When we make choices for self-growth from a full cup, guess what happens? We do the do for the betterment of who we are, why we are and what we’re all about. These habits DO stick. These habits are easy to return to when we get off track later on. These habits are infused with EMOTION, which transforms the ‘challenge’ into a ‘choice’. Bottomline: We do what we love.
Here are 30 Days of Self Love Activities to start you off:
- Make a list of 10 things you love about yourself. Just start writing. Don’t think about it and if you can’t think of anything, consider the compliments that others have given you – start there, or think about what you loved about you as a child, those things don’t leave us you know.
- Take a nap – because you want to and without justification to anyone else.
- Book off a Sunday afternoon for pleasure – sheer pleasure. This may be foreign to you, which of course is a sign there’s something lovely to learn here.
- Spend five minutes in the mirror this morning and compliment yourself. Feels weird, but you’ll soon feel the shift as it lifts your self-esteem.
- Go through your day and everything you touch, ask yourself: Does this nourish me? Does this bring me joy? Do I love this? Does this have a purpose that makes my life better or brighter? And if not, consider tossing it.
- Pull out a class photo of you from elementary school. How many names can you remember? What playful memories come back?
- Choose ONE task in your house that makes you crazy because NO ONE ELSE cares about doing it but you. Then here’s a novel idea, DO IT for YOU. That kinda passive aggressive ‘waiting until someone thinks you’re important enough to do it for you’ kinda thinking eats away at your self-love tank. For heaven’s sake, OWN IT. If it matters to you – do it for you.
- Take yourself out on a date. Splurge if you never splurge. Be thrifty if you are never thrifty.
- Climb a mountain – okay, go on a hike to some VISTA and throw your arms up in the air toward the sky. Pull them back in as if you are holding the wind, wonder and welcome of the universe in a massive HUG. Exclaim something if you feel brave enough like: I frickin’ rock!!! and I’m loved too!!!!
- Lay in the warmest spot in your home with your favourite blanket and/or any other comfort items you may have. Just lay down.
- List TEN meals that you drool over. Figure out how to make them. Do it. Love it. Eat it.
- Skin on skin. Love. Tingles. Intimacy. Connection. Enough said, do that.
- Go to a book store and run your fingers across the spine of many many many books and see what happens. Be conscious to what lights up your mind. Pull out the book(s) that chooses you, sit down for a few minutes and read. Discover what your mind LOVES to devour.
- Use the word DELICIOUS ten times today.
- Throw away all of your shoes that leak.
- Look at the part of your body that frustrates you the most and find three things this part of your body does FOR YOU (like allows you to walk up stairs, lift your children, digest your food) and say thank you.
- Use the word DEVOUR ten times today.
- Before your coffee touches your lips, open your front door, take 3 steps OUTSIDE and feel the weather on your skin. Breathe. Look up to the sky. Notice the magnitude of it’s reach. Remember that this place called Earth is home. This is your home.
- Write the words I BELONG with an erasable felt pen across your bathroom mirror.
- Pet an animal. Pet a few. Look into their eyes and put your head on theirs. You are part of their world too.
- Write your childhood dream down in the middle of a piece of paper E.G. ‘to be a pilot’. On a scale of 1-10, how true is that dream to you now? If it’s a low number, ask yourself: What does being a pilot REPRESENT to me? E.G. Freedom. If it’s over 8, then simply leave it as is. Then turn the page over and on the back side of your ‘dream’ page, write five things you can do this week to see that dream come true. Listen up, time goes by anyway. The Q is, how do you want to spend that time?
- Make your bed. Get back in it – just ’cause you can.
- Finish this sentence: When time and money are not an issue for me and I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, the first three things I’m going to do are: ________
- Now act as if… How can you start living that LIST today? Maybe you won’t be moving to Hawaii – or maybe you will, but how can you live as if you did…?
- Move your body today. Sweat if you can. Breathe deeply if you can’t. Say thank you to your lungs for breathing. Say thank you to your heart for beating. Say thank you to your brain for thinking. This happens without any instruction from you. How cool is that?
- Smile at yourself. You look gooooooood!
- Finish this sentence: I am proud of myself because _______________.
- If you were your own lover, what gift would you give to express your love to yourself? Go out and buy, create, or give that gift to YOU!
- Finish this sentence: I need _______________ to feel peaceful. What do you need? Figure out how to give those necessary needs to yourself.
- Add this to your vocabulary and say it when you’re in the shower, when you’re driving to work, when you’re driving home and before you go to sleep. You rock (insert your name here) and I love you.
30 Days of self love is the foundation to any other 30 day program you start, including mine which is 30 Days to Healthy Living. Don’t even bother checking this out until you’ve given yourself the self-love list first.
TinaO is a writer, speaker and the founder of TinaOLife – a hub for all things worth living for, the workshop Live Your Best Story, and her coaching practice: Tall Poppy Living. She’s also a professional network marketer with a decade in the industry. She teaches: selling isn’t slimey and marketing isn’t make-believe. You can be yourself and be successful in Direct Sales.