14 Ways To Be Your Best Self In 2014

by carolyn on January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!!! I hope that 2014 finds you happy, healthy, and beyond excited about the next 365 days. Here are some lessons I’ve learned in 2013 that I’m trying to implement this year to create more balance and joy in my life. I hope you’ll try them, too!

  1. Love yourself.  I hope and pray that you’re rolling your eyes and thinking, “Duh, Carolyn…I’m amazing. OF COURSE I love myself!” Do your thoughts reflect this? Do your actions reflect this? Give yourself the same encouraging words and gestures that you would extend to your best friend. Treat your body, mind, and spirit with respect and gratitude.
  2. Be kind. Hold yourself and others to a standard of grace rather than perfection. This allows an abundance of freedom to be human and maybe make a mistake every once in a while. Just thinking about it makes me literally sigh with relief. “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” -Steinbeck
  3. Be present. Try to go through a meal without engaging with your phone more than with your friends/family. Be where you are and be with those who took the time out of their hectic schedules to be with you. Save Pinterest and Candy Crush Saga for your own time. (The exception, of course, is checking in on Facebook and Instagramming your food. Please do keep us informed as to where you are and what you’re eating at all times!!!)
  4. Keep your promises–especially the ones you make to yourself. If you tell yourself you’re going to go to the gym, just do it. Don’t manipulate yourself. If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust? Show everyone in your life the same respect by following through on what you say. Don’t promise lunches and phone calls to someone you have no intention of ever seeing again. Learn how to handle such social situations with tact and grace rather than subterfuge.
  5. Act without expectation. Know what you want, know what you don’t want, and know how to ask for both without regard to the outcome. By now you have probably learned that it’s difficult, maybe even impossible, to control how someone will treat you or respond to you. Focus on being articulate on your end of the deal and learn to express yourself without worrying about the response you will get. This will lead to more authenticity in your relationships. Yay!
  6. Accept what you can’t change, change what you can’t accept.
  7. Do more of what makes you happy. One of my favorite lines penned by Jane Austen is “Know your own happiness.” Find out what feeds your soul and go do more of it. 
  8. Let whatever is in your heart guide you more than what the world puts before your eyes. Guess what…it’s okay if you actually don’t want to lose 15 pounds this year. It’s also okay if you’re 30 and don’t have 2 kids yet. Don’t let external pressure distract you from living out your own personal and unique fairytale happiness. Follow your heart!
  9. Let go of people and things not meant for you. I have little to no idea of how to do this but I hear it is really good for you.
  10. Take risks. Do something that scares you. Maybe not everyday — that sounds terrifying! But step outside of your comfort zone sometimes. Give your number to your cute barista, take a trip by yourself, sing karaoke. Chances are you will survive it and you’ll feel stronger for having done it. You might even get a good story out of it!
  11. Be impeccable with your word. This basically means speak with integrity. Don’t use words to harm others or yourself. (This one and the next 3 tips are from Don Miguel Ruiz’ The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book). I cannot stress how valuable and life-changing these four principles are. Try them!)
  12. Don’t take anything personally. Other people’s actions and words are not really about you. It all boils down to their own perception of reality and their own struggles. It’s not you, it’s them.
  13. Don’t make assumptions. We all know what assuming does yet we do it all the time. Find the courage to ask questions instead of assuming you understand why someone did what they did or what they’re feeling or what they meant when they said what they said.  You can avoid so much pain and confusion by simply asking for clarification.
  14. Always do your best. Your best isn’t consistent day to day; there are varying circumstances such as illness that will affect your performance. But if you try your best in any given circumstance then there is no room for self-doubt or negative thinking. What more can you do than your best?

That’s all folks!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bettie Negley January 1, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Carolyn, What a very inspiring blog post!! Amy Blevins and I read it together and she was so amazed by your writing! We are so thankful that you are writing a blog that helps all of us make the most out of our lives!! Love you so much!!!!

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2 Mary January 1, 2014 at 10:13 pm

Wonderful post, like always! Was that “30 without 2 kids” line directed towards me? I really identified with that point.

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3 Renee January 10, 2014 at 10:02 am

And don’t forget to wear sunscreen!
I loved this so much I printed it out.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your wisdom and your journey. It truly is inspirational.

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