People flourish when then know themselves

The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.

Walt Disney

You are the one friend you are going to have all your life. Take time to know, understand and love yourself.

The following ideas are just the tip of the iceberg of ideas that you can do to know and connect with yourself. Never stop doing this – you are infinitely interesting and the more you know yourself the better you are able to know others.

  • Write, on at least 2 A4 pages, your life story. Write about your past, your present, and your future. Then take some time to notice the patterns that emerge.
  • Each morning, as you brush your teeth (or during some other regular activity) give thanks for three things that are good in your life.
  • Ask at least one person about their beliefs and share yours with them.
  • Each evening before going to bed take 5 minutes to be mindful. Fully focusing your attention on just one thing (e.g. a candle, your breath, a sound, a single word) or simply notice and allowing all thoughts to pass through your mind without holding onto them. Or if you have a religious faith take the time to pray.
  • Ask 5 friends for recommendations of inspirational books. Buy or borrow one and read it then share your thoughts on it with you friend.
  • Walk for at least half an hour in nature this week.
  • Compile a list of 30 songs or pieces of music that uplift you. Gather this music into a playlist and play selections from this music for at least 30 minutes each day. Some possibilities may be while you have your morning shower, quietly in the background while you work, as you cook dinner, instead of turning the television on.
  • Watch a humorous movie.
  • Set your phone to remind you to smile and laugh at least twice a day.
  • Know what your top 5 values are so you can use these to help you make decisions. Email me for a values exercise, or search for one online.
  • Regularly question the beliefs you have. Do the ones you hold help you be your best self?
  • Know your strengths and do things daily that have you use your top strengths.
  • Write a list of at least 20 ways you can pamper yourself. Set a reminder on your phone to look at the list every week.
  • De-clutter your life, clear your wardrobe of clothes that don’t fit, trinkets you don’t love, kitchen items you don’t use.
  • Re-examine what you do only because you think you “should” do it. Do you really?
  • Let go of friends who do not build you up and make space for new, nurturing, friends.
  • Write a vision of how you would like your life to look in 12 months, or 3 years, or 5 years.
  • Become clear on your dreams and take one small step every day that moves you closer to them (e.g. a conversation, check a web site, order a book).
  • Do one thing a month that you scares you, so you slowly expand your comfort zone.
  • Buddy up with a friend and have a secret pact to check in with each other on what you have intentionally been doing to care of yourself.
  • Beef up your self-compassion.  It has been shown to negate negative effects of perfectionism.

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