We’ve all been uttering New Year’s resolutions to ourselves all weekend; it’s no secret. Whether we’re writing them down, or just saying things to ourselves like “and I’m going work out more!” when we realize we’re out of breath visiting a first floor walk-up, this is definitely the week we’re making changes, reading horoscopes and cracking open fortune cookies as fast as we can. We thought we’d save you some time by bringing on five experts to give you a roadmap to five of the most popular resolutions. We’re publishing a different one each day, so there’s much to look forward to. First up, “Be more positive,” one of our personal favorites that many of us Manhattanites can find it hard to stick to. Lifestyle guru Gabrielle Bernstein weighs in on success when it comes to the subject of optimism…
1. Practice radical forgiveness. When we slip up and fall off the resolution wagon, we often enter a cycle of guilt that sabotages our progress even more. What if you could learn to forgive yourself on the spot? Forgiveness is a choice you make. In an instant you can shift from self-hatred and attack to self-love and compassion. Your simple decision to choose to forgive yourself will open the floodgates for peace to set in. Next time you judge yourself for falling off the New Year’s resolution wagon, simply say, “I choose to forgive myself now.” Then relax into that commitment and let forgiveness take over. You can also try to catch yourself in the act of self-attack. In those moments redirect your energy by focusing something you do like about yourself.
2. Replace can’t with don’t. When it comes to self-discipline the words don’t and can’t come up a lot. Though the words can be used interchangeably they hold much different power. A recent study done by researchers at Boston College and the University of Houston shows that replacing the word can’t with don’t can help people change negative patterns like overeating or lack of exercise. The reason for this is that when you say, “I don’t do that,” it is an empowering sentence versus, “I can’t do that.” Test drive this exercise for yourself. The next time you witness yourself thinking I can’t have this, or I can’t do that, simply say, I don’t do this, instead. Enjoy the empowering results!
3. Say nice things to yourself. You’re the only one listening. Sometimes the biggest bully you know is you. This New Year become aware of the unkind ways you speak to yourself. Every thought is an affirmation either lifting you up or knocking you down. Your thoughts speak louder than words and it’s time clean them up and use them wisely. Pay close attention to the negative thoughts you repeat over and over. Then do your best to re-frame those thoughts in an empowering way. For instance, if you’re constantly thinking, “I’ll never reach my desired weight,” then re-frame that thought to, “I am taking powerful steps towards my desired weight.” A simple shift in your thinking can create a miracle.
4. Invest in yourself. Make sure you’re taking some ‘me’ time to replenish yourself. Instead of reading your email while you get your nails done, listen to one of my guided meditations so you can use that half hour to slow down. (Free link to one of my meditations.
5. Begin each day positively. Don’t check your email as soon as you wake up. Sit for at least one minute of stillness. Recite a positive affirmation, like, ‘I’m going to respect myself today.’ If you are new to affirmations, check out the Spirit Junkie alarm clock app. The idea is simple but powerful. Each morning when your phone alarm rings, an affirmation from me pops up. While you’re still cozy in bed, clear your mind and meditate on the message, allowing it to sink in and soak your soul. Then start your day with a positive, confident attitude. And avoid watching the news for at least an hour. You want to detox at the beginning of the day, before the chaos sets in.