Monday, December 18, 2017

Accept Yourself

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

When we set goals for the new year, we often focused on areas in need of improvement. Now, it’s time to shine the spotlight elsewhere …

You pondered your vices, weaknesses, and missed opportunities. Perhaps you vowed this year to remedy them. As you set out to “redeem” yourself and make right all your wrongs, do yourself a favor. Realize how amazing you are this very minute. Today, you are the best you can be, at least for now.

Your Big Picture

Whether you strive to lose weight, gain income, or organize your sock drawer, remember perfection is overrated. Recognize your whole self; examine all aspects of life. You already acknowledged aspects that require work. Goals are set. The journey to those goals should be one of self-acceptance.

Consider the whole.
Consider the whole.

Hungry for achievement, we often travel fast and furiously only to burn out before the finish line. Think in bigger terms. It’s important to take small steps toward our heart’s desire while remaining aware of the big picture. If you want to lose weight, acknowledge all benefits of the lifestyle needed to shed those pounds (like improved cholesterol). If your goal is to improve cholesterol, the diet and exercise needed deliver others perks as well (for example, healthy weight maintenance).

There is so much to gain, even if you aren’t a size smaller next month or cholesterol medication is needed to help progress. When we consider the whole, our efforts seem worthwhile. Focusing on one aspect, such as a stuck scale, devalues your hard work and confidence.

Love Your Life Now

Accept yourself as you are in this moment. Continue to strive to be your best, with a more loving soul, a stronger existence. And, if a supermodel physique is your dream, go for it. However, these goals should not interfere with your self-image today. Rather, contentment should accelerate the journey toward goals as you recognize your worthiness to become your best.

Putting off happiness is easy. Tomorrow, we imagine being able to afford more, dress in slimmer styles, work our dream career, ask someone interesting for coffee. It is all out there, waiting for the perfect chance to happen. Don’t lose today by putting life on hold until it does.

Don't postpone joy. It always can be in season.
Don’t postpone joy. It always can be in season.

Today is worthy of joy. Get busy creating it. Live aggressively. When we are active, endorphins are released. A state of happiness and calm ensues, which encourages more activity and more positive reactions. Live life with passion each day in this cyclical happiness.

In itself, physical activity is a requirement of the most-oft cited resolutions. It contributes to a healthier lifestyle, which encompasses popular goals from weight loss to better sleep to enjoying family and friends more frequently. (The extra energy and active hobbies lend themselves to family and social time.)

Rewarding yourself after you reach a fitness milestone or other goal helps you continue to reach farther. Don’t forget to treat yourself now, for where you are today. Do this appropriately, of course. If your goal is to lower your blood pressure, don’t consume a bag of chips and call it a treat. Take what you need in the present, and the future of your dreams is more likely. You deserve it.

Redefine Social Networking

Sometimes, social networks become advertisements for the people posting on them. Everyone wants acceptance. As a result, the best achievements and moments are shared with the electronic world.  Keep this in mind when doing the dangerous business of comparisons.

Self-acceptance is a challenge when constantly trying to measure up to these best-moment posts. A friend may finally fit into her skinny jeans, and post a great photo to prove it. But, what does the rest of her life look like? A colleague may post about a recent promotion, but that does not show the sacrifices needed to get there. Take these for what they are worth– a quick glimpse but not always the whole story. We all have flaws.

Surrounded by acceptance.
Surrounded by acceptance.

Leave the computer and turn to reality. Have lunch with a friend, one who shares the back-story of his/her life. Be there for the good news and the bad. That’s true friendship. Enjoy time with your favorite little ones. In their eyes, you already are perfect. Surround yourself with those who accept you now, and as you aspire to be tomorrow.


Thought for the Journey

Go for your goals. As you travel, remember you already are amazing.



Image Credits

Inspiring notes (introductory photo):

Snowy bloom:

Happy snowshoer:

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