Preparing for the New Year

Preparing for the New Year

It's officially the end of 2023. There's so much for us to celebrate as this year winds down to an end and we step into 2024. Many people kick off January with New Year's resolutions. Deciding to make positive changes in your life is great, but we also suggest you take the time to reflect. Think about this past year. What are some things you accomplished? Were there difficult situations that you had to overcome? Are there situations in which you wish you had behaved differently? What are some things you're proud of?

It's important to look back on the year so you can evaluate what you want to keep, change, or leave in your life. These moments of reflection are pivotal for creating and continuing the life you desire. Here are some things to remember while you think about your experiences in 2023.

Remember to be kind to yourself.

There's a difference between holding yourself accountable and punishing yourself. If it's in the past, it's in the past. Sometimes there are ways to address the situation, but you have to let go other times. Find a way to move on from these situations and grow. Often that means you walk away with a learned lesson. Talking to a therapist may also help you reflect on your past year. They have the tools to help provide you with coping mechanisms and heal old wounds. A good therapist will also help hold you accountable.

Don't just reflect on the "bad." You have done amazing things over the last year, too! Create a list of your recent accomplishments (big or small) that you are proud of. They can be about work, social life, lifestyle habits, anything! It's best if you celebrate yourself. We're living in a crazy, unprecedented time. If you made sure to drink some water daily, that's an accomplishment. If you learned a new recipe you like, that's an accomplishment. If you grew some tomatoes, that's an accomplishment. We often think of success in terms of work. That is only sometimes the case. Be sure to celebrate yourself.

If you did something that made you happy, that is an accomplishment.

New Year's resolutions are so often reduced to negative feelings and overwhelming pressure. Let's talk about one of the most popular resolutions. Dieting. Every year countless people decide to go on a diet for their New Year's resolution to lose weight, gain muscle, or get healthier. The issue is that most of the diet changes involve a LOT of adjustments in very little time. It's a very sudden lifestyle change and most people fear making a mistake because it's a New Year's resolution.

Some people may be embarrassed if they can't stick to their new lifestyle because they've told others about their goals. They may also feel disappointed in themselves for giving up. Many people begin to resent this lifestyle change and eventually stop it altogether because of the additional stress it adds to their lives. Then they feel guilty for failing. It's a neverending cycle for most people. There can be so much discouragement that comes from an inherently positive thing.

Making small, consistent changes is the real path to seeing your goals.

Reflect on all the wonderful things you've accomplished over the year and use that motivation to create a plan. New Year's resolutions should not be about what you didn't do, it's about celebrating YOU. Respect yourself and the ways that you have grown over the years. Many of us do not take the time to relish our success because we think about the next thing to do. The end of the year and your birthday are perfect times to revisit your yearly growth. Instead of pressuring yourself to execute a lifestyle change flawlessly, give yourself grace.

Start smaller and create a positive habit. Let's say, for example, you want to stop drinking soda. Instead of going cold turkey on January 1st, take it slow and steady. If you have ten sodas a week, try to reduce it to eight sodas a week. If you happen to have nine, accept that you made that decision and recommit yourself to eight sodas. When that becomes easy, try 7 sodas weekly, then 6, and so on. It's so important to accept that most change doesn't come easy or instantly.

Brown Skin Women has had so much positive change in the last year.

We set the goal to make natural hair care more accessible and affordable a long time ago. Now, every year we find ways to do better than the last. Pausing, reflecting, reshaping, and taking multiple small steps have allowed Brown Skin Women to thrive. We're helping more Curlfriends than ever! We offer online webinars, virtual training programs, in-person events, and free resources on our socials. We also fostered an incredible online community that has continued to grow and thrive!

There is SO much to celebrate. Looking back on the last 12 months, we see a bright future ahead of us. We're celebrating our successes as we create our new goals. We hope that you do the same.

Reflect on the good, the bad, and the good (AGAIN) before you choose your New Year's resolutions or any long-term goals. Remember to treat yourself with kindness, even when you stumble. Learn something or accept that sometimes things don't work out. Remember to be proud of yourself for all you've overcome as you strive for the life you desire. You deserve happiness and grace. You deserve a soft life.

Take care of yourself. We look forward to growing with you in 2024!


The Brown Skin Women Team

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