The importance of investing in ourselves!
In podcast episode #15, I explore why it's important for us humans to invest in ourselves - and why we often forget!
Because if you're like most people, you've probably had periods where you've forgotten to prioritise and remember yourself? Maybe for shorter or longer periods. Either way, you've probably felt the consequences too.
When we forget to invest in ourselves; in body, mind and spirit, it often manifests itself in forgetting that the very basics and fundamentals are important for us to thrive. But because many are so focused on the practicalities of life and the daily grind and everyone else expecting something from us; family, children, friends, work etc, we often forget about ourselves. We forget that we need to nourish ourselves with good healthy food, lots of water, sleep, rest, time in nature and all these other little and big things that are important to each of us. For example, cozying up with a good book, or maybe it's a round of golf every Sunday, or maybe it's self-loving and nice to take the time to go to the hairdresser or book a massage because, for the third month in a row, your shoulders hurt.
Because if we forget - or for other reasons, fail - to invest in ourselves, it will be felt. For some, it is felt physically, mentally, spiritually or in other ways. But either way, it's important for us as human beings to remember to make ourselves a priority. We are allowed to be 'selfish' and remember ourselves. We may also remember ourselves before we remember everyone else. We may care for ourselves before we care for everyone else. We may say yes to ourselves before we say yes to everyone else. But the problem for many is that this is difficult and we are driven so far away from our own 'selfish' needs (which aren't selfish at all, but it usually feels that way) that we run on fumes. That we get sick. That we are chronically tired or exhausted. That we have a short fuse. That we don't take care of our health - physically and mentally.
We simply forget about ourselves and our own needs because we are often busy pleasing and looking after everyone else's needs before our own. And yes, there are certainly times when it makes sense and is necessary. If you are a new mother or father, then there are some needs of a little new soul that are more important. If a family member is dying and needs you, well, that's more important too. And there's nothing wrong with periodically being there for others. The problem arises, however, when we almost by definition forget ourselves and are not there for ourselves.
"So start checking in with yourself, maybe daily or weekly, what your needs are"
So start checking in with yourself, perhaps daily or weekly, what your needs are. It might change from day to day, week to week or month to month. So make it a habit to ask yourself what you need. What you feel like... and then start acting on it.
Every week I have a new little to-do list where I write a few things that I want to focus on and that are my needs. Sometimes it's a 30 minute walk, sometimes a foot bath or some other 'self-care', sometimes it's fitness in front of the computer screen. Sometimes it's also about cutting things out and things you can do without, rather than always having to do something. For example, not watching the news before bed, or not eating sugar or drinking too much coffee. Little things here and there that are nourishing, self-loving and uplifting are what we will benefit from focusing on and prioritising in our lives. Because when we fill up our own cup, well then we have the energy to fill up the cup of others who need it and for us.
So having a little to-do note every week is one way to do it. There are a ton of ways to prioritize ourselves and be more self-loving. The brilliant Tony Robbins also advocates setting big and small goals in life, and believes that to be successful at it, we need to be 'SMART'.
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Achievable
R - Realistic
T - Timeframe
In this way, he believes, we are more likely to achieve our goals. Whether they are big or small, whether it is a long-term or short-term goal (e.g. a weekly to-do list), is kind of irrelevant. But he believes that we need to make sure that our goals follow this SMART model so that we achieve success and are not weighed down by 'failure' or when things don't go quite as hoped. We all know about our New Year's resolutions, which often fall through after a relatively few days or weeks. And with this model, we get to reflect a bit on why we want to achieve a particular goal, what the underlying reason is and how we want to achieve it and when.
If you want to know more about the importance of investing in yourself, listen to podcast episode 15, right here