Tis the season for making resolutions to be our best selves. Committing to the gym, not smoking, eating healthier, all that fun stuff.
A new year is the perfect time to try and start anew. For most this means breaking through barriers within ourselves that may be preventing its from getting what we want. And what most women want is a loving, healthy relationship (men do too for the most part, but not quite at the same level.)
Here are five tips to make 2016 the year you get the love you’ve always wanted:
1. Figure out what it is you actually want and keep your eye on the prize.
Here’s an issue I see most women grappling with. They say they want to get married, or be in a committed relationship, but then they get caught up in situations that won’t get them where they want to be (friends with benefits situations, dating a guy who has zero long term potential).
I call these distractions “meantime relationships.” You tell yourself that it won’t go anywhere, it’s not a real relationship, it’s just for the meantime. There are many problems with these situations, most notably is that it never ends up being so simple. When you get involved with someone, feelings are inevitably going to come up. And while you’re so caught up in your meantime situation, you may not notice other promising suitors that come your way.
Relationships take a lot of energy and they can be downright draining at times. What’s the point in expending this energy on the wrong things? If you scheduled an appointment with the most amazing, sought-after personal trainer in the world you wouldn’t run on the treadmill for an hour beforehand. This would exhaust you and you wouldn’t be focused on the workout with the trainer, a workout which will actually get you where you want to be.
2. Ditch the guy who won’t commit.
Did you know that more breakups happen in January than any other time of the year? There are several reasons for this. Some say it’s because people want to wait until after the holidays, other posit that the stress of the holidays sets the demise in motion, and the theory I ascribe to is that people re-assess their situations and, emboldened by their resolution to make the next year a great one, they come to their senses and dump the guy who isn’t committing in the way they’d like.
If you’re relationship seems to be going nowhere, your guy won’t call you his girlfriend, he won’t say ‘I love you,’ won’t introduce you to his friends or family, or he just delays and makes excuses when it comes to taking the next step in the relationship…then you need to think long and hard if this is the kind of relationship you want to be in.
You deserve to be with a guy who wants to be with you just as much (if not more!) as you want to be with him. These relationships where the woman waits around for the guy to step up and commit usually end in heartbreak and an empty carton of Ben & Jerry’s. Make 2014 the year that you prioritize yourself when it comes to relationships and realize you deserve to have the relationship you want.
MORE: 5 Signs He’ll Never Commit
3. Look your best. Okay, this is an obvious one, but still important and worth discussion. Men are visual creatures, this is just a fact. As such, they respond to aesthetics. Looking your best isn’t just about appealing to men, it will also make you feel better. I’m sure you’ve noticed that when you’re wearing an outfit you love and your makeup looks great and your hair came out perfect, you just feel unstoppable. You stand a little taller, have more of a spring in your step, and you walk down the street knowing you’re a sight to behold!
Losing weight is by far the most popular new year’s resolution and gym memberships usually skyrocket in January….only to plummet back down again come February. Working out has an array of benefits. Yes, there’s losing weight and toning up, but you’ll also be healthier and happier. Try to figure out a workout regimen that’s realistic, but still effective. Adopting healthy eating habits has literally transformed my life and changed my appearance (I get comments on my skin everywhere I go!) so try to add more healthy foods to your diet and avoid anything that comes our of a package or a box.
I know we’re all feeling the pinch from holiday gift giving, but why not indulge in a few cosmetics that will enhance your finest features? Maybe a new mascara to bring out your eyes or a bold lip color to play up your pout. And the most important rule when it comes to looking your best is feeling comfortable in what you have on. If you feel stupid, it’ll show! Wear clothes that flatter your figure and makeup that enhances your natural beauty.
MORE: Easy Weight Loss Secrets for Fast (and Lasting!) Results
4. Identify your issues and fix them. Each one of us comes with baggage, some more than others. We all have issues that may be holding us back from becoming who we want to be and getting what we want out of life.
Maybe your parents had a messy divorce and you have trouble trusting men, maybe you were teased as a kid and lack confidence, maybe your first love cheated on you and broke your heart. Don’t let your past enslave you. Take control of your life and work through anything that darkened your past so you can enjoy a brighter future.
Whatever it is that’s making it tough for you to get the relationship you want, try to identify it and fix it. For some people it will mean going to therapy. Others might want to hire a dating coach. Or maybe you just need to read a few good self-help books on the subject.
5. Choose to be happy. Happiness doesn’t just happen, it’s a choice you make and it’s something you have to work on every day. It’s far too easy to get caught up in everything that’s wrong in your life and it takes a bit of practice to train yourself to look at what’s going right.
The problem with negative thoughts is they never come one at a time. The minute you start focusing on one thing that’s going wrong, all you’ll see is a life covered in crap. And if you’re one of the many women who thinks she’ll be happy as soon as she’s in a relationship…stop! Relationships do not lead to happiness and being single does not equal a life of misery. Relationships can certainly enhance your overall feelings of happiness, but they can never fill a void for you. Happiness always comes from within.
Put your focus on activities that make you happy rather than on finding a relationship. Living a balanced life will make you a more desirable person and you’ll be more likely to meet someone special.
MORE: 11 Ways to Find True Happiness
– SABRINA ALEXIS