01
Jan

jenn1How do You Make Your New Year’s Resolution Happen? The answer may be radical for you: Love yourself just as you are!  It’s that time of year again– when the year changes, and through tradition and history’s shaping, it has become that time of year for us to change too—it’s 2009 and so many of us are telling ourselves that we are ready to embark on the path of change once again … we want to lose weight, eat right, exercise more, become the person we have always wanted to be.

Well, here’s a new concept: Self-acceptance. How about taking stock of who you are, the good, the bad and the ugly and loving it all?!!!!!  Embrace your strengths, show yourself compassion for your weaknesses, the wonderful flaws that make you human, and decide today that the real way you will start to effect change in yourself is by starting with love. We all set ourselves up each year with unrealistic goals, and we tell ourselves that we will accomplish what we say we will. By holding ourselves to these overly ambitious standards, by putting this ridiculous pressure on ourselves, we set ourselves up for failure.

In the New York Times today, I read an article that resonates with what I am saying– that we are hard wired for slow change, not drastic shifts overnight … and it’s the process, the gentle movements that grow into great accomplishments and that bring you to the place where you can witness your own growth and utter the hard-won words,”I am truly proud of myself!” and “I did it!” The other things the Times article said is that we cannot do it alone. We need support and encouragement. We need friends who understand us and can hold our hand on that path we choose. We need to share our strengths and our weaknesses with others who can then recognize their own humanity in us, offering us their compassion and bear witness to who we are– where we start in the process and how we grow and where we arrive … how we struggle, how we cry and scream and strive … and how ultimately we come to discover the greatest gift we can offer ourselves– acceptance. The writer in the Tmes also spoke about Oprah and how she herself bemoaned that over the past year, she allowed herself to swing back up into the 200 mark, forsaking her svelte 160. She said that not only did she “fall off the wagon,” but she “let the wagon fall on her!” Does she want to get back on the wagon? Or on the horse? Yes, she says, but in an entirely different way this time … this time she says, “My goal isn’t to be thin,” she wrote in O. “My goal is for my body to be the weight it can hold — to be strong and healthy and fit, to be itself.” Once again, Oprah rises like a beacon,  an agent of change and healing and an example to us all, a reminder that we can accomplish more with kindness and positive reinforcement rather than self-deprecating undercurrents, punishing thoughts, guilt, promises broken, vows to “really do it this time!”  How about giving it all up and just saying, “Here I am, this is me. This is what I want. Let me love myself the way I would love my dog, my child, my best friend! Let me love myself and try something new and see how it makes me FEEL.” Let those softer, easier, nicer feelings infuse every cell of your body and mind and breathe in the thought: I love myself just as I am.” Bridget Jones’ Diary and Colin Firth come to mind– the watershed moment that turns the tide for Bridget … when Colin Firth says the unexpected: “I like you just as you are.” How about that moment?! How wonderful was that for her and anyone watching?! Isn’t it what we all want so badly in the end? To be loved just as we are? Well, folks, it starts with you, at home– home is “where the heart is,” afterall, right? It starts with your own self- your body, mind and spirit.  So I say to you, if the New Year is in fact a time for new beginnings, for change, then try something new this time, something radical, revolutionary, virtually unheard of in the “New Year’s arena of “THIS IS IT, CHANGE THIS YEAR, OR DIE!”

Love yourself. Just as you are. Accept yourself. Honor yourself. And ask for the help from a friend … choose a catalyst, something to inspire you, something to help you move gently, gracefully, powerfully onto this path of change, don’t try to run the marathon today … just put one tentative foot in front of the other and then feel the “tentative” grow into steady and then watch your mind and body follow, feel the celebration that starts to build in your spirit … and then be a witness to your own transformation and instead of hearing the empty, haunting echo “This time I’ll really do it,” knocking about inside your head be able to say and hear, “This time, I really did it!”

9 Responses to “It’s That Time of Year Again: The “This year I’ll really do it!” time again …”

Thank you for the inspirational words Jennifer! I believe in it ALL! It is often so hard for us to LOVE AND ACCEPT OURSELVES!!! We so often get in our own way with unrealistic demands.

Thank you and I know 2009 will be transformational for us all!

January 4th, 2009

Dear Jennifer,

I love your dvd’s !! They are so effective and make me feel both fit in body and mind . They are great stess relievers and before or after work I will use them and I even give them out as gifts . Thank you for making fitness fun!

Alice
January 7th, 2009

Diane,

Thank you so much for your message of appreciation and so glad that you were inspired by the entry!
Yes, I too believe that 2009 will be a transformational year.
Here’s to evolution and celebrating what really matters!

January 8th, 2009

Alice,

So glad that you love the work and thank you for your wonderful support and enthusiasm!

Happy 2009 to you and wishes for good health and peace of mind this year and always~

January 8th, 2009

Wow! You really have a way with words, Jennifer! I was just wondering: You quote many different people on your website here, including philosophers like William James, so I was wondering: Have you read Spinoza? And, What do you think of his ideas?

Ming Shan
January 13th, 2009

Hello Jennifer!

I \love your b\log and p\lan to check it often! Thank you not on\ly for the inspirationa\l words for 2009, but a\lso for rea\l\ly inspiring me to further my pi\lates education. Now that I’m back in NYC I am in the midd\le of a teacher training program - and I can’t wait to finish it so I can \learn even more from you!

Jennifer

ps- p\lease ignore a\l\l the backs\lashes, Jet has ruined the keyboard on my new \laptop!

Jennifer
January 16th, 2009

Jennifer! So good to hear from you and thanks for your kind words.

All my best to you and look forward to having you at future workshops!

January 27th, 2009

Jennifer,
What an awesome blog entry to begin the new year. Right after Christmas I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and my doctor said, “You’ve gotta exercise!” So I pulled out all my Jennifer Kries tapes and DVDs, blew the dust off them and started working out. I had gotten so lazy and so bad about feeling awful about myself that I completely forgot how much fun it can feel to feel your body move and feel it’s strength. I’m so excited to bust out my collection of your videos again that I can’t wait until tomorrow to work on another one. You’re my Go-To Workout Gal! When people ask me what videos I use I tell them anything with Jennifer Kries.

Your yoga helps me focus and center. The pilates makes me feel so strong! I could whine and grumble about having diabetes, but I’m not going to. Using the videos I have has just reminded me of how fun and wonderful it feels to be fit, focused and inspired.

A few years ago I could do that complete roll up, but depression and whatever just pulled at me. Now I’m starting over. I can’t do a roll up yet, but I did my best without hurting myself. And I feel great! I know that I’ll be doing those roll ups soon. Patience and practice and never giving up.

Thank you so much for sharing your gift!

February 23rd, 2009

Hi Jennifer,

Thank you for such an inspirational, compassionate message. I’ love your gentle, integrated approach. I still have (and do) Perfect Mix, Precision Pilates, and 3-D Toning on VHS.
:-) I also have All-in-One from way back on VHS.

Best wishes for a wonderful year, and may you be happy, healthy, and prone to random fits of laughter for no apparent reason. :-)

Mavis
February 27th, 2009