Well, here we are again: we’ve taken on something new in our lives, something requiring extra time to handle.
How will we keep up with all the myriad things that already appear on our daily, weekly, and monthly calendars?
Some of us are blessed with the wisdom to prioritize and be consistent in managing our obligations. And, we make time for our exercise, Our relaxation, Our playtime. (Are those the ones people sometimes label “Old Souls,” because they seem to have a calm, confident view of what life is all about?)
On the other hand, there are those of us who play the “add one, lose one” game: take on another responsibility, drop off something else. And usually, it’s our own needs that get bumped off the list to make room. (Are these whom we label the “Work in Progress” folks?)
If you’re one of the “Old Souls”, CONGRATULATIONS! It’s daunting in this day and age, taking on new responsibilities, whatever they are. Contemporary life is crammed with fast-paced information sharing, multi-tasking at home and school and work. Knowing that one can not neglect oneself while caring for others is a major life lesson, but somehow you already know that. Either you were brought up that way, you’ve learned it over time, or you innately understand the necessity of self-care.
The good news: IT’S NEVER TOO LATE! The not-so-good news: IT’S NOT EASY!
Hint: A big note on your fridge or bathroom mirror (or both), shouting, “I will take care of ME today, too!” is a not so subtle, but effective, friendly reminder from yourself. Other techniques include REALLY SCHEDULING your yoga class, your mani-pedi, your girls’ night out, your lunchtime/after-dinner walks, your downtime with partner/kiddo/pet/parent/friend. Just thinking about doing it isn’t enough. Write it in every calendar so everybody knows. Allot the times you’ll be busy doing those things, and set alarms on your phone, computer, watch, or oven timer so you don’t miss the opportunity. We all know how precious time is. Let’s not waste it by flippantly throwing away opportunities through lack of planning.
Does it sound too organized or contrived? Sure!
But when doing something doesn’t come naturally, the way to ‘train’ ourselves to make that thing come naturally is through planning and consistent follow-through with action. Put it on the calendar(s), tell everyone affected, set alarms, AND THEN DO IT! After a while, it will become easier to make time for you. And it won’t be at the bottom of the list any more. It won’t get bumped off; it will become a part of the many facets of you.
Who knows what great and wonderful joys you’ll discover? Hidden talents and happy times make for a life well-lived, for yourself and for those important to you.
“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” — Maya Angelou"
Need some encouragement to schedule your life a bit more in advance? Time Block Template is a terrific inexpensive way to keep your life all on digital and integrated on your computer, phone and tablet. Prefer paper to get a handle on things? Try Panda Planner to help keep you honest about your time. Disclaimer: While I’m not an affiliate with either company, it’s what I’m using for 2019! Happy Planning.