You Do You! 7 Tips For Putting You And Your Goals First
Take charge of your life! How to set goals and achieve them.
Raise your hand if your life feels constantly overbooked, stressful, and all-around BUSY. If you’re a woman, chances are you’ve got two hands in the air. We’re often happily helping out our kids, friends, and family, which means it can be easy to put our own goals on the backburner.
But, remember on airplanes how they tell you to strap on your own oxygen mask before helping someone else? Life works the same way. Before you can adequately care for anyone else, first you gotta take care of #1. That means YOU.
For example, making daily exercise non-negotiable will help you feel healthier and happier. As will canceling late night plans so you can get enough sleep, and shutting off your cellphone at bedtime. It’s all about listening to your body and giving it what it needs to feel awesome.
Luckily, we can help you make your own wellbeing a priority, while balancing selfless care for others. Since you’re the only person who knows what you need, we fully support you looking out for yourself, even if that means occasionally missing a baby shower or happy hour. Yes, it can be a mental shift, but it is totally possible! Here are some tips to help you master self-care while still being a good friend/wife/girlfriend/mother/coworker/human.
1. Find a Passion Project
First, figure out what’s important to you. What would make you excited to wake up? At the end of your life, what would you regret not doing? Have you always wanted to learn how to play guitar? Do you want to write a novel? Climb a fourteener? Apply for grad school? Get 10 hours of sleep? Chances are, these things have been on your to-do list, but never high enough on the list for you to get started on. That’s about to change.
On a side note: Make sure these goals are what YOU want. Not just what you think you SHOULD be, or what someone else wants from you. Got it? Okay, moving on.
2. Learn to say No
It’s one of the best lessons you can learn in life: how to say no. Everyone and everything wants to eat up all of your time. There has to be some boundaries, or else you’ll never have time for your goals. So when you’re invited to a dessert party, ask yourself these questions: Do I NEED to go? Do I WANT to go? How will I benefit? Is there something more important to me that I could do with this time?
It can be difficult at first, but one way to get comfortable saying no is to decline every invitation for 7 days. That’s right: say no to everything and focus on yourself instead. Just for a week. Try it! It might surprise you that the world won’t end, and you’ll feel better. #SorryNotSorry
If you want to stay on top of life, and heck, get AHEAD in life, you need to learn to prioritize. Sure there are things we all HAVE to do. Like going to work, for example. But outside of that, our free time is entirely ours to choose what to do with. And once you get the hang of saying no, it’s easier to prioritize your own goals ahead of the other stuff.
A good way to do this is to plan your day the night before. Write down your 5 most important tasks for the next day. Then, tackle them one by one, and don’t stop until they’re done! It’s easy to give up when you’re tired or a friend wants to go get pizza, but don’t forget your bigger goals!
4. Schedule Me-Time
When you plan out your week, make sure to put self-care activities on your calendar FIRST, before you start filling it up with other activities. Don’t wait until you feel like you NEED metime, just schedule it regardless! And then hopefully you won’t get to that terribly-stressed-out state to begin with. If you feel guilty, just remember that me-time will keep you motivated and well-rested so that you CAN care for others. #UnselfishSelfCare
5. Be Consistent
You could follow this advice and do great for a week, feel better about yourself and like your life is on track….but then what? You gotta build a habit! If you aren’t consistent with your metime, you could lose what you’ve gained. We’re not saying you should NEVER attend social activities or see your friends and family. But make sure you’re choosing activities that are most important. If you have a daily block from 9-10 PM scheduled for me-time, stick to your guns! Eventually your friends will get the idea that you’re unavailable at that time. They will still love you, we promise. (And if they don’t, that’s okay. The ones who matter most will still be there.)
6. Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Don’t forget your goals! Write them down, recite them outloud, put them on sticky notes all over your house. Your goals are the reason you’re carving out precious time for yourself, and why your friends are annoyed you’re not attending their barbeques. When you’re faced with a decision about how to spend your time, those sticky notes will help remind you of your passion project – that burning desire, the thing you NEED to accomplish.
Another thing we find super helpful is picturing ourselves in the future, achieving our goals. Imagine yourself summiting the peak, walking across the podium, launching your app. In that moment, will you really care that you missed your coworker’s birthday party six months ago?
Probably not, but you might care if you missed valuable time you could have spent working on your big ideas.
7. Expect Curveballs
There are no guarantees in life! Even when you’re focused and dedicated to yourself and your dreams, things won’t always go as planned. You might lose friends. You might fail. You might have to scrap your plans and start again. That’s all part of the game. Don’t give up! The hard work will pay off, and in the end you’ll only regret it if you never tried.
Good luck, friends! Keep us posted on your progress, and remember the golden formula: More sleep + better nutrition + passion projects in the works = better, happier you.
– The goodNes Crew