At this point in my life I prefer to log compliments that aren't necessarily about my body but rather about other parts of me that I feel are more important. This tool is still helpful for me though since my love language is "Words of Affirmation" and I'm someone whos memory likes to instantly forget all of the kind words I've heard so that there is plenty of space left over for the negative comments that come my way. WELL DONE BRAIN!
My point: Feel free to alter the focus of your jar depending on what you need and what works for you!
I've purchased little journals for friends before to log compliments that they receive for a long time now.
We so often forget the kind things people say, that it is MARVELOUS to have a book full of sweet things to read when we're having a particularly rough day. This "The Year of Self Love" jar is just as awesome as those books; maybe even more so.
Here's why: we're so inundated with negative messages about our body that we still look in the mirror and scowl, cry, hide etc. I'm all about changing this pattern. I'm always up to try something new.
And while we don't need the approval of others in order to find value in ourselves, sometimes- in the darkest moments- it's nice to have an outside voice remind us of what we have forgotten.
So if you choose to make one of these, when you have a negative reaction to your body, I want you to go to this jar, read one and see what happens.
In order for this to work though, you're gonna to have to make a commitment to be hyper aware of the kind things people say to you! Pay attention to compliments- whether its a "HOT DAMN" or "Your smile is electric", write each one down on a slip of paper as you hear them. Extra credit: Maybe even ask for what you need! Request compliments from people you love. Tuck them away for the moments when you forget how perfect you really are.
The compliments could be from the past- something sweet that someone told you that you'll always remember. It could be a Facebook comment that made you smile. It could be a thumbs up from a stranger on the street. It could be about you as a person; "I love that you walk like you mean it" is one of my favorite compliment's I've ever received. It could be from you mom. It could be a from you; that time you thought you looked amazing and said so inside your head.
Write them all down.
Fill a motherfucking jar.
Fill it all year long. Fill one jar; fill ten jars, whatever allows you to acknowledge the positive talk that happens in your life. This will allow you the power to instantly thought switch when you start talking shit internally.
It is amazing what happens when you start listening for the good and then accepting positive compliments. Let them in. Feel them completely. Change the way your brain processes thoughts about your body. Rewire your brain. Neuroplasticity = fucking amazing and we can change our neural connections by creating new experiences. This can be one way to start.
Yes, you can make this with markers and kid scissors. Yes, it might seem a little campy and silly. Yes, it is an obvious concept. And YES it has the potential to make a difference in your daily life.
This is certainly a 101 step and some might argue that this places too much focus on our body + reinforces beauty standards when we should be working to remove them from our life all together. I actually completely agree; eradicating them from our lives altogether is the ultimate goal. But I also know that we (often) have to take baby steps while starting out on our body image journey and it's possible this is one step that will help you move forward. Progress is what I wish for you. Happiness, contentment, a fulfilling life and progress.
Learn to love you this year.
It's my goal too.