New Year, New Approach
If your inbox looks anything like mine, during these first few weeks of January you have been bombarded with dozens of ways to jump start the new year. From hair and makeup techniques, to diet and exercisestrategies, to style and clothing tips, your head is probably spinning with “new” opportunities to make positive changes to your look and your life. Usually I am the queen of New Years resolutions, planning all the ways I’ll change whatever isn’t working – physically, emotionally and psychologically. (The beginning of a calendar year has a way of making us feel more flawed than we actually are – smile.) This year, however, I’ve decided to take a more balanced approach.
Instead of just making a list of areas for improvement, I’ve supplemented it with a second list. I’ve taken a page (literally and figuratively) from Marie Claire magazine and decided to re-create a version of their “What I Love About Me” feature. Have you seen it? Month after month they showcase a handful of women who share what they love about themselves. They focus on appearance but I decided to dig a bit deeper.
If you like this idea of looking at both sides of your personal balance sheet, why not start your own list? Using the ABC’s of image, here are a few categories to help get you started.
Appearance: I love my __________ (fill in the blank). Even though we tend to focus on our challenge areas, we’ve all got assets. It’s just a matter of owning them. Take a few minutes to objectively and lovingly look in a full-length mirror and acknowledge those characteristics that make your look unique. Do you have sparkle in your eyes, luscious lips, a mega-watt smile, great curves, legs that go on for miles, a a va-va-voom bust line, spirited hair (that’s me), and/or other wonderful qualities? Once you acknowledge your assets, you can make clothing and accessory selections on a daily basis that honor and accentuate the positive.
Behavior: l am proud that I __________ (fill in the blank). What do you do that enriches the lives of others? Do you mentor someone at work? Volunteer your time? Donate old clothing? Approach out-of-towners who appear lost and ask if they need directions? Babysit to give friends or relatives some needed time off? Give to a charity? Pitch in before being asked? Think about all of the random acts of kindness you perform on a weekly basis (when no one is watching) and pat yourself on the back for doing something just because it’s the right thing to do.
Communications: People can count on me to be __________ (fill in the blank). Are you a good listener? Do you hear both sides of a story? Do you have a wonderful sense of humor? Are you an expert problem-solver? Are you willing to challenge the status quo? Are you compassionate and non-judgmental? Do you lend support when needed? Are you respectful in your language? Do you make others feel comfortable? How you interact and communicate with people is an important part of who you are and the effect you have on the lives of others. Treasure those qualities that others have come to count on.
While this list starts in January, I would encourage you to think about your wonderful qualities the whole year long. Who knows – this may be one of the best New Year’s resolutions you make.