Don’t you just love this time of year? I adore the week-long season between Christmas and New Years Day. Life slows down. We focus our time and energy on friends, family, and just being.
It’s a time of reflection and recreation. I mean that in the literal sense of the word: re-creation. We get to make plans and dreams for the year ahead. We have the time to celebrate our big wins from the past 365 days, and to set intentions for the 365 ahead.
I wanted to write a blog about ramping up your New Year’s resolutions, and then I remembered that what made 2016 my best year yet had little to do with setting and writing down goals. (Okay, 2016 was freaking hard, but I still got some cool shit done.) You know what though? Winning championships, advancing in our careers, and getting our dream bodies will mean next to nothing if we don’t learn how to enjoy the process.
I’ve been the girl with hollow and empty achievements and that’s the last thing I want to happen to you, and so,
- Connect More
With others, yourself, nature, The Universe, the present moment – whatever – just connect. As the cohost on a podcast in 2016 I had the chance to interview many people I saw as heroes. Now I know I didn’t need that show at all to have the kinds of connections that would elevate me to my next level. There were already amazing people around me; all I needed was to have more intentional conversations.
Now, with every person I meet, whenever I have the chance, I aim to ask really great questions:
- “What’s the one thing you learned the hard way in your business that you wish you knew before?”
- “What advice would you give to someone who’s new at competing in Olympic weightlifting?”
- “What do you think has made your relationship successful?” (I remember asking this one to a random couple in their 50s over loud jazz music at a bar in New Orleans. Their answer was something like, “Commitment. There’ve been times when we’ve been close and times when we’ve been distant, but we always stayed together because we made that commitment to each other.” )
“Everyone you meet has a story to tell and a lesson to teach, don’t let them leave without learning it.” – Robin Sharma
In an age where connection has become synonymous with clicking “like,” we’re left craving something deeper. You’d be amazed at the number and variety of people you can have that kind of experience with if you just ask. Your strongest sense of satisfaction and your greatest opportunity at growth lies in profound partnerships.
Whatever you need to learn in life, I guarantee the teacher is already around you. Be willing to go inside yourself to find the questions and then act in courage to ask them (I know this is easier said than done). In 2017, reach out.
2. Practice Sincere Self-Care
Do you do this: Intellectualize your biggest lessons before you really feel them? Understand them before you embody them?
That’s what I did with this lesson: love yourself first.
I looked at my shitty dating relationships and blamed men for not loving and appreciating me for all of who I was. Then one day I found myself crying on my physiotherapist’s table after she asked me, “Brittney, do you really love yourself for your body, mind, and your spirit? Do you know that you’re beautiful inside and out?”
I wanted the answer to be, “Yes, of course” but the best I could muster was a, “I don’t know. I thought I did?”
I did all the things I thought I was supposed to do to love myself: the workouts, the diet, posting cute booty pics on Instagram.
“Love is an action” they tell us. I was performing actions, but I discovered they weren’t really out of love. I worked out and dieted because I wanted to change my body. I wanted to make it better.
I needed to start treating myself like I was good enough already. I knew my brain wanted to love me, but the connection wasn’t yet formed between my mind, heart, and body. I started performing little acts of self-love. I’d take a longer shower instead of performing a necessary hygiene ritual to meet a society’s expectations. I’d tenderly put coconut oil in my hair and all over my body instead of quickly throwing on clothes and rushing to coach a class while putting on a smile that says, “I love myself. I have it all together.”
I’d listen to Louise Hay’s “Love Your Body” affirmations. I’d write them down and read them to myself throughout the day until the weird words resonated through my entire being: “My scalp is loose an d easy. It provides a nourished bed for my hair. My hair grows freely and luxuriously.”
Whether it was the affirmations or the coconut oil (it was probably both), my hair actually started to look and feel healthier, and to grow longer.
Sometimes I’d smile and other times I’d frown, but the look on my face always communicated, “I love myself. I’m working to put it all together and trusting the process.”
Ramp up your self-care in 2017. Perform little acts of love for yourself – whatever that looks like for.
The booty pictures, workouts, and diet will all come from an authentic space in your heart and the results will be real and lasting.
The Simple Way To Make 2017 Your Happiest Year Yet?
- Connect more
- Practice sincere self-care
Don’t forget the resolutions, but if you’re like me you’ve achieved enough goals to know that’s not where your happiness lies. Your joy will be found in true connection – with yourself through real self-love, and with others in great conversations.
“That achievement is greater than fulfillment is the biggest fucking lie in the universe.” – Tony Robbins
Ready to show your body some love by fueling it right? Click here to get my 14-week nutrition program, now available as an eBook!