It’s January, and a whole new year lies ahead of us!

This is a time when many of us make resolutions for positive changes in our lives – a tradition that can be both exciting and overwhelming… or even disheartening as we consider our current state of being, and the reasons we wish to change.

My intention as a body image expert and self-love ambassador is to give you the tools you need to strengthen yourself in heart, mind, and spirit. You don’t need to wait for a New Year’s Resolution. There is no time like the present to embrace change with those we love… and with ourselves.

The following tips are some helpful changes you can make so that 2018 is your best year yet!

1. Accept your fabulous self just as you are. And please don’t downplay your worth by comparing yourself to others. Ever. We are all unique individuals, and such comparison is a waste of energy. Go grab my self love tools to utilize TODAY.

2. Take complete responsibility for your circumstances and your outcomes. You are where you are today because of choices you have made in the past. But the good news is that you also decide where you will be tomorrow through the choices you make today.

3. Erase the graffiti of negative self-talk. Scrape off the layers of demeaning words and insults. Then give yourself a fresh coat of positive self-talk. When you continuously offer yourself morale-boosting feedback, you will feel happier and freer about who you are.

4. Exercise to increase your life force and vitality. Research indicates that regular low-intensity exercise (such as a leisurely walk) increases energy and reduces fatigue. Having more energy will allow you to do more of the things you want to do, which can translate into both fun and satisfaction.

5. Improve your time management skills. This is a proverbial hamster wheel: when you’re feeling down, you manage your time poorly… then tasks pile up and you feel worse. Reach out to someone you know and love who manages their time well, and ask them for help. They’ll naturally find a way to fit you into their schedule.

6. Avoid negative people. Or at least limit your time with them – even if they are your family. There’s a saying that goes, “You are who you hang out with,” which means that over time you take on the attitudes of the people around you. Make sure that you’re investing in yourself by spending time with people who are positive and optimistic. Ask yourself, “Do I walk away from this person feeling nurtured? Or depleted?” If it’s the latter, it is time to make some changes.

7. Make a list of your role models. Start spending time with them: read their books, watch their videos, listen to their podcasts. Focus on the characteristics that you admire so much, and strengthen those areas within yourself.

8. Think ahead. Planning is power. By the time we’re adults we know what to expect at these events, and the holiday spread is not usually a mystery to any of us. Practice responsibility with food and alcohol by going through the outcome in your head. Fill in the blank for yourself: “If I eat/drink this, the result will be ____.” Make sure you go for results that make you feel good rather than guilty.

9. Ask for help if you need it. Seeking support is a sign of strength – not weakness – so stop making excuses and assuming that help is not out there. There are coaches, therapists, and support groups out there for all of us. If cost is an issue, there are resources available for those with little or no money (e.g. donation-only programs).

10. Make the first month of the New Year your “no-complaint” month. Spend January focusing on gratitude and praise for your life rather than pain and regret. What can you be grateful for today? Consider keeping a daily gratitude journal. It’s also helpful to place sticky-notes around your home with positive affirmations on them to remind you that you’re not complaining this month.

11. Focus on creating a sustainable planet for future generations. Start with yourself, because how you treat your body and how you speak to yourself has a ripple effect. People want to save the world, but it has to start at the level of the individual: embody mindfulness and respect within yourself, and then it can spread through your home, your community, and so on. Whatever energy we are giving out affects those around us, and we are responsible for choosing that energy… for ourselves, and for the planet.

12. Recognize that we all have an inner martyr or victim. While it is healthy to acknowledge them, we do not have to give them our power. Instead, know yourself as a leader who has an impact on her environment. Own that power and use it to serve the world!

Self-acceptance is an ongoing process and I know from my own experience (as well as that of my students) that the freedom that comes with these changes is absolutely worth the time it takes to turn these tools into a regular practice.

We all have the ability to change, starting with accepting where we are right now, in every moment. @laurafenamore (Click to Tweet!)

What changes are you excited to make this year?

Do you have any other self-love tips to share?

Please let us know in the comments below.

Laura Fenamore, Body Image Expert, Coach and acclaimed Author is on a mission to help women around the world end the constant battle with their bodies and start adoring who they see in the mirror. Her approach walks students and readers through the heartfelt journey to self-love at any size or age by unlocking the secrets to a lifetime of emotional, physical and spiritual health. After overcoming a lifelong battle with addiction, obesity, and eating disorders, Laura released 100 pounds – keeping it off for more than 28 years. She chronicles this journey to self-love and health in her widely acclaimed book, Skinny, Fat, Perfect: Love Who You See in the Mirror. Learn more about Laura’s programs, or invite her to speak by visiting

Image courtesy of bruce mars.