Photo: Vashti Kola Instagram
We are inspired by incredible women like Vashti who encourages us through her fearlessness to live our best lives possible.

This is The Year Of You 🎉, also known as your best, most fulfilling year ever. Instead of making resolutions that will come and go, get ready to journey with us through an intimate, motivational year of self-love, self-awareness with our self-starting guide to help you continue into on of your most accomplished years yet. This is the year that you finally create and stick to your resolutions–healthy resolutions from spiritual and mental health to career goals. No matter your goal, we want to help you reach it. Over the next few months, we’re going to share practical, effective resources and steps to get your on your way–the same resources we’ll be using to accomplish our goals.

Like many people, you may see the top of the year as your “fresh start.” Though there is absolutely nothing wrong with the idea of starting over, one of the best ways to keep resolution motivations going is to not limit yourself to good intentions. Studies have shown that only a small percentage of us actually see resolutions through to the end and that good intentions simply aren’t enough. What is enough, however, is setting up things in your life for you to see better outcomes. When you set things up around you so that you can actually follow through with your resolutions, you are more likely to see them through.

Research suggests that by looking at ourselves and our goals as “temporal landmarks” — a way we separate our old selves from our new “better” selves, we see ourselves as inferior. This is why we often fail at resolutions–our new selves are really no better than our old selves.

Though change can be a good thing, it’s time to start honoring where you are right now and if you want to make changes, create accomplishable intentions so that the “newer” you has the space to emerge.

Acknowledge And Appreciate Where You Are Today
We often get so focused on the finish line that we forget what it took for us to be where we are today. The goals become all encompassing and we forget to stop to appreciate the steps we’ve taken. Or, we simply let the things we don’t yet know how to do (to accomplish our goals) get us down. There have been many obstacles you’ve crossed and many wins that are worthy of appreciation and celebration. The road to success is just as important as the finish line. Congratulate yourself for starting and continuing down your path.

How To Apply This:
Continue moving forward toward your goal. You can start with things like daily prayer, meditation, mindful thankfulness and being conscious of rerouting negative thoughts when they appear.

Don’t Keep Looking Back
Forgiveness can be a daunting task. Whether it’s you forgiving yourself or forgiving others, looking backwards and getting stuck there is a challenge that most people face. Oprah once said she had a transcendent forgiveness moment when a guest appeared on her show and shared his definition of forgiveness with her, “That was a transcendent moment for me, bigger, even, than an aha [moment]. He said forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different. I think for myself and I know many of you, you think that forgiving means accepting what has happened to you. Well, it is accepting that it has happened to you. Not accepting that it was okay for it to happen, it is accepting that it has happened, and now what do I do about it. Forgiving is giving up the hope, not holding on, hoping, wishing that it could have been any other way than it actually was. Giving up the hope that the past could be any different. When I got that, I think it took me to the next level of being a better person because I don’t hold grudges for anything or any situation–and neither should you. [Forgiveness] is letting go so that the past does not hold you prisoner.”

Past hurts and regrets are essential to growth. But you don’t have to stay there holding others or yourself hostage. You can not only forgive people, including yourself, but things that didn’t go the way you planned. Let it go and move on so that you can begin to live a life in the present.

How To Apply This: We’ve laid out a few tips in How To Forgive And Move On: 4 Empowering Ways to Forgive and Let Go

Stop Being Your Worst Critic
We are usually our worst critics. We are often the ones that single handedly stop ourselves from experiencing the life that we know we deserve. Every time you look at yourself and scoff at something you dislike from your body to your money to your career, you are slowly eating away at your self esteem. Over time, these little cuts add up to a big scar. By changing your beliefs and acknowledging where you are today, you’ll be amazed at how you can start to release limiting beliefs and start to accomplish more.

How To Apply This: Often rejection and comparison are the starting points of being over critical of ourselves. Start by reading the tips in An Easy, Practical Approach ToDealing With Rejection And Appreciating The Upside To ‘No’ and How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others: A Simple Cure For Comparison And The Pursuit Of Perfection.

Choose The Best For You
This is not to say that you should turn into a selfish person, but don’t sit on your talents and gifts. If you need to move on completely from things that are holding you back unnecessarily or negatively, do so. Whether that’s holding yourself accountable, reevaluating friendships or learning to appreciate yourself more, or if it’s simply shifting your priorities so that you spend less time on things that do not feed your gifts, don’t be afraid to speak up. Having a fulfilling life is about knowing how to choose you.

How To Apply This: Be vocal. Say no when you mean no and yes when you mean yes. Choosing the best for you is a very active choice. Don’t apologize for putting you first.

Become Active In Feeding Your Happy
Create a bucket list of things that make you happy and excited and start to check things off of it. If you are tight on funds, think of solo day trips and with friends as well as local excursions you can do that won’t break the bank. Catch the train around the city. Go to museums and if you are able, save up for a trip away with friends or family. Get your hair cut, take a dance class or learn a new language. Your list does not have to long or complicated–but it should serve you. Now is the time to start feeding your happy.

How To Apply This: Make a list and stick to it. If you are tight on time, carve out a few hours a week for yourself, even if that’s just leaving the kids with your significant other or a sitter and kicking back with wine and Netflix. Put deadlines on your bucket list. Go ahead and buy that ticket for the crazy steal cruise so that when the time comes, you can’t make excuses not to go.

Be Open To Love And Give Love.
We can’t get far in life without love. Even science has proven this. Whether you are a extrovert or introvert be open to love that is worth your time and attention. Be open to new friendships and as well as building on the relationships you already have in your life. Give love by letting others know how you feel about them, spend quality time with the ones you care about and build up your relationships with respect and honesty. Put out into the world what you expect to come back and be open to love that comes in unexpected packages.

How To Apply This: Forgiveness is often why we are unable to be open to love or give love. Start by forgiving yourself and others who have hurt you so that you are ready and willing to receive love.

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