With the holiday season upon us, everyone is out looking for gifts to give others. Yet it’s also important to consider the gifts you can give YOU. The greatest give you can give yourself is yourself—filled with self-love. Unfortunately, many people have a hard time giving this gift is hard and are more concerned with giving others love than they are in giving it to self. That’s backwards!

January is Self-Love Month and I encourage you to think about beginning the new year with an effort to love yourself. Don’t just make self-love a New Years resolution. Take my 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge, a pledge to do something loving for yourself for the first 31 days f the year, to jumpstart building self-love. Hopefully, if you enjoy it, you’ll continue to be kind to yourself every day.

Self-love fees great! Loving yourself and who you are creates a satisfying feeling of contentment. Instead of fighting with yourself, beating yourself up or being hard on yourself, you accept yourself in your own imperfect skin. Romantic love feels great  but being able to give love to you all the time trumps that! Here are 10 reasons to build your self-love:

Self-love attracts love. While it’s an almost played out philosophy, it remains that truth that if you want love, especially from a romantic partner, you have the best chance of attracting someone healthy and loving if you’re healthy and loving to you. The Law of Attraction helps with that. But in addition to that, loving yourself radiates out from you and makes you more attractive, to everyone, whether at work or play.

Self-love motivates taking good care of your health. When I began to love me, I also began to work out in the gym with a trainer, run in the park, take vitamins and supplements, and be more vigilant about what I eat. Loving yourself makes you want to take good care of the one body you have. Doing whatever you can to improve and maintain your health says, “I love me!”

Self-love is spiritual. Not loving yourself is not. It’s hard to be spiritual and not like yourself at the same time. You may pray to God and go to a place of worship and try to be a good person but if you’re not being loving to you, something is off. The more you love yourself, the more you have to give and the stronger your faith becomes. God wants you to love yourself, not just others!

Self-love helps you appreciate yourself. It helps you view yourself through the lens of love and acceptance, not criticism, self-doubt, beating yourself up for your imperfections or only seeing what’s wrong with you. It allows you to recognize and celebrate the good qualities you have instead of ignoring them until the day you lose those extra pounds, find a way to make more money, get the hair you envy in others, or whatever shortcoming you make more important than the good person you are.

Self-love gives you a 24/7 best friend. Other friends may come and go but when you love yourself, you’ll always be there for you. At that point you can learn to enjoy your own company so you’ll never feel alone. Since I fell in love with me I began eating out, traveling, going to shows and movies, for walks, etc. on my own and love it! When I didn’t love me I treated people to join me so I’d have company. Self-love makes you the best friend you could possibly have since you know what you need and will get it.

Self-love helps you make healthier decisions. While I still occasionally eat French fries, chips, rich desserts, etc., I do it in moderation. When I didn’t love myself, I never considered how I hurt my body by consistently eating unhealthy food. I ate it for comfort, as a substitute for the love I didn’t have. Now that I love me, I think more about what to eat. It also helps me to say “no” to things I don’t want to do, clear toxic people from my life, and never settle for the best in a romantic partner. Self-love is a barometer for your choices that motivates doing things that are better for you.

Self-love improves your self-image. As you see yourself through the eyes of love, your perception of you gets better. I went from thinking I was fat to having a hot sexy body without losing a pound! Self-love changed my opinion of me and enabled me to build good self-esteem and strong confidence. Over time, the more you love yourself, the more you trust yourself. That helps you take more risks and to follow your dreams!

Self-love can help you look and feel younger. The peace and joy that self-love brings can be like a tonic for your soul. That can affect how you carry yourself and your energy level. When my self-love got strong, I bumped into some former students who I hadn’t seen in several years. They asked if I’d found the Fountain of youth since I looked so much younger than when they’d last seen me. No, I explained, I found me, and love the me I found. I no longer had the weight of feeling lousy about myself in my face. Strong self-love can make you glow, just like you do from romance.

Self-love fuels the train out of DoorMatville by helping to break people pleaser habits. The more you love yourself, the less you’ll tolerate poor behavior from others. The more you love yourself, the more boundaries you’ll set. When my self-love got strong, the train out of DoorMatville was waiting for me. I got on it and never looked back! Self-love motivates protecting yourself and doing things that make you feel good. It makes you the most important person in your world so you’ll please yourself first.

Self-love leaves you with a lot more to give to others, for healthier reasons than buying acceptance. When you’re not putting all your energy into being a people pleaser so people will like you, you’re more motivated to help others from a place of kindness. And doing good for others nourishes self-love because it feels so good! People pleasing doesn’t! It leaves you feeling used, taken advantage of, etc. Self-love radiates out and back when you give of yourself.

I encourage your to build self-love so you can experience the kind of joy I feel today. It’s a lot more satisfying than jumping around to please people who don’t necessarily value you or give you back what you need. Love yourself enough to be good to you! When you take the 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge—to do something kind for yourself for 31 days—you begin to set the foundation for loving yourself for the rest of your life!

Take the self-love challenge and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at http://howdoiloveme.com. And you can post your loving acts HERE to reinforce your intention to love yourself. Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE.

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