For the last couple of years, I’ve written a list of resolutions for January 1st without fail. While I value the time I take for self-reflection and prioritize self growth and improvement in my life, I wanted to take a different approach to New Years Eve this year. I’m not going to write about things I’d like to change about myself this year because changing myself is something that’s constantly on my mind - not only at the turn of the year. I am constantly telling myself to be healthier, be friendlier, exercise more, spend more time with my family, study harder, and aim higher. I tell myself to be on my phone less and be kinder to the Earth. These are good goals to set for myself, but they’re only a fraction of the things that I truly want to improve about myself. That’s because if I really went into, I’d probably dissect myself so much that I’d really just be telling myself I want to be somebody entirely new.
I’ve dealt with confidence issues my entire life. I go through waves of insecurity and self-doubt. And I know people who feel like me aren’t a minority. We’re quick to judge ourselves. We look at our physique in the mirror and hate. We go over words and actions over and over in our heads. We aim to please everyone around us but neglect the very person that deserves to pleasant: ourselves. As human beings, we are so often criticizing ourselves. We’re comparing ourselves to false ideals we see on social media. We become heavy with a self-loathing attitude. Frankly, it’s exhausting.
Having goals is good. They keep us optimistic and implement a sense of drive. But something I need to work on personally is knowing where the line is drawn when I’m setting a goal that will better myself or setting a goal that will further force disappointment in myself.
So I’m keeping it simple this year. And I’m keeping it kind. I’m tired of giving myself such a hard time for not being perfect. I think I’ll have only one major resolution to follow and that is to read more books. I really love books and I used absorb them so quickly when I was younger. I’ve noticed a significant change in the amount of books I read as soon as I got my first smartphone. Smartphones stimulate me. They also consume my free time. Free time that once belonged to the stories found in the pages of novels. I already have a stack of books waiting to be read, as well as a pretty wicked Book Club that I’m a part of, so reading more books is a goal I’m mindfully setting for 2019.
And that’s it. No other resolutions. I will, however do something different. I’m going to make a different list! A list of things that I like about myself! I’ve never really done it before and I think it might be a productive way to introduce a scale of self-admiration to 2019. I’ve always avoided this topic of conversation because I’ve always tried to be somebody who practices humility and modesty. With my devotion to this practice, I’ve turned into somebody who becomes really awkward at accepting compliments. I never want to come across as bragging or conceited but as a result of this, there’s been a reversal reaction and I’ve begun putting myself down. So here’s my list, Here are qualities about myself that I admire and I’m going try my best not to care if you think I’m full of myself.
I have a baby face.
This is often something that I deliver as an annoyance, particularly when I get carded at the liquor store. In reality, looking young is something that I like about myself. I’m a mature student at university but because I have this cherub-like face I can easily pass as somebody who’s just graduated from high school - much like my peers. I also think this is something I’ll appreciate when I’m much older and less desperate to age than I am now.
I have a sparkly personality.
I got this compliment twice before and I truly think this is one of the nicest things I’ve ever heard. I work in a very social environment where I interact with a lot of people and I’m always presenting my best and most amicable self. But in many cases (unless of course I’m being greeted by big jerks) I’m being myself. I take pride in being somebody who is approachable, welcoming, bubbly, friendly, and smiling. I know that I am not loud and am not somebody who enjoys being the centre of attention, but I do like to listen to other people and respond accordingly. I used to think that my inability to command a crowd made me a wallflower but I’m now realizing that I really can’t assume how people see me, based off my own ideas. I’ve learned that when I’m truly being myself (and that is genuinely myself and not some crafted Instagram version trying to be somebody else) this is when I shine like the sun and find people radiate towards my warmth.
I have nice eyes.
I like having green eyes because I feel like that is just who I am. I’m actually very fond of all eye colours but I don’t think any of them suit me the way that green eyes do. With my eyes come my eyelashes which I’m also very grateful for because they curl on their own. This is great because I’m so lazy and would probably be pretty negligent if I ever had to spend time curling them. However, I do not like how prone my eyes are to eye infections, but hey, nobody’s perfect.
I am a good friend.
Perhaps this goes back to the fact that I like to listen to people, or perhaps it’s because I am a nurturing Cancer. I really cherish my friendships and I care about my friends a lot. I’m always eager to help them if they ever have any problems and am always thinking about ways I can help them. I know the friends I have are friends for life and I’m equally openminded to making new friends and that’s because….
I have a lot of love to give!
I just have SO much of it. I have so much love for my parents, my whole family, my boyfriend, all my friends, animals, nature, books, ballet, really good movies and tv shows, fashion, architecture, travelling, music, cities, design, art. My goodness! I just have so much passion for so many things! As much as I find this exhausting and overwhelming, I love this about myself. I know how to be passionate and I know how to devote myself. I am able to find goodness in things, one example being a recent ability to say I love winter. I’ve really come to appreciate the season, despite always being grumpy about it. I typically blame it for giving me SAD. I blame it for making me sneeze. I blame it for stealing my sun. But I’ve really been enthusiastic about winter this year. I’m enamoured by the snow and the ethereal way it looks once it blankets over the planet. I love being bundled in chunky knit sweaters and scarves and mitts. I especially love the freshness of winter air and particularly enjoy going on nature walks in the winter with a growing fondness of the feeling of not being able to feel my toes.
I am curious.
My curiosity is something that I treasure. Without my curiosity, I wouldn’t have done everything I’ve done so far. I think my curiosity and avid pursuit of it has lead to me constantly searching for more, in new places and in old, and has allowed me to challenge myself. My curiosity comes out when I want to see just how well I can do in something. It comes out when I’m travelling and roaming around new cities. It comes out when I meet new people. And of course, it’s there when I learn. And I’m constantly learning.
I have an interesting story.
I really love my story. I find life fascinating and I’m especially proud of the challenges and opportunities that have sculpted my life so far. It hasn’t been boring. It’s been tremendously adventurous, and it’s likely because I can’t sit still, but I’m sure a part of it is because I’ve been incredibly openminded to experiences, people, culture, and difficulties. Sometimes I fantasize about being old and grey and telling my grandchildren about the life behind me. I hope that by then it will only become even more exciting.
I hope that you might be able to do something like this for your New Year. Just make a list of a few things you appreciate about yourself, instead of making a list criticizing what needs to be changed. Just try it. If you’d like to participate, tag your post with the hashtag #NewYearLikeMe or if you’d rather keep it private, that’s just as effective, if not more.
Wishing all of my readers and friends a happy new year and a kind 2019 ♥