It’s the new year, and I’ve already broken down twice. The first is when I realized how much a gym membership would cost me. The second is when I purchased a new phone and it didn’t work to my satisfaction—my emails weren’t there, all of my contacts had disappeared, and my news feeds had to be downloaded again.

It seems silly, doesn’t it, to get so stressed out about such consumerist items. But, it’s not the products themselves that got me worked up. It’s what they represent. My goal to lose weight this year and look amazing for a family wedding was put to an abrupt end when I realized I couldn’t afford to go to the gym. My intention to get more organized was halted when my phone—the device that allows me to remember which meetings I have or  which interviews I have to do—wouldn’t work properly. All of a sudden, I’m looking at myself in the mirror and telling myself “If I can’t get a phone to work or afford to go to the gym, how on earth am I supposed to be the confident, beautiful businesswoman I strive to be in 2016.”

Is this silly? Absolutely. But, I doubt I’m the only one who thinks this way.

At Women’s Post, we’ve already covered why New Year’s Eve sucks, and why we should all avoid the gym. Despite this cynicism, we all find ourselves making resolutions, wanting to be a better person than the year before. A new year brings with it a fresh start, whether or not we believe it’s worth the hassle. So, if we are all going to make New Year’s resolutions anyway, how do we prevent the derailing of these hopes and dreams?

There are a lot of things I could write in this post. I could quote psychologists, nutritionists, and weight loss experts who will all say “be specific” with your new year’s resolutions. They will tell us all to be patient, tell our friends about these plans, take the small wins, be realistic, ect. We hear these statements all the time and yet, studies still show few people actually keep their New Year’s resolutions. So, I’m going to make something up.

This is what I am going to do: Instead of telling myself what I should be doing his year, I’m telling myself what I should not be doing. For example:

I will not tell myself I am anything but beautiful: Do I need/want to lose weight? Yes. But, it’s not going to happen overnight. If I can’t get a gym membership now, that’s fine. Did my favourite pair of jeans rip at the thigh? I will take this opportunity to get better ones. If I struggle with my salad lunches or decide I want to splurge on a chocolate mocha, that’s okay! No matter what it says on the scale, I’m beautiful. And that’s, well, that.

I will not judge my choices once I’ve made them: Too often have I sneaked down to the kitchen, taken out a bowl of ice cream, and looked at my sister in the other room and said “don’t judge me.” When I make a decision, it’s mine. I don’t want to feel regret. The only thing going through my head should be “oh well,” “moving on,” “or “hell yes!” I will not dwell on the past any longer. Life is full of choices and if we spend hours thinking about whether or not we made the right ones…well, we wouldn’t be doing anything else.

I will not shy away from learning something new: It’s time to embrace challenges. If I don’t know how to do something, I won’t get frustrated. I will take a deep breath and figure it out. Whether its trying yoga for the first time, learning how to juggle, or even figuring out a new phone, I can do it. And if I can’t, I won’t be ashamed or afraid to ask for help.

I will not let others get me down: Too often is our self-esteem controlled by statements other people make. When someone makes a comment about my abilities, skills, talents, or personal traits, my response will be “I’m sorry you feel that way.” When an environment becomes poisonous, I will leave the room. I will take deep breaths, do some yoga, or maybe even meditate. I may even fight back. Which ever coping mechanism I decide to use, I promise not to let it effect my confidence.

Will these affirmations work? Who knows. But at least it relieves some of the pressure we are all facing. Ignore the news articles, promotional ads, and messages you get from companies wanting you to buy into their products. Who cares if you lose 30 pounds by bikini season? As cheesy as it is, be happy with who you are. The rest will follow.

Because you are as awesome as you were in 2015, maybe even moreso.

And don’t forget it!

Author

Katherine DeClerq is the editor of Women's Post. Her previous writing experience includes the Toronto Star, Maclean's Magazine, CTVNews, and BlogTO. She can often be found at a coffee shop with her MacBook computer. Despite what CP says, she is a fan of the Oxford comma.

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