If you’re looking to set a 2019 goal, there can be a lot of pressure to achieve traditional “life goal” events — like meeting someone, getting married, or having a baby. But if you’re heading into the New Year single, rather than giving into societal pressure to settle down, why not focus on making 2019 the best year of your single life?
“If your 2019 goal is to find a partner, it may be time to reevaluate,” Joanna Townsend, a life coach and a Washington D.C.-based psychotherapist for Blush Online Life Coaching, tells Bustle. “Your relationship status does not and should not define you. Relationships also take work and finding a partner is not magic. So instead, focus on aligning yourself with who you are and what matters most to you as an individual to live your best single life this year.”
Just because you’re flying solo, there’s nothing stopping you from having an amazing, fulfilling life — in fact, you get more time and resources to focus on getting to be the best version of yourself. When you’re in a relationship, your energy is split between you and your partner. Here’s how to head into 2019 living your best single life, according to experts.
1. Practice Self-Care
Making time for self-care is crucial. “Consider your emotional, physical, psychological, social, and intellectual self-care needs,” Townsend says. “Practice self-acceptance, self-love, and self-understanding. Live your best single life this year by really honing into what fulfills you, helps you grow, and contributes to your sense of purpose.” It might be yoga, it might be travel, it might be martinis with your friends —whatever works for you.
2. Let The Past Go
If you want to embrace 2019, it’s time to let yourself off the hook for any mistakes you’ve made in the past. “You have a fresh start so there is no sense in looking in the rearview mirror at the shoulda, coulda, woulda,” Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and the owner of Exclusive Matchmaking, tells Bustle. “Look forward and learn from them, but know that this is your year.”
3. Express Gratitude
If you want to really love your single life, it can help to take a moment and practice gratitude. “When you wake up, think of three things you are grateful for each day before grabbing your smart device,” Trombetti says. “Life is short and you should take stock every day.” Just taking a few seconds every morning can really make a difference.
4. Set Authentic Goals
With the New Year approaching, everyone is setting goals — and they can be really useful. “Living your best life starts with taking the time to think about (and commit to) defining what your best life actually, in functional terms, means,” Joshua Klapow, PhD, clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, tells Bustle.
But the type of goals you set matters. “Think less about goals that are hiding behind external validation and self-limiting beliefs (ex. weight loss or higher income) and more about goals that reflect who you are authentically and genuinely,” Townsend says. It’s a great step toward loving yourself.
5. Take Small Steps
Rather than setting lofty goals and struggling to meet them, focus on the little steps. “Make small changes that move you toward your goals,” Klapow says. “What can you do to make it easier for you to change? Make yourself a list of the actions you can take.”
6. Spend Time With Your Support Network
Being single doesn’t mean being alone, so focus on the people you have around you. Not only is quality time with them really important, they can also help you achieve your goals. “Who can help you with this life change?” Klapow says. “Tell them what you need and show them progress towards goals.” It might be friends, parents, family, or even work colleagues, but recognizing the people in your life is so helpful — and rewarding.
7. Learn To Love Your Relationship With Yourself
Ultimately, living your best single life is about recognizing how amazing you are — and learning to love yourself. “Realize the best relationship you can have is the one with yourself,” Trombetti says. “Be kind to yourself and find joy everyday in the small stuff.” It’s the most important relationship you have, so nurturing it is so important.
There’s so much pressure to plot out the next year of your life, but if you’re heading into 2019 single then there’s every reason to embrace it. Focus on your relationship with yourself — and the rest will follow.