Most people have grown up with an idea that good people always put others first. That, to truly lead a happy, productive, and good life, you must put your needs behind the needs of others. Good things will happen to you as long as you do the right thing, which is to put everyone else first. This is something that most of us have been taught. We should only care for ourselves once we have looked after everyone else. If we’re being honest, yes, the world does need more unselfishness. That doesn’t mean, though, that the only way to achieve that is by putting yourself last.
Your needs matter. Your cup needs to be overflowing to fill the cups of others. Unfortunately, many of us have fallen prey to the idea that everyone else comes first. That can be severely damaging to your self-esteem. We are subconsciously sending ourselves the message that we don’t matter as much. This leaves us open to poor treatment from others, in our personal and/or professional lives.
By meeting your own needs first you are more capable to support the people around you. Here are five ways to make yourself a priority in your own life.
1. Daily Loves
You work hard, you are run off your feet daily. Make yourself a priority by carving out time each day to do one thing that you love. You only live once so, why shouldn’t you have a bit of fun in life? You should get to enjoy your life every day. You took care of your responsibilities, so go enjoy 30 minutes, or however long you wish, to read, garden, play the piano, go to the gym or, whatever.
2. Tick That List
You probably tick things off of your to-do list daily at work. You have to. If you didn’t, your boss would be on your back. Does that level of organization extend to your home life or do you get so caught up in taking care of everyone else that you ignore that to-do list? You’d be surprised at how much stress and anxiety an untended to-do list can cause you. Make yourself a priority by ticking off one thing from your to-do list daily. The best part is that it doesn’t have to be you that does it – if you have a partner and/or children, then learn how to delegate tasks. While they’re tackling those tasks, you can escape for a moment of peace.
3. Identify Time Wasters
How do you spend your day? When you take an honest look at your productivity, you will easily identify activities and tasks that waste your time and offer you no value. Cut those out and you will find it much easier to prioritize yourself. Think about how much time you spend on social media or, running to the store multiple times a week… add that time up and you have an afternoon at the spa.
4. A Memorable Day
As a larger commitment to yourself, strive to enjoy one memorable day each month. It’s your big day. How will you spend it? This day is about just one thing – one experience, you have just one focus. This is a break that immerses you and feeds you as you need to be fed. It isn’t about some finished product, it’s about capturing a feeling. It can be whatever you want, after all, it’s your memorable day.
5. Set Boundaries
It’s important to set limits on your time and let others know what is acceptable. When we don’t do this it lets others know that we undervalue ourselves, which makes you a target. It will change your life. Take some time to determine what your limits are and start enforcing them with everyone around you.