If I asked you if you thought you made yourself a priority, would you be able to answer yes? Or would you answer yes, but not really be able to commit to making yourself a priority? Often we think we are making ourselves a priority, but in reality we aren’t following through.
Why do we do this, day after day? Sometimes it’s easier to help out other people before ourselves. We may have people depending on us for their care. Or maybe we don’t feel like we have enough time for ourselves. Maybe we feel like it’s selfish to put ourselves as our top priority.
All of those are valid feelings, but they aren’t getting us any closer to us avoiding prioritizing ourselves. I’m guilty of it, and I’m sure many others are. Making time for ourselves makes us feel selfish. How dare we carve out one hour a day to dedicate solely to ourselves? That’s complete madness.
That’s Where We Go Wrong
Wrong. It’s not selfish. It’s not narcissistic. It’s necessary. What kind of tragedy would it be to live a life where you were not your top priority? Without getting all cliche on you, you truly are the one person you have to count on from day one, up until the day you die. I’ve also said it before but you are your longest friend, you know yourself the most. From your first minute on this Earth to your very last breath, you are your own home, your own caregiver, your own soulmate and your own person. Now, why would it be wrong of you to dedicate time to yourself? If you’re still a little apprehensive, keep reading.
You may have noticed that there’s a common theme on social media and amongst ourselves. Although it has shifted quite a bit, the previous notion still lingers and disrupts us from making ourselves a priority. You may recall when it was imperative to stay late at work, to take every call to go in, and to work your ass into the ground. People would check their emails constantly, run into work without hesitating, and jump at the slightest opportunity to get ahead.
Now, you may notice people wanting more freedom. They want to work from home, start their own businesses, be their own bosses. They want to decide what to do and when they want to do it. People are still grinding, but their grinding for themselves.
Isn’t the Shift a Good Thing?
Totally! Absolutely! Support small businesses where you can! Make the leap yourself to start one if it’s within your means to do so. Whether you start your own business, or are still working for someone else (nothing wrong with either, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise). So where’s the problem? The problem is still that people are 100% available, they’re just shifting the availability from one audience to another. There’s nothing wrong with good customer service, that’s not what I’m forcing you to look deeper and deeper at. I want you to notice the word availability and why it’s an ongoing problem with us making ourselves a priority.
How Availability Interferes
What I want to draw your attention to is the more available you make yourself to other people, the less time you have to make yourself a priority. As humans, most of us want to help. We want to serve others and offer a service. It’s pretty much our livelihood. However, the problem is we let this get in the way of prioritizing ourselves.
We have no trouble giving to other people, because we can see the effects giving has. We can see the transformation and satisfaction in others. We have a harder time seeing it within ourselves. And even though we could spend hours and hours dedicating ourselves to other people, we still feel like it’s selfish to turn around and make time for us.
It’s Time To Start Prioritizing Ourselves
So this year, like the giving species we are, we need to turn around and start giving some of that love back to ourselves. We need to MAKE time for ourselves. We should be IMPROVING ourselves through daily tasks. We need to do things that are GOOD for us and make US feel like we’re getting better every day.
Every time that we say no to prioritizing ourselves, what we’re really saying is no, I don’t want to reach my full potential. No, I don’t want to achieve my goals. I don’t value myself. I don’t matter. Try saying those instead of saying you don’t have time for things, or you wish you could but couldn’t. Try admitting that you aren’t making yourself a priority. Although it may feel selfish, we’re still using excuses like those to cover up the fact that we don’t think we’re worthy of putting ourselves first.
We need to set boundaries in our lives to be able to make time to address our own wants, needs, and goals. We need to step back from saying ‘yes’ to anything and everything, while letting ourselves run in the same exact spot. We need to start saying no to things that don’t serve us, our time or our goals, and push them aside to make room for ourselves. No more excuses, no more putting us on the back-burner. No more treating ourselves any less than we deserve.
How to Stop Saying No to Ourselves
In order to make ourselves a priority, we have to stop saying no to ourselves. Turn our no’s into yes’s and our can’ts into cans. Each time you say no, I’m not going to do the thing that benefits me, you deny yourself of bettering yourself. So, in order to stop saying no, we need to change a few habits we’ve created that have gotten us this far. Below you will find a few tips for changing your habits so that you are easily able to prioritize yourself.
Take a Good Hard Look at Your Goals
Where do you want to be a month from now? Six months? A year? What are those goals? From there, break down those goals into workable chunks. What small goals do you need to do to accomplish those bigger goals? Do you want to run a marathon? Perhaps you can’t schedule ‘run a marathon’ into your after work time slot (maybe you can, I’m not judging). But maybe, you can break that ‘run a marathon’ down into sizeable amounts. Maybe you’ll run 1km after work for the rest of the week. Maybe next week 1.5. The week after, 2.
It’s harder to make yourself and your goals a priority when you don’t have a clear task at hand. Spend one hour today working on the blog, clean one room of the house, dedicate 4 days of the week to working out. Whatever it is, break it down into doable chunks.
Schedule Time for Yourself
It may not have to be down to the minute, but allot time for yourself each day or week to work towards yourself and your goals. In life, things change and plans move around, and you may have to adjust as life is thrown at you throughout the week. Planning the week before it happens and jotting down times you think would be appropriate for yourself are key. You may have to move them to other days, but you’ve dedicated that time for you. You’ve made a commitment to yourself to make that hour, that half day, that day about you and your goals!
Commit to Yourself
Once you’ve made a plan to spend that time on yourself, don’t back down. Challenge yourself to keep that commitment and work on yourself. You can ask friends if they can come over another night or say no to taking on a task that isn’t what you had planned for yourself. If life gets in the way, move that time. Reschedule, don’t cancel, time with yourself. Make that move to get out and workout, to write that blog post, to design your website. Whatever the task may be, you owe it to yourself to make that time happen.
Take Care of Yourself
When we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t be the best people we can be. This is for ourselves and towards other people. We can easily spread ourselves too thin, leaving us in a position of being overworked, stressed, and not able to create time for ourselves. This is why self-care is super important to be able to recharge and refresh ourselves, so that we are able to be the best people we can be. It’s important to take time for ourselves that is not working on us, other things, or our goals and simply unwind and relax. For self-care ideas, you can check out my post here.
Life gets busy and things happen. We get caught up in a cycle of missing our goals and making excuses for them. Stop sleeping on yourself. Your life is too short not to spend it working towards bettering yourself every day. You need to take the plunge and make yourself a priority right now, and start doing the things that will get you to where you want to be physically, mentally emotionally. For more tough love, you can check out my post here.
Did this post helpful? Is there anything that helped you prioritize yourself? Let me know in the comments!