ILoveMeToday is a good day. How can it not be? My eyes opened. I drew conscious breath. My feet hit the floor.

Today is a day of promise. It’s one that lends us optimism to be new. To feel differently. To achieve more. To own more of our inborn happiness.

It’s the first day we haven’t disappointed ourselves this year. The first day we haven’t beat ourselves up. Though it’s just another new day and we’re no further removed from last year as we are from a simple yesterday, it still feels like a vast new world of time and space is spread out before us, beckoning us with possibilities.

If you’ve made resolutions, are considering doing so or even if you’ve not given it a thought, promise me (no, promise YOURSELF) that 2014 will be the year you allow yourself to truly love yourself. I’m not talking, “Oh, Cari, see, you’re not so bad.” I mean, “Damn, Cari, rock on with your awesome self!” (And mean it.)

I hope we all learn to fall head over heals in love with ourselves. In this condition. No buts. As is. Knowing I am enough. You are enough. Right now. Just like this. Today. In this moment. Supported by THIS breath and the gift of it.

From that mind space, all possibilities, all resolutions, all goals are achievable. Because it is when we truly accept ourselves and love ourselves that we not only want to, but DO, give the time and effort to taking care of ourselves. Long term.

The incremental resolutions and the motivating goals are important. They are. But the ultimate prize is in acknowledging—REALLY believing—that our happiness is not tied to them. Not determined by whether we cross the finish line. Ignore the cookies. Leave a bucket of sweat on the gym floor. (Or that we cross it last. Or have just one. Or only leave a cupful.)

Yes, many of us are going to pursue some lifestyle changes over the coming weeks. If we go about it smartly, the modifications we make will be ones that fit our lives…or that we can make fit our lives…now AND for many tomorrows from now.

Many of us start strong, but we struggle to keep going. This is so common. And it stems from restricting too much. Pushing too much. And otherwise trying to change too much too quickly.

Long-term behavior modification—adopting healthier eating and committing to regular exercise—is about moderation. Exercising most days of the week, most weeks. About nourishing our bodies most times we eat instead of just feeding ourselves.

Sure, enjoy those moments of having the occasional glass of wine, piece of pizza, cheeseburger or rest day from working out. Enjoy it. Occasionally. No guilt. Then make the next better choice for yourself in the next moment.

Most importantly, love yourself now. In this moment. Your worth is not a number on the scale, a piece of cake avoided, a burger indulged in, or a workout completed. You are enough right now, as is. Celebrate your you-ness.

So come on. Let’s own our shit and kick some ass in the gym and be mindful of what’s on our plate. Let’s just not do it because of the scale or how our jeans talk to us or, most importantly, because of anyone else. Let’s do it because we are worth being cherished. We are worth being adored. We are worth being taken care of. We are worth our own love.

No expiration date. No end to that resolve. For this day and for all new days. Happy New Year.