Self-Care Sunday: Give Your Goal a “Why”

As we near the end of the first month of 2018, a lot of us are checking in with ourselves and making sure that our goals and intentions for 2018 are still in tact; while most of us have already fallen by the wayside at Week 2. While we all had lofty goals and everything sounded good on 1/1/18, by now I’m sure some of us may be slipping into old habits and forgetting why we set goals in the first place. One way we can overcome this hurdle, is by remembering one important question in all of this; “Why?”

“Why did you choose this goal over any others for the year to achieve? Why did you want this to be the one thing you focused on? Why did you want to succeed in this particular area in your life?” These are just a few of the questions that begin to build a foundation to finding out some fascinating information about yourself, and about the intentions you set in motion for your year ahead.

I am no stranger to this bad habit, and there have been many years that I have fallen into this self-inflicted trap; and by February, I was back to my bad habits. For 2018, I am trying to do things a little differently, and this year, I think one way to combat that first month of the year burnout, is to sit down with your list of goals and really dig glen to the root of why you made those goals in the first place.

If you have more than one, maybe they all tie into one common “why” for the 2018 year, or maybe you have different “why’s” for each goal; either way, each goal has an overall reason why you want to achieve it, and you have a right to yourself to find out what that is, and you owe it to yourself to commit to staying consistent with those goals.

Once you are able to really determine the why behind your overall goals, the mission for your life may appear a lot clearer to you, and also, your goal may seem a lot more important if you remember that there is actually a deeper reasoning behind all of this. You deserve to give yourself 100% effort towards working with achieving whatever you set out for yourself in order to make this a more positive and prosperous year ahead and sometimes it takes a little self-reflection to see that.

Asking yourself the question why also gives you the room to understand and know whether or not you need to alter or change your goals for the year. It’s never too late to make life changes, and sometimes you find that something you thought is for you, turns out to not be in your best interest after all. If that happens, you just have to learn to adjust your goals and put new ones in place. Life changes in an instant and nothing in this world I believe is meant to remain consistent. If things are meant to be changed then they can be changed and will be changed.

As we begin to dive into 2018, I encourage all of us to do some check-ins and definitely ask yourself the hard question of “why”. Find out why the goals we put forth are important, what will they do for our lives and how they will impact us positively. If they will not have any benefit to us, make some changes, but if they need to be modified, put forth the best effort into them that you can, because ultimately, you are the one striving to achieve them, and you want to be proud of the plan you put in place for yourself and what your were able to accomplish at the end of the year.

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Maximizing Quality Time with Quality People

In the hustle and bustle of life’s journey, we oftentimes get caught up with missing out on spending quality time with the ones we love.  One of the things that allows me to maintain a decent level of sanity, is being able to decompress, vent, laugh, cry or just spend time with my family and close friends.  They are something like a form of therapy for me; sometimes when my job, or other aspects of life are beating me down, there’s nothing more I’d rather do than spend time with some of the VIP’s of my life.
Some of us find this difficult, because with all of our responsibilities pulling at you, how do you find the time to fit this into everything else going on?  Well, I’ve always been a firm believer in making time for what you want out of life.  If you want to spend time with people, you have to commit to it, and make the time.  You also have to maximize the time you have and make sure it’s worth every minute.
How can you maximize your time with the people you care most about?  Here’s a couple of ways I have found you can make the most out of the time you have, with the people you love.
Silence your phone. Putting your phone on Do No Disturb (or only answering it for certain people in case of emergency) is a good way to maximize the time you spend with the people you love the most.  Nothing is worse than spending all of your time on your phone when you’re supposed to be having fun.  The most use your phone should get is to capture all the selfies and memories of your good time.  Do yourself a favor and unplug from the phone and focus on that human interaction.
Plan things together. Taking the time to plan things with those that you care about is a good way to maximize your quality time.  It also shows that you care enough to put things together and make the time with that person special.
Focus on the positive; put a cap on negative energy.  I know we all have that one person that we completely unload on when we are having a bad day.  They are the person who will allow you to vent with no judgement and let you get all of your emotions out.  One thing you want to keep in mind though, is that you don’t want that to take up all of your time with that person.  Take a vow to only spend at least 5 minutes of your time with that person venting and releasing that negative energy.  After that, release it, and focus on more positive things.  Do not allow negative forces to take over the time you are supposed to be spending with your friends and family.
The key in all of these things is to ensure that your intentions are well communicated and received.  If you’re looking to spend time with those you love, make sure you make the effort to make that happen and make the time mean something to you.  Not only will you find peace and happiness for yourself, but the person you are spending that time with will appreciate you much more for making the effort to make that time as meaningful as possible!

Self-Care Sunday: Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

For 2018’s first segment of Self-Care Sunday, we will be highlighting the topic of planning.  Last year (a couple of weeks ago to be exact), I wrote about planning out my 2018 year for writing (you can read about it here).   In this post, i outlined the importance of planning your writing out in advance and how it will lead to a more stress-free way of blogging and writing for the year.  I also touched on a little bit of organization last year in a self-care post here.   Last year, I was pretty consistent with writing and scheduling posts a couple days in advance; however, this year, I want to be proactive about having all of my posts (or at least most of them) scheduled out at least a month in advance.
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering by now, what does this have to do with self-care?  Well, I’d be happy to share some insight on my personal experience with how organization and planning help to enhance my wellness and self-care.
I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older, that the more hectic and out of sync my life is, the more heightened my anxiety is, the more stressed out I become and overall, my mood is just not that great.  All of these things have a direct effect on my self-care.  Even in your self-care, there is a level of planning that has to be done in order for it to be successful; you have to schedule out time for yourself, decide what you will consider your routine, research the pros, cons and benefits to your designated method of self-care, etc.  There are many aspects of this idea and I believe that a well thought out and planned life is a life destined for a reduced amount of stress.
Here are a few tips in order to plan for a successful 2018 personally and even professionally:
  • Get a calendar: One of the first things I did was buy calendars for the 2018 year.  I bought two; one for my personal/family life, and one for my blogging/writing.  I like to keep both separate, and plus i need more space in the writing one in case i need space to write more things down (lol).  Also, I buy colorful pens and highlighters and highlight all the important deadlines and due dates for projects, events, etc. that I have coming up initially at least six months out. Then, at the beginning of the summer, I will sit down and plan out the second half of 2018
  • Schedule in “me-time”:  While you have your calendar out, be sure to schedule your “me-time” getaways as well.  Although they are important, and we often do not forget about the time we have allotted for ourselves, it makes it more tangible and realistic when you look at your calendar and see that you’ve already got time booked with yourself in your calendar.
  • Make sure all your work is done between Monday and Friday: Professionally, I find that I work too many hours on the weekend, for FREE! I am an exempt employee, which means I do not accrue overtime, and anytime I am working after 5, it is for free and with little to no ability to flex my time.  My personal policy is I’d rather work a possible hour or two later, or come in an hour or so earlier, if it means I can leave my work laptop at home on Friday and not look at it again until Monday.  It is something I hope to adapt and keep in place in the 2018 year.  It will also give me more time to focus on my blog and my publishing company.
  • Learn to say no if your calendar is getting too full too quickly: it’s perfectly ok to tell someone that you cannot do something.  It is important not to spread yourself too thin.  It is also important to note that if you’re committing yourself to so many things for others, when will you have time to focus on your personal goals?