Today is Day 11 of my 31 Days of Self-Love posts to celebrate Self-Love Month with suggestions for jump-starting your own self-love and joining The Self-Love Movement™.

Often habits keep you stuck with behavior and responses that you don’t find satisfying or they don’t get you what you’d ideally like. You might be so used to saying “yes” to favors that you don’t feel comfortable saying “no” when you want to. Or you might automatically go to the cheapest brand in the store, even if you like a more expensive one much more. Or you take your power walk with a friend who goes much slower than you’d like to go. Or you’re dying to have ice cream on the first warm spring day while you spend time out doors but automatically think you shouldn’t have those calories.

I’ve heard about many of these kinds of things from people who feel a little sad that what they want seems denied to them. Is this you? It’s often necessary to give yourself permission to put your needs first, to say “no” to what you don’t want and to have an occasional treat that makes you feel good—guilt free! You might think it’s weird to give yourself permission to do something since it is yourself and after all, shouldn’t you be able to do what you want?

Yes, you should but most of us are too ingrained in doing things to please others or in habits that trigger a mindset that makes you automatically go against what you’d really like. An inner voice might deem what you want to do as wrong or bad or not right for you, since you’ve never allowed it before. That’s why it’s important, and self-loving, to give yourself permission to:

•    Say “no” to doing something that would inconvenience you or that you just don’t want to do. Just because someone asks, or people expect your acquiescence, doesn’t mean you’re obligated to always agree. You’re entitled to turn people down when you want to! I had suggestions for doing this in my post, “I Can’t Do It.” Say “I love me!” Tell yourself that just because you’ve given a lot in the past, it’s not your job to help everyone. Give yourself permission to set boundaries and do what’s best for you.

•    Splurge a little on yourself. I was brought up to be economical and always bought the cheapest brand—until I began to love me. Sometimes the more expensive skin care product, or coffee, or wine, was only a few dollars more, but I automatically grabbed the cheapest. To show myself love, I gave myself permission to buy my first good jar of face cream. It felt delicious to put it on, which made me smile and smile. It should be the same with whatever product does that for you! Give yourself permission to splurge on better products that you’ll use more than once. Each time you do it says, “I love me “ because you’ll enjoy it more than the cheap brand. That reinforces you deserve good stuff!

•    Allow yourself to eat something with more calories than usual because you’d enjoy it, without guilt. I had a friend who exploded with guilt whenever we splurged on a treat. We’d be eating out and she’d call herself a pig, and worse, with every bite. I doubt she enjoyed any of it and it ruined my pleasure too. I don’t advocate having cake or ice cream or other decadent things every day. But you should give yourself permission to enjoy an occasional treat guilt-free. I splurge more on weekends and eat healthy during the week. But if I go to an event on a weekday, I give myself permission to enjoy the food. I limit what I have so I don’t get a tummy upset, since that really doesn’t feel good. But I enjoy the permission to eat the goodies. Give yourself permission to enjoy whatever you eat and to sometimes eat things that you normally avoid.

•    Make time for exercise. Often we’re so busy it’s hard to justify stopping work or skipping chores to go to the gym or do cardio outdoors. Even when my plate is overloaded, which it often is, I always give myself permission to allow at least an hour several days a week to keep myself fit. Fitness and good health should be a priority. Without it, you won’t feel as good or live as long as you could in good health.

Giving yourself permission to do these and other things you withhold from yourself says, “I love me!” You can do everything in moderation—saying “no” to some people but not everyone, not going crazy with overspending but allowing yourself some leeway for things you’ll enjoy or that benefit you. When I began running I invested over $100 on a good pair of sneakers because I had a problem with my foot from exercising in cheap ones. It allowed me to increase my running time while decreasing any pain I had—that’s self-loving! Give yourself permission to do more things that say, “I love me!”


Join The Self-Love Movement™! Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Commitment and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at Read my 2012 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE.

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