goal-setting, self-care

Don’t wait: Plan to care for yourself now!

Why don’t you care for yourself yet?

Many of us remember making worthwhile goals to care more for ourselves. Maybe you made them when you realised you were unhappy and something has to change in your life; when a dear friend or family member became very ill or died; when you read something thought provoking and got inspired; or when it is New Year’s Eve and you make those New Years resolutions once again.

However in the cold sober light of your busy week, as the old work-home routines grind along and your loved ones still need you, those wonderful and exciting goals  to care for yourself usually get shelved. Does this sound like you?

Don’t wait! Plan to care for yourself now.

I have simple suggestions about planning to care for yourself. Then you don’t have to wait for the next New Year’s Eve or another crisis before you make your next attempt. Without the past fuss and bother, and before your family knows it – you can create small changes gently in your week so you care for yourself as well as for your family.

A simple way to develop the new ‘caring for myself’ habit.

Step 1: Decide EXACTLY why you need to care for yourself. Three years ago I began to plan regular exercise into my week. I did this because  I  realised one day, with a great shock, that very soon I wasn’t going to be fit enough to having the adventures I still wanted to have. I knew I was increasingly at risk of having small accidents and injuring myself,  that I would find it difficult to handle heavy luggage, and I definitely couldn’t imagine biking with my friends in Europe anymore. Three years ago I knew, without any doubt, that regular exercise at the gym under a good trainer would change my life radically for the better, and allow me to take all the adventures offered to me in the future. Going to the gym became a habit over time, and my fitness  steadily improved. Since then I have left the country twice on trips, had many other mini adventures, and and when I have accidents and hurt myself, I am still fit enough to recover relatively quickly. Check out my last post on ways to find one thing that. if you do it, will change your life for the better.

Step 2: Be ruthless. PLAN to care for yourself every week. At the beginning of each week write the days and  times you will care for yourself in your diary or on your calendar, as important appointments; then keep that appointment. Most weeks I make appointments in my diary to exercise at least 3 times a week, by going to the gym, yoga, swimming, and/or walking with friends. I have found that many of my other tasks can be planned around the exercise ones. And I have also found that “No sorry I ‘m not available then”, is perfectly okay to say to most requests invading those important and planned exercise times. Your time to exercise, buy and cook healthily, pursue an interest, study, or whatever that one thing is that  will change your life for the better, can be kept every week, except of course in some emergency situations. However, even then, don’t ditch your own plans to care for yourself without taking a moment to think. Before you say, “Yes sure I’ll help you right now,” stop and take a breath, and maybe you can help that person after or before that important appointment with yourself.

To best care for those we love in an emergency aboard a plane we are advised to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first  before we place the mask over our loved ones’ faces .  Planning to take care of yourself first by making weekly appointments so you do care for yourself,  means you will have more energy to care for your loved ones.

My next post  suggests ways you can make that one thing that you believe will change your life for the better, into a comfortable habit you hate to break.

I’m working in partnership with you the reader and I like to know what you are thinking! Please feel free to write your thoughts, questions, and comments at the bottom of this page. 

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