New Year, Improved Me

happy new year

Picture retrieved from Sally on Flickr

Since we are now into the year 2014, I thought that I should reflect on my progress with last year’s resolutions and the resolutions I’m setting up for myself this year!  If you are wondering why my title isn’t “New Year, New Me”, it’s because I don’t believe that statement to be realistic.  You will always be the same you!  New Year goals just make you an improved you!  Last year, I was getting to a point where negativity was ruling my life, which resulted in a negative view of myself. I made a goal to learn to love myself in 2013, which includes positivity and life changes.  This would be particularly difficult for me, since I’ve spent most of my life being self conscious and shy.  Here are some of the steps I took in order to lead a happier, more positive life:

  1. Accepting Compliments: Whenever someone would give me a compliment, I would say something like, “No, you’re way prettier” or “No, I gained weight”.  A thing that I needed to realize was that these people are just being kind, so you need to return the kindness by responding positively.  Once you accept these compliments, you start to believe that they are true, which leads to a way more positive outlook on your life.
  2. Smile at Yourself and Smile at Others: I noticed that people walking through the halls of the University are often grumpy looking and sad, including myself.  I now smile at people if they give me any kind of eye contact and, in turn, they usually smile back.  I always feel happier when I see others smiling!  Also, when you are meeting up with friends or classmates, greet them with a smile!  This may sound really weird, but smiling at yourself in the mirror does help.  It also sounds super vain, but it has proved to be the opposite.  Seeing myself smiling made myself happier throughout the day, especially on the days that I had morning classes.  I think I realized that I look more approachable to new friends if I look happy and confident!
  3. Surround Yourself with Positivity and Positive People: I feed off of the energy of the environments and people that I am around, so that is not particularly beneficial if I’m around negativity.  The friends I surround myself with now are mostly positive daily and that really helps with my own positivity!
  4. Stop caring about what others think: This was a big challenge for me.  I would often get very worked up over how I was portraying myself and how I was acting.  I wasn’t being myself, so I knew that had to change.  I realized that if someone doesn’t like the way that I am, then they don’t deserve to be in my life.  I’ll be eternally happy, just as long as I’m being true to myself and my beliefs.
  5. Cut out toxic people in your life that don’t fully appreciate you: This is a big one.  I think the word “cut” might be a little harsh, but it gets to the point.  I don’t fully cut people out of my life, I just become less concerned with communication if I’m not getting any recognition in return.  You need to cut out people in a positive way.  Completely ignoring these people will result in a negative and awkward interaction at one point.  Just because you aren’t the closest of friends anymore, doesn’t mean you can’t be civil with each other.

MY GOALS FOR 2014:

  1. Further my goal of learning to love myself
  2. Work out and eat healthier: Instead of thinking about being weight loss, I want to have a special focus on becoming a healthier me!
  3. Speaking out more in classroom settings
  4. Make more of an effort to visit family and friends

That’s all I can think of for now! If I think of more, I will add to the list!  What are your resolutions for 2014?

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Love Yourself

As I patiently await my letter of acceptance/rejection into the Faculty Of Education, a lot of thoughts and questions rush through my mind.  I start thinking about what I’m passionate about and what I want to do in the future.  When I volunteered at the YMCA Day camps, we had a week just for the girls and a week just for the boys.  I was only present for the girls’ week and I thought this idea was brilliant.  We incorporated the Dove campaign into the week and it helped the girls reflect on themselves and their strengths.  I want to do something in the future to help young girls accept themselves and their bodies.  I believe that every young girl should focus on the things that they love about themselves to become comfortable with who they are and how they look.  Coming from someone who has had and still has issues with body image and self-esteem, I feel like I have a deep personal connection to these girls.  I wish there were workshops or programs (that I was aware of) to build self-esteem when I was growing up; maybe my personal issues over the years would have been minimized.  I don’t see my issues as a weakness, however, because I will grow and learn as time progresses and maybe I will become more comfortable with myself when I help others to do the same.  I believe there should be more workshops with young girls available because a lot of these girls will develop low self-esteems and body issues earlier on in Elementary school.  They need someone to remind them that they are beautiful, inside and out, and make them realize that they have unbelievable potential to succeed in this big world.  My mother would tell me that I am beautiful almost every single day, but a lot of other girls may not get the same support I received growing up.  I just really want to inspire change and happiness in youth today and ensure them that love is all around you.  This discussion is mainly about young girls, since I had the experience with Dove, but the same goes for young boys.  They may be insecure about themselves and they face as many challenges as the girls.  In my future classroom, I want to create a safe environment so my students could come to me in times of need or if they just really want to talk to someone.  I believe these positive relationships will bring you closer to your students and also help you grow as a teacher and as an individual.

“Do you want to meet the love of your life? Look in the mirror” – Byron Katie.

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