2023 is out. A new year is in! What if this time, instead of spending the first two months pretending to be a ‘new you’, you remember who you REALLY are, beneath the conditioning that allowed your boundaries to fall away, and start to say YES to yourself?
How many of you can resonate with the sheer exhaustion of trying to please everyone? Especially in the holiday season we’ve just had. We often end up so tired from the whole year that our efforts to go into January with our resolutions and dreams often have us ‘falling off the wagon’ sooner than we wanted.
What would life feel like if we started saying no? How would our days be if we started to prioritise our needs, listening to our bodies and setting boundaries, without fear of upsetting someone? Take a moment to imagine how that could be. See if you can feel it in your body. And if you can’t, then it’s possibly a sign you’ve spent far too long pleasing others and ignoring yourself. This is especially for you!
And you are not alone! So many of us will be reading along to this, nodding heads and feeling some kind of resonance. Due to conditioning and old narratives created a long time ago, for a lot of us it can be a default pattern. But patterns can be broken! New stories can be written and this new year, let’s rewrite our resolutions and say YES to ourselves!
It’s Time for a Shift
The first place we can start is by acknowledging where we need things to shift. So grab a pen and paper and start to write about all the ways in which you feel you can bring about change for the benefit of YOURSELF first. This could be as simple as giving yourself ten minutes in the morning, before your day starts or anyone else has woken up, to centre yourself and set your intentions for the day. And yes, I know, when you are so drained, the thought of getting up earlier than you already do does NOT seem appealing. But, nothing changes if nothing changes! And the truth is, having that quiet time to be with yourself, perhaps to meditate, or do some gentle movement, or maybe even to do a few minutes of affirmations to prepare for the day, will help you to HEAR the messages from your body.
If you are not used to self-care, or knowing what you need, this step might be hard at first, but will be crucial. Building a relationship with your body will help you to understand what you need to do to take care of it. We need to honour our body and what it says otherwise we can start to suffer from burnout, anxiety and other issues associated with nervous system dysregulation. The easiest place to start is with simple meditation and breathing practices, all of which you can find online. And maybe this isn’t for you.
Maybe what would work best for you is a morning walk! We are all different and our needs are different. Just because one thing works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for you. We are all unique beings! Find what works for you.
Most of the time when saying yes to others when we really want to say no, our mind overrides those cues that let us know something doesn’t feel good. Carving out time for yourself first thing will allow you to start tuning back in to the messages of your body, your gut feeling, your truth. So what needs to change? Can you hear what feels good and what doesn’t? A great way to start practising listening to your ‘inner compass’ when someone asks you to do something, or there are some other tasks on your list, is to ask yourself, “does this excite me?” Listen to your gut. What was the first reaction that came?
Honouring Your Needs
Sometimes it can be scary saying no to people. Especially when you’ve always been one to yes. We may carry a belief that if we say no, we will rock the boat. Many of us don’t cope well with confrontation, but there are ways to communicate your boundaries without causing a scene. It’s about practice, honesty and communicating with love. Once you start honouring your needs, resting when you need to and saying yes to yourself more often, you will notice the positive impact it has on not only your life, but those around you, too.
When you honour YOUR needs, you are best able to serve those you love, with more energy, vitality and care. When we are operating from a place of burn-out, we can’t give our full potential. This is why it is so important that we start the journey of listening to our needs and honouring them, so we can live the fullness of life and love those around us in ways that feel good.
So this new year, remember:
- Write down a list of things that need to change in your life. For each one, write next to it, in a different colour, one thing you can do to action that change. And if nothing needs to change in your life, GREAT! Write down what else you’d like to call in.
- Get up a little earlier, before your day needs to start, so you can get into your body. You can meditate, do some breathing exercises, go for a walk, journal your intentions for the day, or recite some affirmations. This could be: “I am worthy of honouring my needs” or anything else that feels good to you!
- Be kind to yourself! Change comes over time. Take baby steps and do your best to honour your needs, saying no to things that don’t light you up, and prioritising YOU.
- When you don’t feel good about something, ask yourself, “how do I WANT to feel?” and do what you can to achieve that feeling. If in doubt, come back to the body and just breathe.
- It’s a new year and YOU GOT THIS!