It seems like it should be easy to put yourself first. To spend time doing the things you love and want to pursue. The problem seems to be that life continually gets in the way. Obligations and commitments. Families and jobs. Long laundry lists of items that need to be completed.
Making Yourself a Priority This Year
With life happening at break-neck speed, how do we find time for ourselves? How do we make a commitment to put ourselves first?
Start by setting some boundaries. It is easy to say “yes” to everyone and everything but often that leaves us overcommitted and stressed out. Learning to say “no” helps us to set healthy boundaries. Boundaries are the limits you place around your time, emotions, body and mental health to stay content with who you are. These borders protect your mental, physical and emotional well-being. Without healthy boundaries, we can quickly lose ourselves to work, obligations and the priorities of others. Good boundaries will help you to free up your time and enable you to live life on your terms.
Change your mindset
Some people feel that putting yourself first is a selfish act, however, when we spend time caring for ourselves, we are less tired and stressed-out and can engage more with others. Taking time for yourself helps you recharge. It gives you time to find your true passion in life. Once you have a solid foundation for yourself, it will be much easier to devote time to help others.
Prepare to succeed
To make yourself a priority this year it’s going to take a little effort in the planning department. Prepare yourself to succeed. It is the first step in overcoming the stumbling blocks that we often place in front of ourselves without even realizing it.
Each new year, it’s fairly easy to come up with a list of things that we would like to improve upon or achieve, however, we don’t always think about how we will accomplish our goals. If you want to start hitting the gym a couple of times a week or start eating healthier, that is a great way to make yourself a priority. Just be sure to map out how those things will happen. What things will you need to do to be successful? Pack clothes or lunches ahead of time? Set your alarm without the snooze button? Make yourself accountable by enlisting friends who share the same journey?
Think about what you want to do for yourself and then come up with a detailed plan to get there. When we fail at something it is generally because we were not properly prepared.
Put it on the calendar
If you want to get something done, write it down, allocate time for it and put it on your calendar. Make an appointment with yourself and keep it. Find a time that works best for you and make that time sacred. No cancelling. By making an appointment and keeping it, you can begin to create a new routine which can become a daily habit. No matter what you want to do for yourself — journaling, getting out in nature, exercising, taking a pottery class, or learning a new language — the effort you put in on a regular basis will pay off.
Stop comparing, criticizing and judging others. The only person you need to compare yourself with is you. Focus on your own dreams and ambitions. Are you getting better each day? Are you living your best life? Are you happy? By asking ourselves these kinds of questions we can assess how we are doing without looking to others for answers.
Focus on your accomplishments along the way and reward yourself for good work. Rewarding yourself is helpful when you are trying to build good habits. To be effective, rewards should be something enjoyable for you. It might be an external reward, such as a thing or an experience but remember that internal rewards can also be effective. Internal rewards are things like feelings of pride after completing a difficult project or satisfaction at being one step closer to your goals.
It is important to make ourselves a priority this year. Focusing on ourselves helps us to become more grounded and well-rounded individuals. It puts us on the path to making real progress towards our life goals. Knowing who we are and why we are here makes it easier to prioritize our wants and needs. Ultimately it will help us to live our very best lives.
Photo courtesy Pixabay/5688709