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Can striving to be better and loving yourself for who you are co-exist? I believe so Here are some tips to keep self-love with goals.

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It’s officially a new year! We’re back to normal work schedules. Kids are back in school. Life and routines are settling back into their norms. And many of us are setting goals, making plans, and trying to push ourselves to be a better version of ourselves.

Some people live for this time of year! And some people dread it. Wherever you land on the spectrum, I hope the tips below help you keep self-love with goals.

Goals vs. Loving Who You Are

I LOVE goals!!! I love learning, growing, and pushing myself. But I also believe in self-love, not putting unrealistic expectations on myself, and giving myself grace when I fall short.

Sometimes it feels like these two desires are at odds with each other. Can striving to be better and loving myself for who I am co-exist? Can I try to be better while loving who I am right now? Can I push myself to do more without pushing myself too hard? Can I set goals and be okay with myself if I don’t reach them?

I believe the answer is YES! These things can totally co-exist. But how?

I believe the answer lies in mindset. What are our thoughts about our goals or goals in general? And how do those thoughts relate to our thoughts about ourselves?

Let’s take it further.

How to Have Self-Love with Goals

When you set goals, take a few minutes to ask yourself these questions:

Are you setting goals that you feel you SHOULD be setting? Or ones you WANT to set?

With social media, we’re seeing so much of other people’s lives–how they live, how they spend their time, how they spend their money–and this can cause us to feel like how we’re living our lives is wrong or less than. Which just isn’t true!

For one thing, social media is just a glimpse of other people’s lives, and they get to choose what they show us and what they hide. So it’s not a very accurate or realistic picture.

And second, we’re all different! Which means we’re all going to live our lives differently. We’re all going to spend our time and our money differently. We’re going to have different goals and desires, likes and dislikes, beliefs, hobbies and interests, strengths and weaknesses.

And that’s 100% okay!

So when it comes to setting goals, stop looking sideways. Your goals don’t have to look like anyone else’s. Your life doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. You are the one who knows what you need. It doesn’t matter what it *seems* like everyone else needs or wants or is doing because you’re not them. You’re YOU and the world needs the things you want and need to experience and feel and do this year.

Are you beating yourself up when you fall short? Or looking at goals as a fun experiment to try something new?

Yes, goals should push you. But you’re also human. You’re going to mess up. You’re going to forget. Something else might come up that ruins all your plans (hello, 2020!).

What are you going to do when that happens?

Are you going to get frustrated with yourself? Are you going to give up? Are you going to punish yourself?

Or are you going to recognize that progress is better than perfection? Are you going to look at what went wrong and see it as a point of learning or growth? Are you going to allow yourself to change your plans, take a step back, or try again?

Goals are a great way to push ourselves to do more than we would otherwise, but we shouldn’t use them as fodder to beat ourselves up for being human. That’s not helpful.

So when you set goals, keep them fun and light-hearted and view them as an experiment to try a new way of living, but remember that you’re human and mistakes will happen along the way. That’s all part of the process!

Are you trying to change who you are? Or are you simply challenging yourself to do something that makes you feel happier or more at peace or more energetic?

It’s really easy to get caught up in the excitement of goals and, next thing we know, we’ve decided we want to change everything about ourselves. And that’s the opposite of loving ourselves.

It’s possible to want change in your life without changing who you are. You are you for a reason, and the world needs who you are!

But that doesn’t mean you can’t set goals to change how you live. Make sure your goals align with who you are as a person and what matters to you, then view them as a challenge to change how you feel. Will this goal help you feel more excitement for life? Will it help you feel more peace? Will it give you more energy? Evaluate how you want to feel this year, then align your goals with that.

What do you think? Can you balance self-love with goals?

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