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Every year, more than 41% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, with approximately 40% of those resolutions revolving around weight loss. So it comes as no surprise that I have been making that same New Year’s resolution for the past 15 years, too. I told myself that I would be more worthy, beautiful, and healthier if I just lost weight. But I have consistently failed at fulfilling this New Year’s resolution since I was 10 years old. I’m not alone, though. More than 48% of Americans who make weight loss goals at the beginning of the year, don’t succeed either. However, the worst part of this scenario wasn’t that I failed year after year, it was that I was just 10 years old, and I was already feeling the pressure of unrealistic beauty standards and I still do to this day.
The crisis of self-confidence in women is with us throughout our entire lives. Today, a 20% of 7-year-old girls experience dissatisfaction with their bodies, 42% of 11-to 16-year-old girls don’t like their body, and 66% of 17-to 21-year-olds say they are not pretty enough.
Whether I was 110 pounds at age 10, or now, more than 200 pounds at age 25, I have embraced my body year after year, but I have always felt the pressure to lose weight. The reason why half of us don’t follow through with our weight loss goals is because weight loss is not the answer to the crisis women experience every day. And it took me 15 years to realize it.
So, as 2016 came to an end, I decided to take a different approach to setting New Year’s resolutions for 2017. Instead of aiming for weight loss, I thought about the feelings weight loss would bring to me. In other words, what were my REAL goals? Were they to feel more confident, healthy, or happy? And the word “skinnier” never turned up in that list of feelings.
I made a resolution that doesn’t require a scale, but instantly provides me with those feelings I wanted. I spend an extra 10 minutes every day to express gratitude and love for myself just the way I am. Instead of looking in the mirror and saying “You will be beautiful when you lose weight,” I tell myself, “You are beautiful and you are enough, today.”
Daily positive affirmations can cure every woman’s doubt of self worth. If you say it, you believe it, and so will everyone else. If you are unfamiliar with affirmations, they usually consist of a list of intentions you repeat to yourself every morning that help set the stage for how the rest of your day, and life, will play out. This practice may be hard for some as they have never practiced self-gratitude a day in their lives. I still struggle with staying consistent in reciting my affirmations every day, but it’s a practice I wish I had discovered years ago. With this resolution, there are no 5 a.m. alarm clocks urging you to head to the gym, no diet plans, and no detoxing. It’s just pure self-love with instant gratification. It’s sort of magic!

Even if you are sticking to a weight loss resolution, adding a touch of self-love every morning will help you achieve it and the happiness you are looking for. Before I leave my apartment every morning I say positive affirmations aloud with conviction while looking in the mirror. My list of affirmations is pretty general and could work for anyone (see below). Sprinkle in some personal goals or mantras to make it your own, and let the magic manifest! 

My affirmations:
I am awake
My mind is free
I am creative
I love myself
My will power is strong
I am brave
I practice patience
I don’t judge people
My possibilities are endless
Everything is going to work out for my highest good
I am strong in mind, body, and spirit
Amazing opportunities exist for me in every aspect of my life
I love my life
I appreciate everything I have
I am positive and optimistic
I am a powerful creator
I create the life I want
I am excited about today
I choose to love with an expanded heart
I choose to work with a focused mind
I now release all of the drama and pain of my past. I consciously create my future
I have all that I need to make today great
I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.
Something wonderful is about to happen to me.

I wrote this piece for LifeSize Magazine.
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