But knowing it’s important to take care of yourself and actually taking the time, or making the effort to do it, is quite another thing.
Why are we so reluctant to carve out time from our busy schedules to spend time on ourselves?
Most people feel they just don’t have the time. Others may feel that doing something for themselves is selfish and self-centered. Still others may have been taught to put the spotlight on others rather than themselves and therefore feel guilty if they put their needs first. And then there’s the mindset of those who believe the only way to be good to yourself is to go somewhere or buy something extravagant – “I can’t afford to be good to myself.”
Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s possible to do something nice for yourself without guilt, shame, or the need to spend lots of money. I know, because I’ve done it.
After a particularly stressful year in which I consistently put the needs of someone else above my own, I was wiped out and feeling drained and unappreciated. Encouraged by a friend, I added the following as one of my Best Year Yet® goals: Do something nice for myself every week and keep track of what it is.
Here are some of the things from my list:
• Go to a movie alone
• Browse through my favorite book store as long as I want
• Take my mom to dinner
• Call an old friend from high school
• Get a pedicure
• Take an afternoon off work and drive to another town/city
• Drive to Chicago to visit the grandkids
• Get a massage
• Buy a new journal and start writing in it
• Wake up 30 minutes earlier each day for a week and read before getting ready for work
• Go tanning
And my favorite cheap thrill that keeps giving and giving….I went to a garden shop late in the season and bought a hibiscus tree. I’d had my eye on them all summer but just couldn’t justify the $39.95 price tag. Since it was the end of the season, there were only three trees left, each a little scraggly, just 3 feet tall, and on sale. I picked the best looking of the three and took it to the cashier who asked for just $3.
I was thrilled. I brought the plant home and put it on my apartment balcony where it bloomed bright red, double blossoms throughout the fall. Once the frost came, I moved the plant indoors where it continued to bloom through the winter and into the spring. I can’t tell you what a joy it is to see a big bright red blossom standing out from green leaves in the middle of January or February.
I still have my hibiscus tree. I’ve nursed it through a pesky infestation which caused it to lose every single leaf but I didn’t throw it out. It recovered and I’m still delighted by the beautiful blooms it continues to produce. Hardly a day goes by without a bloom and on its best day, it presented me with no less than seven gorgeous blossoms.
I will confess that at times I felt a little guilty about doing something nice for me so consistently, but I persisted. I wasn’t spending much money on my “treats” and I was actually finding the process quite a bit of fun. After 52 weeks of being nice to me, it’s become a habit. I feel more light-hearted and appreciated and I rarely feel guilty anymore.
I still delight in finding an inexpensive, if not free way to treat myself. I challenge you to do the same.
A really smart lady by the name of Jinny Ditzler once said: “ Our biggest obstacle is that we don’t take the time to appreciate ourselves. When we feel undervalued and unappreciated we lose our ability to make our dreams come true.”
Be good to you starting today. It’s the first step in making your dreams come true.
About the Author:
Kris Gleason consults with individuals, businesses, and organizations to improve personal and team productivity, while helping them to build a performance culture to sustain the improvement. She is a certified Program Leader of the Best Year Yet® System, designed to help teams work together in a healthier and more functional way, deliver breakthrough performance, and transform their organization so it delivers on its promise.
Kris has 20 years of banking experience with community banks and large regional financial institutions where her responsibilities ranged from retail banking, mortgage lending, training, marketing, and strategic product development. Kris spent an additional 10 years working with several firms that serve the financial services industry where her responsibilities were in the areas of marketing, sales, business development, and strategic planning.
Kris developed her passion for coaching while working for a securities broker dealer where her responsibilities included helping independent financial advisors develop annual business plans and then providing on-going coaching to help them implement their plans. Her interest in the area of coaching and her desire to help individuals and organizations achieve the best results possible is what led Kris to join Best Year Yet®.
In her three years since joining Best Year Yet®, she has led programs with such organizations as The Great Plains Girl Scout Council, Child Saving Institute, Homers Record Stores, AMI Environmental, Morey-Voorhees Financial Services, Pinnacle Bank Omaha, and Client Resources, Inc. She is now recognized as one of the leading facilitators in the Best Year Yet® global community of more than 300 Program Leaders.
Kris is involved in local civic and networking organizations. Her leisure time is spent reading, quilting, and spending time with her grandchildren.