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How to be happy with your body, no matter what

Learn to love yourself, beginning with accepting your body and be happy with it.

We all want to look in the mirror and be happy with what we see. But a number of factors can contribute to our lack of confidence. Self-confidence doesn't depend on the body you were born with, but on your attitude. Jealousy can be a main driver of body image problems. We're in a world that's inundated by images of those skinnier than us. Image proves to be more than surface-deep, because it impacts our behaviors, the people we hang out with, and our goals. Here's how to stay body positive and be comfortable in your skin.

1. Define your goals.

You want to be more beautiful. You want to be skinnier. You want to have better skin. That's great, but these goals are all too general. Pick something you can concretely commit to, and give yourself a deadline.

2. Tell your friends.

It's one thing to know what you want to do, and set a goal. But you won't have accountability for it until you tell someone. An audience is a huge motivating factor that can encourage you to keep going.

3. Plan.

Here's where you integrate your goal into a daily ritual. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Right when you wake up, instead of staying in bed looking at your phone, do 10 jumping jacks. These little things will add up, and even if you don't start seeing results right away, you'll feel them.

4. Do it.

Keep it positive. If there's anyone that doesn't think you can do it, prove them wrong. Use competition as a motivation. Don't listen to the haters. If you want something badly enough, you'll make it happen. Happiness is worth the struggle. And pretty soon, it won't be a struggle to conquer your goal if you keep that payoff in mind.

5. Reflect.

You've reached a benchmark, and now it's time to evaluate your plan. Has it worked? What can you improve? What are the next steps?

Loving your body is not something that happens overnight. If there are steps you can take that will make a little bit of difference, do them. You're the only one getting in your way.

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