6 Promises You Deserve To Make Yourself This Year


This article is inspired by the In Your Feelings Podcast, a collaboration from Thought Catalog and Bianca Sparacino.
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This year, promise to treat yourself like a friend.

This year, just be kinder to yourself. In everything that you do think of yourself like a friend, treat yourself like a friend. It can be difficult to change that mindset at times, because we live our own lives, and we all have these internal worlds where we are constantly in our own heads. And those internal worlds are not often the most peaceful places to be, because I know that we all hold ourselves to such a standard. We want to grow, we want to heal, we want to do better, and be better, so much so, that we can sometimes be extremely hard on ourselves. And that is valid, because it means you care. It means you care about what you’re putting into this world, about how you’re showing up in this world. It means you care about meeting your potential, about being who you want to be.

But within all of that, I think a lot of us have a hard time being kind to ourselves. We’re always pushing for more, always letting our pasts or our mistakes create this narrative of negative self talk, or self doubt within our minds, it’s like we are constantly putting so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect, that we’re not really allowing ourselves to be real.

So, promise to treat yourself like a friend this year. You care about so many human beings as if it were the deepest extension of yourself. You are empathetic, you have compassion for them. You want the people in your life to experience all of the beauty it has to offer. You want to remind them of their worth every single day. You want to protect them from anything that could hurt them or harm them, you want to encourage them to walk away from the things that ask them to settle for less than what they are deserving of. You encourage them when they doubt themselves, you remind them of their unique potential, you speak so much love into them on their hardest days. This year, I want you to promise to do the same things for yourself.

Ask yourself :

  • Would you talk to someone you loved the way you talk to yourself?
  • Would you allow for someone you loved to be treated the way you allow yourself to be treated?
  • Would you let someone you loved, someone you saw so much potential and beauty in, give so much of their energy, their time, and their heart, to those who did not value it?
  • Would you let someone you loved vilify themselves for their mistakes, for their pasts, for the person they had to be in order to survive or to heal?

You wouldn’t. You’d be in direct opposition of it, and you are. You are constantly defending the people you love, protecting them, reminding them that they are good enough, that they are worthy, and you do this because that is what you do for the people you love. So love yourself enough to be that for yourself, as well. Promise yourself that, even if it is hard at first, to work towards that kind of compassion for yourself. When you feel self doubt creep in, when you start to tell yourself that you aren’t good enough, when you stay in situations that hurt just to make someone else comfortable, or just to not be alone, when you know you deserve more but you can’t push yourself to stand up for that — remind yourself to treat yourself like a friend. Would you want any of that for them? If not, actively work towards being kinder within the thoughts, actively work towards fostering compassion for yourself in a situation, actively work towards giving yourself the same empathy you give to everyone around you. Make it an active thing, combat those thoughts, and that pressure, and that negativity, and meet yourself with kindness as best as you can. You are your own home. Make it a beautiful place to be.

This year, promise yourself to let go of almosts.

Promise yourself that you will stop allowing yourself to settle for less than you know you deserve. To keep giving so much of your heart to those who do not value it. To put so much time, and energy, and effort into those who are only loving you in halves.

I know how difficult it is to walk away from almosts. How difficult it is to be in a situation where you care so deeply for someone, or where you are genuinely excited about the potential you see in another human being. I know how dismantling those relationships can be, I know how hard it can be to see them for what they are, because they are often filled with a lot of hope, and a lot of intensity, and you’re just waiting for the day all of that is realized, and all of that is concrete, and rooted, and whole. I know how hard it can be to hold all of that hope within yourself, how heavy the weight of almosts can be. How much they can make you doubt yourself, how much they can make you question if you are enough for this person who only wants to love you in miminums. Almosts shake up your heart, they make it question itself, and you don’t deserve that.

Because the love you have to give someone is good love. The love you have to give someone is deep, and honest, and empathetic. And if someone cannot see that, if someone cannot value that, or meet that — you deserve to find the people who can. Please, just promise yourself to let go of the people who leave your heart confused. Let go of the people who make you feel like you are compromising all that you desire, all that you hope for, all the goodness and the beauty that you know exists in this world, for a malnourished version of love, for a skinny version of love. Let go of falling in love with potential, with falling in love with the idea of someone rather than who they truly are. Let go of the fears you have that keep you holding on to something that hurts, something that is so heavy, something that has only left you feeling misunderstood, or unworthy, or at war with yourself. Let go of waiting for the people you have always treated kindly, to treat you kindly. Let go of waiting for the people you have always treated with respect, to treat you with respect. Let go of waiting for the people you have always chosen, to finally choose you. Let go of waiting. Let go of holding your breath, just hoping that things change.

Let go. Don’t allow yourself to get comfortable existing in spaces where you know you deserve better. Love is not meant to hurt. Let me repeat that: love is not meant to hurt. Love is not meant to be given in bare minimums. Love does not require for you to be cooler, or less emotional, or less yourself, for you to be worthy of it choosing you. Love chooses you. In the good, and the bad. It isn’t an almost thing. It isn’t something you have to beg for. It isn’t something you have to fight for constantly, something that is always a source of pain and confusion and hurt. There is power in letting go of anything that is forcing you to let go of yourself. Don’t ignore what you know in your heart. Remember — it is better to be alone, than to feel lonely in what you’re settling for. It is better to be alone, than to try to fit your heart into the hands of someone who does not want to hold it. It is better to be alone, than to fight for someone who is not fighting for you. It is better to be alone, to be your own foundation, than to spend any more of your time waiting for someone to see the beauty in what you are giving them. You deserve good love. Promise you will let go of anything that does not feel that way, this year. Promise to stand up for your heart.

This year, promise to believe that nothing is too good for you.

This year, promise to believe that you are worthy of everything you want in life, and that you are not asking for too much. And I know that isn’t easy, because I know that the world has ways of convincing you otherwise. I know that we have all gone through this life, and have sometimes been weathered by it in ways we didn’t necessarily ask for, but in ways that have stuck. In ways that have caused us to doubt what we deserve.

And I am sorry for that. I am sorry that you had to experience things you did not ask for, that you had to go through certain losses that carved into you lessons you were too young to learn, or lessons that were heavy to carry within yourself. I am sorry that somewhere along your journey, society convinced you that you were not beautiful, that you had to be smaller, that you had to want less, or settle for things outside of what you always dared to hope for. I am sorry that at times the world made you feel like you didn’t hold space within it, that you didn’t deserve to be here, or to be loved, or to be the kind of person who achieves great and beautiful things. I am sorry that you had to endure things at the hands of love that made you stop believing in it’s goodness, that made you stop believing in just how possible it was for you to find someone kind, and honest, and committed, in this generation. I am sorry that somewhere along your journey, you were convinced that you couldn’t dream the way you wanted to dream, that you couldn’t strive to experience all of the beauty this life has to offer.

And I know that sometimes because of all that you have been through, you doubt the part of yourself that knows there is more out there for you. You doubt the part of yourself that is trying to push you to believe that your past does not deserve to control you anymore. But you have to do it. You have to have the courage to believe in things you have yet to feel. You have to have the courage to believe that you are capable, that you are strong, that you are worthy, no matter what the world tries to tell you. You have to have the courage to be your own guiding light, to validate your own purpose, to push yourself to believe that nothing is too good for you, that nothing is out of reach, that nothing you want in this life exists within impossibility if you’re willing to leap towards it. You have to have the courage to crash every ounce of your hope into this world, outside of your past, outside of the opinions of others, outside of what society tells you is appropriate or achievable. So whenever you feel that doubt creep in, remind yourself that nothing is too good for you. Whenever you doubt if you are deserving of the good things that come into your life, remind yourself that nothing is ever too good to be true for you. The things you want, the life you want to live, the people you hope to love, the way you want your life to feel — it’s possible for you. It’s possible. Don’t convince yourself that it’s just not in the cards for a person like you. Promise yourself to believe that you are worthy. Each and every single day, and especially on the days the world tries to weather you into believing otherwise. Hold fast in your hope. Believe in impossibility. You are worthy of all that is kind, and good, and awe-inspiring in this world. Promise yourself that you will never forget that this year.

This year, promise to remind yourself of just how far you have come.

I know that in a society that makes you feel like you have to constantly be moving forward, in a society that puts so much value in external achievements, and often sells this concept of success or achievement as being a very specific thing, it can be difficult to connect with just how much you’ve achieved along your own unique journey. It can be difficult to connect with just how far you have come.

Because, at the end of the day, while it is beautiful and inspiring to be the kind of person who is pushing themselves to achieve a level of happiness, and success, that exists on their own terms, sometimes we can be so focused on what is ahead of us, that we forget to honor and embrace what we have survived. Sometimes, when we feel like we haven’t grown at all, it takes looking at who we used to be, to realize that so much growth happened when we didn’t even feel it taking place. That in the dark, or moments of rest, we changed, we healed, in the quietest of ways. We pushed ourselves forward. We managed to evolve. We managed to stay strong enough to make it to where we are now, and that within itself is an achievement that deserves to be celebrated.

This year, promise to remind yourself of just how far you have come. When you feel like you are falling behind, think back to all of the moments in your life where you thought the same thing, and just how much those seasons of confusion, or slow growth, taught you about yourself. When you feel like you are never going to heal a broken heart, think back to all of the moments in your life where you held the same heart in your hands and you put it’s broken pieces back together — how you healed slowly, and in the smallest ways, day after day. When you feel like you will never get out of the dark, remind yourself of the moments in your life that enveloped you in a heavy kind of hope, remember how you tucked light into yourself and fought to be here today. Remind yourself of all of the ways you survived, when you didn’t think you were capable. Nothing in this life has ever had the ability to defeat you. If anything tests your resilience this year, remind yourself of that. Remind yourself of the ways in which you have saved yourself so many times before. You have come so far. Honor that.

This year, promise to stop comparing yourself to others.

Within the last year we have all grown even more attached to social media as a means of experiencing life. Apps like Instagram, and TikTok have the capacity to fill our days with so much stimulation, and so many perspectives, and illustrations of people, and while we know that most of social media is a highlight reel, it can be difficult to disconnect from that when it is a main form of what we are consuming each day. It can be difficult not to feel a little sad that we don’t look like someone we admire online, it can be difficult not to feel a little discouraged or lonely when we see beautiful videos of happy couples splashed across our feeds, it can be a little difficult not to feel like we are falling behind when we see the achievements of others scrolling across our phones constantly. Social media can be really disarming, and very polarizing, and it’s extremely difficult not to compare our lives to those we see online.

And so I just want to remind you that this is human. These feelings are very real, and very valid, and it’s important to really pay attention to them when they arise, because it is within that awareness that we can reframe how we’re letting them affect us. When you start to notice yourself comparing yourself, when you start to notice yourself wishing that your timeline looked more like someone else’s when it comes to their career, or their success, or their relationships — remind yourself that you are living your own unique life, and that your journey is an extension of that. You are going to achieve the things you want to achieve. You are going to find good love. You are going to heal. You cannot lose what is for you. You will never miss out on the things that are meant to happen for you in life. So you do not have to rush yourself forward, you do not have to force anything into happening before it is meant to happen in your life. Get clear with what you want, and more so, get clear with yourself on how you want your life to feel, rather than what you want it to look like on the outside, on social media. And go in that direction. Have intention with it. Believe that it is going to happen for you, that is unfolding within its own unique way in your life, and do not compare that journey to anyone else’s, because it is your own.

This year, promise to take 15 minutes out of each day to make yourself the person you want to be.

How can you take fifteen minutes for yourself each day? For your goals, for your self care, for your heart — how can you show up for yourself?

We build so many resolutions around these large and looming things, and while I think those hold space, I also think that they can be overwhelming. They aren’t always sustainable. So start small. Make a micro-shift in your day, each day. You don’t have to run for an hour — but you can push yourself to move your body for 15 minutes. You don’t have to read three books a week — but you can push yourself to read for 15 minutes before bed. You don’t have to only treat yourself to a self care moment when you are depleted, and you feel like you will bubble over with anxiety if you don’t. You can take 15 minutes each day to put your phone down, to connect with yourself, to do a face mask, to take a hot shower, to sit and drink water. These things sound so small, but they add up.

And it’s not often even about the specific things you’re doing, it’s more about the fact that you’re doing them for yourself. You’re showing up for yourself. You’re being kind to yourself. You’re taking time or yourself no matter what, on even your hardest or busiest days, to take care of yourself. To do something that makes you better, in even the quietest way. I promise, it improves your life, because you really start connecting with the fact that you are nurturing yourself, you are nurturing your body, you are nurturing your mind, and it becomes a habit. And that is really special. That is something you learn to embrace, that is something you learn to celebrate, because in a way, it’s teaching you to celebrate and honor yourself, to treat yourself with kindness, and to stand up for the future version of yourself that you’re becoming. Fifteen minutes each day. Whatever it may be, whatever that looks like for you — dedicate yourself to it, promise it to yourself each and every day. You deserve it.



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