You know the drill—every late December you start making a list of New Year’s Resolutions that looks all too familiar to the ones from last year, but you have convinced yourself that this year is going to be different…

You are stronger. You have more determination. You are feeling more motivated and committed.

And you are sick and tired of making resolutions and then breaking them by mid February.

As the saying goes, the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. So this year, I have resolved to not make any.

I like to think that we are all works in progress, ever-evolving souls on our own unique paths and although there will always be things we want to accomplish, goals we want to achieve and habits we want to break, we do not necessarily need to wait until day one of 365 to begin.

If we invest in ourselves every single day of the year and decide when it’s the right time for us to make certain changes, we don’t need to wait to begin. These will be things we are already doing. And maybe deciding they don’t need fixing at all.

I have realized that every year, the resolutions I make for myself are typically things that I think I should be doing rather than really want to be doing. And really all I want to be doing from this day forward is accepting myself, flaws and all, for exactly who I am.

Yes, I am very impatient. I curse a lot when I get pissed. I could definitely spend more time writing a gratitude list every week than a to-do list. I eat way too much chocolate. If I am honest, these things are part of who I am and I don’t really care much to change them.

Instead, I am resolving to live my life a little differently than I did in 2015. The resolutions are not based on ‘shoulds.’ They are based on truths that are mine and mine alone. They are what I stand for and what my life is going to look like moving forward.

My New Year’s Truths that Nourish my Soul:

1.      Putting Brittany first- I will no longer be putting everybody else’s needs before my own because that does not nourish my soul.

2.      Allowing others to make me feel small - Yes—strong, confident women I am, I still allow the words and actions of others to shrink me and make me feel less than I am. Not anymore! Because that does not nourish my soul.

3.      Judging myself - I am a women of integrity and excellence and that is how I live my life 90 percent of the time. The other 10 percent are choices I am not always proud of. Others can judge me, but I will no longer be judging myself. I know I am doing my very best. And judging myself does not nourish my soul.

4.      Telling myself even one more time that I am not enough - Other people’s choices have always made me feel I was not enough. My boss not giving me a raise, the guy in college who cheated on me over and over again, an insensitive comment somebody close to me made about my house cleaning choices and my dog… and these things do not nourish my soul.

I am enough for one person and that person is ME. I do not need to be enough for anybody else in this world. And I won’t be making decisions, choices or telling half truths to friends to look good anymore.

Take me as I am or don’t take me at all.

There is such freedom and self-love when we can embrace all that we are, and all that we are not in this moment. It doesn’t mean that we stop trying to achieve goals, accomplish dreams and push ourselves beyond limitations. It simply means that we stop telling ourselves we need to adhere to some list of “resolutions” each year to feel better about ourselves.

It means we own who we are and simply make promises to ourselves to treat ourselves with love, care and respect we deserve.

… Now that IS something I can stick with.

Brittany Epley is a recovering overachiever, a single mother to a Beagle puppy named Dixie-Rose and a spiritual gangster wannabe. She graduated in 2012 from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies) where she majored in Psychology and Biology and minored in English. Brittany recently moved back to her hometown of Richmond, VA where she is currently realizing that life and being a responsible adult is the craziest thing there is—and she is learning (aka struggling) to go with the flow.