We talk about new years resolutions and most people have something that they put out there with a desire to make a change in some area of their life. We begin all pumped and ready for action but as the start to the new year fades so does that enthusiasm and before we know it we have faded back in the day to day. Back in to the breakfasts and preparing lunches, school runs and kids activities and I know for a lot of mums this means that their personal goals and aspirations take a backseat.
How about this year as mums we all decide to commit to one thing - and I truly believe if you commit to this and remind yourself of it every single day then everything else will fall in to place. It has to. I want you to be selfish - to make yourself number one for a whole year. That doesn't mean to the detriment of your family - quite the opposite. As mums we are very good at ensuring that everyone else in the family (and often those outside that too) are looked after - that they are where they should be at the right time, wearing the right outfit, and eating the right foods. We organise the kids, the childcare, the family social life. We take upon mini (and major) projects; re-decorating the house, researching the best new car or washing machine, organising birthday parties and holidays - all the while taking care of the home and for many holding down a job too. Where does mum, as her own person, fit into all this? It is exhausting and if we don't find time to put our self first then we suffer and when mum suffers the whole family suffers.
Your 'selfish' pact for the 2012:
Take some time out for you to make a list.....conquer this first one and you are on the road to making more 'you' time
Make a list of the things that you REALLY want to achieve this year...... is there a course you have been meaning to do but always put it off as it's never the right time? Do you have aspirations to make a career change or start your own business? Do you feel comfortable in your own skin? Do you look the way your want to? Are you are strong as you would like to be? Do you want to buy a new home or investment property?
Make a second list of the little things that make you feel happy and nurtured..... is it reading a book? Sitting down for a cup of tea with no interruptions? (I've been taking a few extra minutes when I'm in the car alone to listen (and often sing very badly) to one of my favorite songs - I feel a little weird doing it, like I should just get out of the car and be on my way but allowing myself to slow down and stop for just a few minutes really helps to re-charge my batteries during the day) Taking an uninterrupted shower, chatting to a friend on the phone.
Next map out your week - draw up a weekly timetable and put in it everything you do during your week - do it day by day, hour by hour - colour code it if you like giving each family member a colour. Put in drop offs and pick ups and the time it takes you to do it. Swimming lessons and gymnastics, meal time preparation, bath time, story time and bed time....... clean cup time at the end of the day.....EVERYTHING.
NOW - look back at your first two lists - look at the goals and desire you have for this year and figure out where you are going to MAKE time to put that into your week. Where will the YOU time go?
Start to block out time to make the changes in your life that you want to happen. Block out time for your exercise and make it NON NEGOTIABLE - make it as important as your child's swimming lesson that you would never dream of cancelling for another appointment. Block out time to brain storm your business idea and make this as NON NEGOTIABLE as your husbands work meetings. This is how you will make progress in between now and this time next year.
Then put little re-charge moments into your day - just 5 minutes here and there that allow you to stop, remember who you are and what you like to do and that you are important too and your needs also matter. You have to be smart about these moments - think about where you can put them in - use the TV if you have to.... set the kids up with an activity or give them a bottle of milk and just BE for a moment or two.
How do I do it? I am very selfish with my exercise time - when life gets tough and things get busy it would be very easy for me to push it aside and get more things done in my day. However, I know what kind of a person I turn into - I get short tempered and snappy - I get antsy and need to move, I start to feel sluggish and uncomfortable in my skin. Mentally I feel like I'm going to explode and I crave that time in the gym or in the park that its just me and my iPod and a few friendly faces to say hi to. I feel good when I am moving and I feel good when I'm in shape - it's not easy to maintain all of the time but I make it a priority - I make it a NON NEGOTIABLE part of my life. And little re-charge moments like my ones in the car - I'm working on those ;)
Only you can make this year different and if you make the decision to be selfish, communicate with those around you so they know what is important to you and why, what you need to do to stay sane and make yourself happy and that it will be for the benefit of the whole family and I know you will have a great year ahead.