Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Make Yourself a Priority

Why is it that we often put ourselves at the bottom of those never ending daily lists of things to do, places to go, people to meet, clients to call, kids to drive, groceries to get, laundry to do, things to build etc etc etc...You fill in the "to do" and you'll find that sadly, YOU, are not on that list.
We make it a priority to get up on time, but we don't make it a priority to get in a good 7-8hrs of sleep/night. We make it a priority to get the little ones off to the myriad of sports practices and games but we don't get ourselves outside to take a good brisk walk or go to the gym or use that expensive workout equipment we purchased with "good intentions." We make it a priority to sit down and watch 3 hrs of television every night (in 2009 the average American watched 2.8 hours of television PER DAY). I've seen people wait in line for a free burrito, sandwich or burger on restaurant promo days. I've read where people will stand in line for hours for the Grand Opening of some new burger joint. We will wait up to an hour to get a seat at a local restaurant on a busy night instead of preparing a fresh meal at home. Is THIS putting ourselves first? Sadly, in today's day and age, these seem to be the prevailing priorities even though people say they want to be healthy and happy. Unfortunately those things don't bring us health and happiness, they do nothing for us and can really be detrimental to our long term overall health and happiness! In order to be healthier and happier we need to make time for US. We need to prioritize so we are eating healthier and moving more, reducing stress and getting in active bouts of rest and recovery!
So how do you do this? Here are some tips...

As a mom, I think in mom ways but some of these examples can be applied to ANYONE, ANYWHERE. Think outside of what I have written and see how it can be altered to you!

1. It's OK to say....NO! We don't have to do everything! We can be super without being super tired, super irritated or super frazzled. There are lots of good things to do but choose the ones that mean the most to you! It has taken me a LONG time to learn this...but let me tell you, it's worth it in the end, try it!
2. YOUR time is valuable too! Have you ever noticed how QUICKLY time goes by while sitting in front of the computer? Give yourself an allotted amount of computer time...then get off! Another time buster is T.V. watching. Are you REALLY going to remember those 3 hours of T.V. per night months from now?! Likely not! So, pick a show or two that you really like and stick to that. People are often shocked to learn that we do not have cable in our home. I typically watch 1 and at the MOST 5 hours of T.V. per WEEK...that's it! Any more than that and I feel like a literal couch potato and I don't like that feeling!
3. Enlist some help! If it's not just you living in the house start delegating...especially with the kids. My kids started doing their own laundry years ago and do a lot more around the house...we're a family and that's what families do. They help each other!
4. If you can...HIRE someone to do it for you! Get a babysitter or pay a teen to be a mother's/father's helper one or two days a week! Ask around for a reasonable cleaning service or someone local looking to make some extra money. I'm learning these things myself, I didn't want to spend the money...but ya know sanity is worth something! I've been overwhelmed with the all of the TO DO's but we can't be all things all the time and I'm learning to let go of some of those responsibilities so that I can be the best me. PLUS, by hiring local people to help us out...we're keeping the local economy going and helping out others by purchasing their services. That's a win-win!
5. Put YOU on the list! Calendar yourself in! Carpool so that you can make time for yourself and use that time WISELY...right?! Rest, nap, go for a walk, go to the gym, work in your yard, visit with a something that brings something positive to your day or week!
6. Set a time to get to bed! If ALL of the laundry isn't folded...SO WHAT? I can live with a few wrinkles. If there are still dishes to do...let them go or delegate someone to do them the next day! There will always be that "one more thing" to do...and that one more thing can always wait! This leads to #7....
7. You're NOT perfect and you shouldn't try to be perfect! The real Martha Stewart enlists the help of others and hires lots of people to do what she can't so she can enjoy what she has!
8. Are you just sitting there? Do you just sit at those soccer, baseball, gymnastics, karate or swimming practices, games or meets? Get up and get moving! Walk around the track. Do step ups on the bleachers. Purchase a portable pedlar and pedal as you watch. Do some push-ups at a railing or counter. Do triceps dips on a bench.

9. Don't eat on the run! Do you run through the drive through on your way to practice or a game? In the same amount of time it takes you to wait in line, order then wait again for that sodium laden, processed, chemical, fat filled order you could take a few minutes at home (and enlist the help of the kids) to make some sandwiches, throw some fruit in a cooler and a jug of water to go! If you plan ahead a little I bet you could get more creative than that ;) That great calorie burning sports practice means nothing in the long run if kids don't practice good eating habits when they are young. As a "treat" it's OK but as a regular's simply not!

Maybe this should be Part One...there are places to start here! Give a few of them a try and let me know how it's helped you!
What do you think? Leave a comment below?

Thanks for visiting and remember...Baby Steps to a healthier, happier YOU!


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