By Bill Fox/Columnist
Statistics reveal that about half of us will make resolutions for 2019, but only about eight per cent keep them throughout the year, and only 60 per cent are still kept past the first month.
Last year, the top resolutions were: eating better, exercising more, spending less money, self-care (e.g. getting more sleep), reading more books, learning a new skill, getting a new job, making new friends and getting a new hobby. Nine per cent of us also mention cutting down on cigarettes and alcohol. Any of these sound familiar?
But here is a resolution that encompasses all those and more: love yourself more. Who is more important to love than you? (Hint: nobody). You’re the only person that has experienced all of life’s ups and downs with you. You’re the only person who sees what you see, and gets to experience what you experience in this life. We may have so many years of education, yet nobody probably ever taught us how to love ourselves.
In my 40 years of teaching, I saw so many young people that could have used a course on self-esteem. When you see outlandish piercings, tattoos or crazy fashion, including the youngsters with pants falling down almost to their knees, it tells me they are reaching out for something and need to love themselves more.
As I have mentioned before, I believe I never taught a bad student, only students who acted out badly. Why is that? Mostly, they needed to draw attention to themselves because they lacked it at home.
Even many people with health and lifestyle challenges only have goals and priorities for others (helping the church, the kids, parents, etc.). You have to love yourself first so that you’re at your best for those you care about. And many people have perpetual relationship challenges, because if you don’t love yourself first, it’s hard to believe anyone else truly can. And so they either hide from being in relationships, they sabotage good relationships, or they choose inappropriate people to be in relationships with.
When you truly love yourself, other people want to participate in activities with you. They can’t resist because they get the sense that you are a loving person.
Become your own best friend, and inspire others to join you by applying the five action steps below:
- Wake up in the morning, look in the mirror into your eyes, and say, “I love you.” Do this for 10 days in a row. If you miss a day, start again at day one.
- Hang out with people who are good for you, lift you up, and keep things positive. After all, they say you become like the five people you spend the most time with. Choose your peers wisely, as you become them.
- Make a commitment to eat healthy and exercise as a form of honouring yourself. Decide on the top three steps you can take in this area, and make a plan to follow through on them.
- Think of things you enjoy doing. Make a list, then give yourself permission to have the freedom to have fun. There is no greater purpose than enjoying life. The secret to love is to have fun, and if it’s not fun, it’s not a high form of love.
- Make a gratitude list and every night before retiring, write down five things you were grateful for that day.