‘Tis the season for holiday shopping, and like most of us, you’re probably making a list and checking it twice, being sure not to miss any of your loved ones. But what are you giving yourself? Lindsay Jill Roth, author of the novel What Pretty Girls Are Made Of, reminds us to put one more name on your gift list this year: your own.
1. Figure out what your #PrettyIs! We all discuss this in some way or another, but it helps to find love (or sustain love) when you love yourself. It’s time to stop discussing and to start doing. So take the time—when you’re in the shower, traveling to work, on the treadmill—and figure out what uniquely makes you feel pretty. When you unlock that inner gem, and really truly own your pretty, others will see it, too. If you’re looking for love, others will be drawn to you, and if you’re already in love but in a rut, you’ll have your magnetism back.
2. Do something you love. There’s no substitute for that exhilarating feeling of accomplishment. So accomplish something. It can be as simple as setting out to watch an entire season of a new TV show or as large as training for and then running a marathon. Because once you do it, no one can take that accomplishment away from you. And it’s always fun (and rewarding) to have and accomplish a goal. Be creative with this one and make it a true reward!
3. Choose happiness. I was gifted a candle a few years that has the words “Choose Happiness” written on it. Do you believe that happiness is a choice? Well, it can be. There are days when we delight in our misery for no good reason. It takes a lot of energy to do that. So pick yourself up, choose the happiness portion of life and own that. Make decisions that are smart but that will bring you happiness. Stay grounded and put yourself first. And say the mantra I choose happiness every day. It actually helps you to choose it.
4. Reevaluate. As we get older, our time becomes much more limited and we have to prioritize better. Really take a good look around you and think about who and what you’re spending your precious energy on. Are your friends giving you a similar amount of love and listening that you are to them? And if not, would it be easier to take a step back? I’m not advocating for ditching friends, here, but friendship takes multiple parties. And if you’re always the giver, maybe it’s time to take stock of how you can give more to yourself. This one isn’t easy, and it’s certainly not black and white, but we can’t get time back so make the best of what you have!
5. Unblock the roadblocks. Why can’t you get past that third date? Why do you keep getting to the final round of job interviews but don’t land it? Why can’t you write that novel you started three years ago? Because of your own roadblocks. Take stock and take action. The new year can really be an introspective time if you let it. But no one is going to remove the traffic tape from your life other than you. So take some responsibility, face what’s blocking you and start slowly to conquer what has been keeping you down. But you have to figure out what those roadblocks are first. Take the year to fix these and give yourself the gift of that accomplishment in a year’s time.