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We tend to think of the new year as a time to create resolutions and goals for the entire year. Although a lovely intention, oftentimes, those resolutions are connected to the “shoulds” of life; “I should lose ten pounds”, "I should read more” or “I shouldn't eat desserts”. However, like most things, our mindset is a huge puzzle piece in regards to outcomes.
Let’s think about that more, how often have you started something new and the second you don’t do that thing you are flooded with self-criticism or shame and eventually give up? The pressure creates a negative experience and is therefore demotivating. Now, what if you were to begin to look at the changes you want to make in life as an investment in yourself? Can you notice how the intention of self-investment makes a change in your mindset and therefore the feeling shifts and your motivation for growth can change with it. It comes from a place of care and love rather than force and judgment. Another reason investing in ourselves can create a gentler approach to change is that it allows us to have a broader view of the choices we make. Instead of focusing on the misstep, we can see that overall we are making positive choices for our wellbeing.
Like SMART goals, investing in ourselves should be manageable and realistic. A few great areas we can start to invest in our holistic health are nutrition, sleep, movement, creativity and connection. Below, you will find a few examples of self-investment that can improve your wellbeing.
Overall, I invite you to try and see yourself as a human who deserves to be taken care of or invested in. By making that small shift in your mindset you can reduce the chances of all or nothing thinking and giving up on the goal completely due to the shame felt when meeting that goal doesn't look exactly the way you think it should.
Until next time,
Sofia Neves-Gilcher, MA, LPC
Be Well Psychotherapy, LLC