New Year, New You? How about skipping the restrictive and demanding resolutions and instead looking at the bigger picture. What would you like your year to feel like? What are your wishes and intentions? These are my 2017 intentions.
A couple of days ago I wrote a letter to my future self. I packed it in my box of Christmas ornaments as I took Christmas down for this time. As I unpack my box to decorate the Christmas tree again in December, I’ll find the letter and see if my intentions stuck.
The letter is all about the things I’m hoping this year will bring me. I’ve not written resolutions, and I can guarantee you there is not a word in there about losing weight, dieting, getting a six pack, or rules about when, what, and how much I am allowed to eat. Instead, I’ve filled my letter with happy and loving intentions and wishes for 2017.
Writing letters to my future self is something I’ve done before. Most often I’ve used the site futureme.org that allows you to write an email that is sent to you at whatever date you set in the future. Sometimes I’ve written letters to myself for my coming birthday, for new years eve, or just a couple of months in the future when I’m not sure what the changes I’m going through at the time will lead to.
I’m looking forward to unboxing my Christmas ornaments next year and reading my letter, to see if things turned out the way I thought. Who knows, maybe my year will be better than I am even capable of imagining right now? Here’s some of my 2017 intentions.
My 2017 Intentions (not resolutions)
Less Netflix and Social Media, More Reading
I pick up my phone too often, scrolling through my social media feeds countless times a day. The same goes for Netflix. It’s become such a habit to always have something playing in the background on the TV, and I don’t even pay that much attention to it. Instead of all that mindless scrolling and watching, I want to spend my down time reading books. I love the feeling of doing something educational and productive instead of mindlessly scrolling or distractedly staring at a screen.
I’ve already weeded out my social media feeds to limit the time I spend scrolling. I do this regularly when I notice that my feed is getting too cluttered with content that is triggering to me, or that otherwise doesn’t serve me in a positive way.
In addition to weeding out my social media, I’m sitting down to read whenever I can, instead of turning the TV on, or picking up my laptop or phone. It’s really that simple – be conscious of it. I’ve already spent much more time reading than watching TV or checking social media this year.
Embrace Body Positivity
Reflecting on the past 6 months, I can see how I’ve laid the ground work for recovery and come such a long way on this journey. But I know recovery isn’t something you do and can then place on a shelf as a trophy of achievement, forgetting about it and letting it collect dust. It requires constant work and awareness, which is where I’m at now. I still have ups and downs and I still struggle to like my body, so I want to work on that aspect of my recovery this year – body acceptance and body positivity.
Keep a relaxed relationship to exercise
I’m getting better and better at cutting myself some slack when it comes to exercise. If I feel too tired, sore, or if I’m just not feeling like going to the gym, I allow myself to kick back and relax, or spend my time doing whatever else I feel like doing in the moment. It still takes constant and conscious effort to beat off the anxiety or guilt I feel about not exercising, but it’s something I definitely intend to keep working on this year.
Less stress about Banana Bloom and my social media channels
I’ve spent a good portion of the past couple of years stressing myself to tears over this blog and my social media channels. I’ve been putting so much pressure on myself to keep up with regular posting, all while trying to juggle a full time job, and life! A hobby shouldn’t be something that stresses you out, it should be fun, inspiring, and if anything, something you do to relax and unwind on your free time.
This year, I’m choosing to be mindful of how I approach this hobby of mine. It’s not a job, it’s not something I should be making myself feel under pressure about. I intend to write posts when I feel like it, when I’m inspired, or have something to say and not based on a controlled set of rules I’ve set up for myself about how much I should be posting or writing for it to be acceptable or good enough. Posting when I want to is more than good enough.
As is often the case when we’re not feeling well or struggling with liking ourselves, we put ourselves last. This has definitely been the case for me these past couple of years. I’ve struggled so much with liking myself that treating myself to new clothes, makeup, or other luxurious or relaxing treatments has felt sort of… blah. Like nothing has made me feel better about myself, I’ve not really had the energy to bother with it, and I’ve not felt like it’s worth spending the money.
It might sound super selfish or vain, but one of my intentions for this year is to treat myself to thing like new clothes, makeup or treatments, and not constantly talk myself out of it with the excuse that I’m not worth it. Having fun with makeup, painting my nails, having a bath, or getting my hair cut doesn’t make me less of a feminist or a selfish person. After all, we have to take care of – and love – ourselves first, before we can love and help the people around us. So, in treating myself kinder, I’ll be spreading even more of my love and kindness around me like confetti.