Are you a complete failure at being good to yourself? As women, it can be hard to turn our nurturing tendencies inward and focus on our own needs. If this sounds like you, ask yourself, When was the last time I put myself first? Ahead of your kids, before the chores, instead of your spouse? Most of you reading can probably say, “I don’t remember.”
I thought about this the other day as two o’clock approached, and I realized that I had yet to eat anything that day. The only thing I had ingested was half a cup of coffee, which was still sitting in the microwave where I had stuck it hours earlier to warm it. My kids had eaten numerous times, the dishwasher had been filled, two loads of laundry had been done, emails had been answered and the same toys had been picked up repeatedly. Yet, somehow I managed to completely forget about my own basic needs. With the New Year already in full swing, it is time to get real about my shortcomings.
I often find myself without patience and feeling irritable…when it dawns on me that I am dying of thirst or that my stomach has been growling for hours. I have been a mediocre version of myself because I am always putting myself last. When we don’t care for ourselves the way we should, how do we expect to be the best versions of ourselves? The fact of the matter is, we are constantly trying to be everything to everyone without considering what we need.
Unfortunately, there is no magic answer to fix it. There is no way to gain more time in the day. There are no Superwoman classes. We have to make sacrifices. That is just the way it is. There are not enough hours in the day to do it all, so you have to choose what is most important. You should be number one on that list because everyone else on the list is depending on you. It is time to stop making yourself feel inadequate -as if you can never do enough. Instead of making the same old tired resolutions that you’ll abandon before the end of January, start cutting the unnecessary out of your life. Make a list of the things you are going to stop doing in the New Year.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
“The only person you need to be better than is the person you were yesterday” – Anonymous
Guess what? You aren’t the best. You probably won’t be the richest of all your friends or the most beautiful person in your social circle. You probably aren’t the smartest person you know or the most successful – so stop making yourself feel like crap over it. It doesn’t make you a bad person. Focus on your strengths and what your goals are – not how they measure up to others. We all have our own journey, each with different paths and different views. Focus on your own.
Stop Putting Others First All the Time
It is extremely hard to carve out time for yourself. We all have obligations that pull us in all directions. We care for ailing parents, we do exhausting jobs, we care for kids, and we run to others when they need help. However, you do need time for yourself. Really. No matter how much you love your kids or how much work has piled up, you have to take a break from time to time. Whether you schedule a sitter for an hour (or just turn on Paw Patrol) or turn down that extra work at the office, learn to raise your hand and say, “I need help!” You can’t help anyone after you lose your sanity.
Recommended Reading: Get Off Your ‘But’ How to End Self-Sabotage and Stand Up for Yourself
Stop Saying Yes to Everyone
While it feels amazing to please others and support them, there comes a time when enough is enough. If you don’t know how to decipher when it’s ok to say, “Yes” and when you need to say “No”, you are doing a disservice to yourself and others around you. Why are you making yourself miserable to serve everyone else? Saying “no” doesn’t make you less likable, and it doesn’t mean you are selfish. If you need time to yourself or with your family, take that time and enjoy it. Twenty years from now, you will count the good memories you made, not the favors you did.
Recommended Reading: The Disease to Please: Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome
Diets are not sustainable. Those crazy fad diets or life-altering eating plans are great for a quick fix, but they are not going to help you stay at your healthy weight for the rest of your life. To get your eating under control, or to just start eating healthier, you have to make changes that you can live with. You have to factor in cheat days and special occasions because let’s face it, you can’t turn down chocolate cake forever. Being healthy is a state of mind and a way of life, not a quick fix.
Recommended Reading: Get Real and Stop Dieting!
Stop Losing Sleep
This might be one of the hardest things to quit. We are all trying to make more time, and cutting into our sleep routines always seems to be the first answer. Quit it! If you have a finicky kid that just won’t sleep, make a schedule with your spouse and take turns tending to them or try sleep training. If your workload has you up all night, ask for help. What is more important, a promotion or your sanity? Regardless of what is keeping you up, there are ways to get more sleep. Stop wasting time on Facebook and be more productive during the day. Buy dry shampoo and occasionally skip that morning shower. Delegate some of those everyday tasks or go ahead and skip them. You deserve sleep and everything else can wait while you get the rest you need.
Stop Chasing Unattainable Goals
We are all guilty of writing those grandiose lists each year and thinking, I can do it! I have a whole year! This time think about what you truly want and what is actually important. Know your limitations and work around them. Instead of just writing goals, write a plan on how to achieve them. Start with that yearly goal and decide how you will work each month, each week, each day in reasonable terms to make that goal a reality. Stop setting yourself up for failure and make goals that you can actually reach.
Become the best you this year and stop filling your life with the unimportant. Do not mistake busy for fulfilled. Find yourself this year and live the life you deserve.