If there's one New Year's resolution we can all afford to make (and keep), it's to show ourselves a little more love. All the other things you want to accomplish in 2014 will be so much more achievable — and enjoyable — if you feel good about you. We can't all wake up feeling like we rule the world, so here are a few tips to help you on your way to greater self-love:
1. Treat yourself
It doesn't have to be complicated, you just need to do something for that inner you. Yoga, movies, long walks (on the beach or not), and feel-good playlists can all do the trick. Just look at it as taking yourself out on a date.
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2. Surround yourself with positive people
You can only get good vibes from people who enjoy being around you. Positive peeps will remind you of how awesome you already are and push you to be the best person you can be. After all, you are the average of your closest friends.
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3. Be the best version of yourself
This means embracing yourself AND focusing your self-improvement efforts on your natural talents. Every person has some unique skill — figure out what that is and exploit it. These talents might even be what you actually think of as your flaws. Can't ever keep your mouth shut? Channel that and learn to work a room. More the quiet writer type? Get out that pen and start your masterpiece. Just don't try and be someone else, since that's pretty much the only thing you can never be.
4. Make yourself proud
While you're working on perfecting that natural talent of yours, remember to take on little challenges along the way. And when you delightfully surprise yourself with success, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back — and any other reward you've deserved (Oreos, I'm looking at you).
5. Take care of your body
Think of everything your body does for you. It dances all night for you, it runs to catch the bus, it gives your friend something to hug, it heals from bruises and scrapes. Now, how can you not return all that kindness with a little lovin'? Feed it well and keep it fit, and don't ever skip a doctor's appointment again. Nothing boosts happiness-enducing endorphins like a good workout.
6. Embrace kindness...
If you stop judging other people, you'll start to get a whole lot nicer to yourself as well. What goes around comes around, and karma will reward your kindness with lots of positive vibes.
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7. ...But know when to put yourself first
Pleasing other people above all won't make you happy in the end. This means learning how much you can handle, and wielding the word "no" with no shame. Once you really learn to take care of yourself, other people will respect your limits, and your interactions will just be that much more positive.
8. Pay yourself a compliment
Take a step back and look at how you talk to yourself. Are you super hard on yourself, constantly bashing your looks and skills? You would never talk to a friend like that, so turn all those negative feelings into some well-deserved self-praise. If it helps, write it on little post-it notes, and stick those to your mirror to remind yourself of how much you rock.
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