As 2014 is rapidly approaching most of us find ourselves thinking about our New Year’s Resolutions. According to Wikipedia “A New Year’s Resolution is a secular tradition, most common in the west but found around the world , in which a person makes a promise to do an act of self-improvement starting on New Year’s Day”. It is a promise that a person makes to himself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad.
Historically the ancient Babylonians promised their Gods at the beginning of each year that they would pay their debts and return borrowed objects. The Romans promised their God Janus, of which the month of January is named after, to have good conduct. In Medieval times, the Knights took a vow to reaffirm their chivalry.
The nature of New Year’s Resolutions has changed over the past few decades. We have become much more superficial focusing more on our outer appearance rather then improving internally. In most recent times the number one New Year’s resolution popular with Americans is to lose weight which is focusing on our physical being.
I believe it to be much more important to focus on our internal health, our mental health. As a therapist I witness on a daily basis people struggling with their negative self-talk which affects their self-esteem and every other facet of their lives.
The most important thing that you can do for yourself this coming New Year is to make a resolution to work on changing your negative thoughts to positive affirmations. i.e. changing the negative belief of “I am not worthy” or “I am not good enough” (which are the most common beliefs most people have about themselves) to “I am worthy” and “I am good enough”.
Affirmations are positive statements that you repeat to yourself in order to change your negative beliefs. Affirmations control the thoughts that you think thereby helping you to condition yourself to be exactly who you want to be. Using affirmations on a daily basis is one of the easiest and simplest action steps that you can take to change your negative self-talk thereby changing your self-image.
Take one negative belief about yourself and transform it into a positive Affirmation. See the examples above. Repeat it every day for thirty days and it will become a part of your belief system.
Wishing all of you positive changes for 2014.
Therapeutically yours, Shoshana Levine, LCSW