Do you take care of everything and everybody first? Move your name up from the bottom of your list.
With Thanksgiving in full swing, Christmas and New Years just around the corner, planning for 2013, and a nagging feeling that another year has just about zoomed by, most to-do lists get rearranged to accommodate the bare minimum of priorities. Did you get to your healthy habits goals for 2012, or can it still be done? Or is that to-do already earmarked for 2013 and beyond?
Healthy habit goals that were set many months ago usually remain just that: goals. The true goal is to feel vibrant health and energy, fair enough, and the intermediate goals are seen as cumbersome stepping stones that don’t exactly inspire enthusiasm. No wonder we manage to ‘forget’ to do them! Before feeling overwhelmed and despairing, consider a different way to move forward to your healthy self in a softer, kinder fashion.
What putting yourself on your to-do list looks like:
Let’s assume that you have areas you’d like to improve in your healthy habits. There are only two ways that this is going: either you are moving towards those goals or you are moving away from them. I’d argue that there is no intermediate ground here. Sounds simple enough, so now what?
• Look at your list of things to do and ask yourself which of these are moving me towards your goals in general (being a great Mom, getting the rest you need, fulfilling your obligations, etc.), and which are moving you away from them?
• Ask yourself, what is one thing I could add in that would bring me closer to my goals today? This could be anything at all but has to make you feel better. Call a friend you’ve been meaning to call, buy those vitamins you heard about, bring a salad to lunch, get a 10 minute foot massage, pick up the new timetable from the gym, download a fitness app, wear your favorite nightgown, etc. Just one activity per day is enough for a start.
• See what you can delegate and rearrange out of the list of less empowering tasks - you deserve it! Being a bedraggled do-gooder isn’t inspiring for yourself or those around you. The negative self-message starts to be ‘I don’t deserve to feel good,’ and then you wonder why it is becoming your reality.
Getting out of a rut and out of overwhelm is as simple as taking one action step, just one. It works better if it is just a very little one, as simple as looking at a photo of your favorite grandmother on the mantelpiece and pretending she is watching over you today. Say hi back to her image! Say thank you. Promise her you will take care of yourself, put that one item each day on your list, and watch your goals melt away to reality.
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