Be Good to Yourself
A few days ago, you were asked to do something nice for yourself. Now we're going to take that up a notch.
In order for us to feel better, we must first believe we deserve to feel better. The same goes for reaching our goals. For instance, if I don't think I deserve to be healthy, it's a foregone conclusion that I will not be healthy. In order to believe we deserve the good things in life, we must give ourselves the good things in life that we deserve. I know this sounds like a paradox, but it really does work. Just try it.
Start with a journal. It can be in the form of a fancy blank book, a spiral notebook or just a plain pad of paper. It doesn't matter, unless it matters to you. As time goes on, you will be using this journal for more things, but for now, you only need to jot one thing down each day.
From this day forward, do something nice for yourself and then write that thing down in your journal each day. This activity should be something that is relatively new to you. It's okay if you've done it before, as long as it's not already a habit. Just like in Assignment #1, this act of self-kindness can be something simple or something extravagant. Something free, thrifty or even expensive. Something small or something large. Something short-term or long-term.
Creating habits in this regard is highly encouraged. So, if you want to do something – the same thing – on a daily basis, you can do that for six weeks before coming up with something new. By the end of six weeks, this new activity should be part of your routine, and it will be time to come up with another new activity.
For instance, say that on the first day you decide to buy yourself a paperback book. Do it, then write it down in your journal and date it. Then on the second day, you decide you'd like to apply moisturizer to your face. Do it, and write it down. Well, maybe on day three you notice that the skin on your face feels better so you do it again, and write it down. You can repeat the moisturizer and list it as your daily kindness for up to six weeks before you need to come up with some new kindness to add to your day.
There is no limit to the number of kind things you may do for yourself in a given day. All I ask is that you write them all down. It's important that you do this exercise with awareness. Be thoughtful in your kindness to yourself.
Do not underestimate the importance of this assignment. Your success could very well hinge upon your willingness to do this one thing each day.
I encourage you to come up with creative ways to give yourself a little pleasure each day, but if you need some ideas, look below for a bunch of them!
Possible Acts of Kindness Towards One's Self
- Sit and have a hot cocoa or a cold iced tea (depending on the weather and your tastes, of course)
- Buy yourself a gift
- Give yourself a manicure or a pedicure
- Trim your beard
- Try a new perfume or cologne
- Buy yourself some new socks
- Have your teeth professionally cleaned
- Watch your favorite movie on DVD
- Enjoy a tasty treat (don't over-indulge)
- Take a nap
- Put your feet up and read something that makes you feel good
- Wash your face
- Put lotion on all over your body
- Call a friend or family member you enjoy talking to
- Play a game
- Watch a funny movie
- Get your hair cut
- Do a five-minute workout on one part of your body
- Go to a spa and get a treatment
- Indulge in something you reserve for special occasions
- Buy a little something to spruce up your house, apartment or room
- Wash your hair and use that special conditioner
- Listen to some music that makes you feel good
- Take a nice long bath (bubbles too if you like!)
- Sit in the grass and look for a four-leaf clover
- Spend an hour working on a hobby you love, whether you think you have time or not.
- Get a massage or a facial or both
- Go for a walk
- Smell a flower – or a whole garden of flowers
- Get dressed up and go somewhere, even if it's just to the mall or the park
- Brush your teeth and use mouthwash
- Put on a CD and sing your favorite song
- Change your clothes and put on some cologne
- Buy yourself a toy and play with it
- Imagine your goal and how it will feel to have reached it
- Change the sheets on your bed
- Anything else you can think of that shows kindness to yourself
You might have noticed that many things I've listed have to do with taking care of your body. There's a reason for this. Your relationship to your body is very important, whether you realize it or not. There will be more about this as the program unfolds, but for now, please take my word for it and try to find as many activities that honor your body as you can. Also, feel free to be creative and form your own list based on what is important to you.