1. Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself: It’s really easy to focus on your flaws, imperfections, pimples, and other things you hate about yourself. But harping so much on negative traits never got anybody anywhere. This year, try not to be so hard on yourself. Accept yourself the way you are. You woke up like this.
2. But If You Do Want Change, Go For It: There’s nothing wrong with a little self-improvement. It gives you something to work towards and to be proud of when you finally reach your goal. But changing yourself shouldn’t just be about changing your physical traits — getting buffer, slimmer, prettier, whatever — but your mental and emotional ones, too. Do you know that you have a tendency to be a little selfish? Try to change. Do you hate the fact that you always put things to the last minute? Work on it.
3. Don’t Seek Validation From Dating Sites Or Social Media: It’s like now that we are all so connected digitally, if you don’t have 10,000 Twitter followers or if somebody blocks you or doesn’t message you on Grindr or OKCupid or whatever, then suddenly you feel like an awful person and you just don’t understand why nobody cares about you. Social media is a blessing wrapped in a deep, dark tunnel of lowering self-esteem. You don’t have to close your social media accounts, but take them for the superficial social interactions they’re meant to be, and not a reflection on how beautiful, desirable, smart, and awesome you really are IRL.
4. Don’t Seek Validation Through Men or Women, Either:
Everyone wants to be loved, desired and wanted. But you can’t let your whole self-worth get wrapped up in whether not some girl or guy texts you back, or worry about if they’re into you. You have to love yourself more than anyone else does.
5. Throw Yourself Out There, Don’t Just Hide In The Shadows: It’s really easy to hide yourself on your “ugly” days, days when you aren’t feeling your best or your most confident. There’s a difference between an introvert who locks him or herself way to be with their own thoughts, and a person who hides because they think they’re not worth it. You have to believe that you are worth it. Throw yourself out there from time to time.
6. Be Nice To People: A lot of kindness can go a long way. It can open doors, it can get you new friends and who knows what else.
7. Appreciate The Things And People You Already Have: A culture of constant self-improvement brainwashes us into thinking that we can always be better, that we can always have a little more money or weigh a little less or have a little more muscle or a lot better skin. What would happen if you started appreciating the things you do have, as well as the people already in your life, rather than believing that somehow, the grass is always greener elsewhere? Read: it’s not.
8. Do You, And To Hell With Everyone Else: You have to be your strongest advocate. You have to fully believe in your talents, desires, wants, and wishes. Dress the way you want, not the way you think you’re supposed to. Be the person you really want to be, not some faxed in copy of the person you think people would like you to be. Believe me, people will fall in love with the real you. And if they don’t, then you don’t really need them, do you?
9. Go Dancing! Move Your Body!: When you’re feeling depressed or sad it’s really easy to chill at home with a bowl of popcorn and a glass of red wine, drowning your self-loating in alcohol and calories. That’s why it’s so important to get out there and move! Go dancing, take a yoga class, get in touch with yourself.
10. Treat Your Self To Stuff: We all get bombarded with student loan debt and bills to pay and what not, but sometimes you have to treat yourself to a vacation, a nice dinner out, or a new pair of shoes, because you earned it. Money can’t buy happiness, but like any appetite, treating yourself to awesome stuff can raise your spirits and put some extra pep in your step.
11. Imagine A Future And Work Towards It: Nothing says self-love like personal goals you set for yourself. Tell yourself that this is the year you are finally going to get an agent, or get your manuscript published, or that in 5 years you want to have saved a certain amount of money so you can travel — whatever. The benefit of having something awesome to work towards is that you will finally distract yourself from all the petty little things you might worry about if you didn’t.
12. Realize That You Are Awesome, And Tell Yourself Every Time You Look In The Mirror: No matter what happens, never forget that you are really awesome.