5 Things to Focus on in the New Year: Self-Love

This is part 2 in a 5 part series. Well, part 1 focused on time management and part 2 is focusing on self-love. As I looked back through my blog posts for the year, I realized I talked about self-care and building confidence, but I’m not sure I touched on self-love and acceptance. Perhaps it’s because it’s still an area of improvement in my life. Something that doesn’t quite feel like I fully made it there yet.

But isn’t the journey more important than the destination?

So what if I never get to 100% self-love and acceptance? That would be amazing and maybe I will, but figuring it out is just as important. Because if I’m always focusing on how I’m going to feel when I fully love and accept every piece of myself, then I can’t focus on fully loving who I am in this particular moment.

I always want to improve and become a better version of myself. We should strive to improve and grow as individuals to better for ourselves and the people around us. Ironically, putting myself out here into the digital world is helping me reach a more accepting and loving view of myself. My confidence is growing and I am realizing more and more each day that there is only one me in this world.

Goals for the New Year

  1. Start each day by looking in the mirror and saying one thing I love about myself
  2. Continue to say and write affirmations on a daily basis
  3. Reduce automatic negative thought patterns
  4. If someone gives me a compliment, accept it and do NOT downplay it
  5. Continuing aligning physical health and mental health

This is not a linear process, but it is a process that needs to happen. I encourage you to embark on your own self-love and acceptance journey!

Journaling for Self-Reflection and Personal Growth: 30 Prompts

One of the things I’ve truly been focusing on this past year has been getting to know myself better. And not only figuring out who I am, but owning every part of myself. It’s not an easy process, but one that is worth it. There have been ups and downs, but I’m weathering the storms by trying to remain grounded and focused on my why. Why am I trying to reach these goals? What purpose will it serve? Who can I help if I’m able to reach my dreams and goals?

Affirmations have been a huge part of my growth, but I’ve also been journaling to get some of my thoughts down on paper. Or I might think of a prompt in my head and talk myself through a scenario or action steps to help me get to the next goal or milestone. I wanted to share 30 days worth of journal prompts for self-reflection here in this post. I also created a Google Doc copy that you can have to start writing your own responses down. When you click the link above it will prompt you to make your own copy of the document that you can type on.

But for now, here are the 30 days worth of prompts you can use for reflection and personal growth:

Day 1 – What are three things I am thankful for today?

Day 2 – What am I most proud of accomplishing this year?

Day 3 – Who is someone I can always count on and why?

Day 4 – What is the thing that I like about myself the most and why?

Day 5 – What is one area of my life in which I would like to make improvements and how can I do that?

Day 6 – When did I face a challenge in my life and how did I overcome it?

Day 7 – If I could achieve only one personal goal this year, which one would it be and why?

Day 8 – If I could achieve only one professional goal this year, which one would it be and why?

Day 9 – Who is someone I admire and what do I admire most about them?

Day 10 – What is a happy memory from childhood that influenced who I am today?

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Day 11 – What is my favorite book or movie, and what do I like about it?

Day 12 – When my friends call me, they know that I always …

Day 13 – Finish this statement. The most important thing for me to focus on each day is …

Day 14 – In difficult situations, do I look at the glass as half empty or half full?

Day 15 – In five years, my ideal living situation would be ….

Day 16 – hat is one small change that I could make in my life today to get closer to reaching my goals?

Day 17 – What is my favorite quote and why does it inspire me?

Day 18 – What is one thing I could repeat to myself every morning that would improve self-confidence?

Day 19 – What makes me unhappy and is there anything I can do to change it?

Day 20 – Am I reaching my full potential in my career?

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Day 21 – Choose 3 positive affirmations to write down today.

Day 22 – If I were going to be stranded on an island alone, what 3 things would I need?

Day 23 – If I won a million dollars, what would be the first thing I would buy?

Day 24 – List 5 people I can say positive things to today, write what it is, and go do it.

Day 25 – Write a letter to your high school self sharing 3 things you wish you had known then.

Day 26 – What is one thing you can do today to take care of yourself?

Day 27 – What food brings you great joy when you eat it?

Day 28 – What is your favorite physical feature about yourself?

Day 29 – What is one thing you wish to improve about yourself?

Day 30 – By the end of this year, what do you wish to be different in your life?

30 Affirmations to use Throughout the Month and Bonus Video

I’ve been working with my therapist on reducing anxiety and helping to believe in myself. Despite a lot of success, there are still times when I think it’s not deserved or I worry about potential mistakes. I’ll probably do another post on imposter syndrome and it’s impact on my life, but for now, I wanted to share some affirmations with you all.

Why should you use affirmations?

Researchers have found positive benefits of self affirmation theory (Albalooshi et al., 2020). In a study examining the impact of affirmations on two groups – the powerful and the powerless – Abalooshi et al. (2020) found that those in their powerless group had improvements with inhibitory control. This is essentially the ability to control automatic thoughts that might be negative and change it to more positive thoughts of self worth.

By taking the time to change our thought patterns, we can create more positive views of our self. Additionally, we can use those positive thoughts to bring us closer to our goals and dreams.

How I Use Affirmations

Many days I use the “I Am” app to come up with affirmations. I like to do this in the morning when I’m having my coffee. If I don’t get to it in the morning, I choose some throughout the day to repeat to myself in the mirror and write in my journal. I thought I’d use this opportunity to share some affirmations that I’ve created for myself.


30 Affirmations

  1. I choose to be happy and thankful for all that I have.
  2. My life is worthy of love.
  3. I accept who I am.
  4. Abundance is coming to me in all aspects of my life.
  5. I am healthy, blessed, and loved.
  6. Wealth and love are arriving in full bloom.
  7. I am beautiful beyond comparison.
  8. I am whole and complete.
  9. New opportunities are on the horizon for me.
  10. I can achieve anything that my mind envisions for myself.
  11. I am grateful for my friends and family who believe in me no matter what.
  12. No matter the goal, I will be able to reach it with hard work and dedication.
  13. My life is blessed and treasured.
  14. There are so many wonderful things in store for my future.
  15. I am enough.
  16. I am important.
  17. My worth is not determined by material things.
  18. The world is calling me to a life of happiness.
  19. True love and abundance is on its way to me.
  20. Nothing is impossible and I matter.
  21. I am worthy of a successful career.
  22. I deserve to love and be loved unconditionally.
  23. I will protect my thoughts from negative interference.
  24. My goals are attainable and realistic.
  25. I am destined to have an abundant and full life.
  26. I have a thankful heart for the many blessings in my life.
  27. All that I do is for a better future.
  28. My positive attitude will help me achieve great things.
  29. Nothing can stand in my way when I believe in myself.
  30. There is beauty in my surroundings.

If you are visual, here is a short YouTube video to use each morning!

Sources:

Albalooshi, S., Moeini-Jazani, M., Fennis, B. M., & Warlop, L. (2020). Reinstating the resourceful self: when and how self-affirmations improve executive performance of the powerless. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin46(2), 189-203.

5 Things I Do Each Day To Get Started

I’m curious. Do you have a morning routine? It’s something I’ve been working on for a long time. I wouldn’t say that I have a set morning routine, but I would say that I’m trying to improve whenever possible. Years ago, I got up and ran before work as I was training for a half marathon. That was a routine because I would often sleep in my running clothes or have them laid out next to me.


These days, I do a few things every morning to try and get my brain going and get organized for the day.

  1. I make my bed. Growing up I wasn’t one of those kids that made their bed or was forced to by my parents. It’s a habit I grew into as an adult. I just like the look of having my comforter pulled up even if my sheets aren’t perfectly aligned underneath. I don’t know the science behind it, but I do feel like there is a connection between my brain and the organization of the day when I make my bed in the morning.
  2. Stretching. I haven’t progressed to full-on yoga in the morning, but I’ll stretch my neck and my body to get ready for the day. I would love to spend 20-30 minutes doing yoga, but I’m not quite there yet. I typically take a few minutes to move my head from side to side, raise my arms, and do a few lunges.
  3. Coffee. Okay. I admit I’ve tried to kick the coffee addiction in the past with no success. So for now, it’s part of my morning routine to make coffee. I just love the smell of it and the feel of the warm mug in my hands, even on a hot day.
  4. Affirmations. I wrote another post about how I write daily affirmations. I like to start my day by journaling my intentions and writing down my affirmations. I repeat them to myself in the mirror a few times for good measure. I notice complete mood shifts if I got several days in a row without writing my affirmations. My anxiety creeps in more, I’m irritable, and my generally positive outlook is not as sunny.
  5. To-do list and email. After I get some breakfast (or while I’m eating breakfast), I go through my to-do list for the day and check my email. I prioritize and review my schedule to make sure I’m still on the best course for the day to achieve my goals.

While I have great ambitions to create an even better and more consistent morning routine, these are the things I do on a regular basis to get me started and going for the day. What do you do you do? What are some helpful tips you’d like to pass along?

Utilizing Daily Affirmations to Change Your Life

One practice I started several years ago rather inconsistently was listing out what I was grateful for. I found that on the days I started with a thankful heart I was more focused, productive, and positive. Even if I don’t get a chance to write it down, I try to at least think about it each morning and remember all the good things I have going for me.

More recently, I added daily affirmations to this practice. In December 2020, I downloaded an app called I AM and I did pay for the premium version. Now I’m sure I could have found tons of free resources online, but I really do like the app’s layout, design, user interface, and affirmations. It has become a lifesaver in times when I can’t think of affirmations on my own.

Each morning, I scroll through my mix and I write 3-4 affirmations in my journal. If I find myself anxious or stressed I pull them up on my iPad in the app or look at my journal. More recently, I started sharing my affirmations on Tik Tok and letting people know how it is impacting my life.

How It’s Changed My Life

I truly feel more inspired and at peace with myself since starting to use affirmations. In fact, on the days when I don’t implement them or forget to say them, I can feel a difference. My confidence has grown and I love and believe in myself in ways I didn’t before. I even see the fruits of my affirmations in a dream opportunity now traveling and working with students in new places every day. Even my city apartment is gorgeous. Now I have faith that I can utilize affirmations to manifest the next chapter of my life.

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Today’s affirmations are:

  • My soul is at peace and my body is healthy and beautiful.
  • The key to my future and my life is my mind.
  • I trust the process of love and life.
  • Just breathe and know that everything will be okay.
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