Six Tips on Making Yourself a Priority
Doctors always counsel their female patients on the importance of making their health a major priority in their lives. However, for most women, that's much easier said than done.
It's the "I don't have time -- too busy -- everyone needs something all of the time" excuse. And, for the most part, it's true.
Women fulfill many roles in their everyday lives: mom, wife, friend, worker, maid, laundress, cook, finder of lost things, etc. Many women even report that they can't even get five minutes alone in the bathroom to do their business (little lone anything else) without hearing, "Mommy!"
But, somewhere along the line, you deserve to make yourself a priority, just like how you are dedicated to everyone around you. Balancing your work, home, partner, family/kids, social and daily time is hard enough...without factoring in any time that is specifically earmarked for you. But, you owe it to yourself to do it.
Why? Because if you don't, how do you keep recharging your own batteries to continue giving to others? You have to find a way to carve out some time for the things that are important to you.
As a health coach, I hear the excuse "I don't have time" frequently. Trust me -- I know how that one works. And, it seems legit, at the time. Between work and all of your obligations at home, it seems impossible to carve out time for a workout or meal prep. It's incomprehensible how you're going to fit it all in and still manage to get a couple of hours of sleep at night.
The thing that seems to most commonly prevent women from striding over this hurdle is that they try to conquer the seemingly insurmountable "how," instead of the "why."
When you start asking yourself why it's okay to make yourself a priority, you're on the path to success!
So, why IS it okay to put yourself first once in awhile???
- You're more than just a wife, mom, friend, worker, etc. You're a woman who has passion and goals. Maybe you want to drop 20 pounds. Or, perhaps, you want to establish a cleaner diet. Oh, and it could be that you'd like to train to run a 5K. Or, you want to fit into that fabulous dress for an upcoming class reunion. You have feelings, emotions and desires...and you have every right to pursue any (reasonable) goal you set, simply because it's important to you. Don't let society define your role -- form your own role description that includes prioritizing yourself, for once.
- Get over the guilt. Nobody else in your world feels guilty for taking a front seat to your needs or wants. They all take what you have to offer, without a second thought. You should never feel selfish for spending time taking care of yourself. After all, if you aren't happy and fulfilled, how can you make others around you feel this way?
- You deserve it as much as anyone. Consider all of those others whom you put first continuously. Yes, they deserve it. They are your kids, husband, best friend, sister, etc. But, you are important, too, and should be granted a priority role in life, as well!
- It's okay to say "No!" Learning to delegate and refusing to perform favors that seem to put you out is okay and will help keep you from stretching yourself too thin. Over commitment is huge problem for women, and once you realize that you don't have to do everything, life will seem so much simpler! Say no to the PTA bake sale, making a costume for the play or hosting an inopportune dinner party. Also, teach your children to do simple tasks that they usually expect you to do for them. As they get better at these things, you'll automatically gain some free time.
- You will quit wasting time in other ways. When you finally feel empowered enough to put yourself first sometimes, you won't squander away time wishing that you could do something for yourself. Instead, you'll be jumping at the chance to go and do it. Time management becomes easier when you have self-instilled goals at stake.
- Change is good. When you prioritize yourself, things will change. If you're using your time effectively for your health, those changes will feel amazing! (And, you'll wonder why you didn't do them before!)
Once you establish your own hurdles and decide to overcome them, you can find a way to get those workouts in, carve out time for meal prep, budget for Shakeology or conquer whatever other limitations are standing between you and your health journey. And once the meal prep is done for three days ahead of time, you will find you actually have MORE free time later!
The key is to know you're worth it!