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2017 was a very interesting year of self-growth and realization for me. To sum things up, I spent a lot of time at home fostering my business to create a better financial future for myself. I worked over 12+ hours 6-7 days per week on my blog, stayed up all night, neglected my diet and exercise, and overall, neglected my own wellness.
Not only did I push my limits physically and mentally, but I also experienced a lot of trying times that forced me to learn my emotional limits. Because I was so focused on working full-time, it became much more clear to me that I do not have time to waste on people or situations that do not serve me.
Since I have learned about what is truly important to me this year, for 2018 I’ve decided to put both feet into the water and work on reaching my goals with total commitment and dedication. This means putting myself first and above everybody else’s needs. Sound selfish? Not at all. In fact, I’d say that everyone should take this approach and put themselves first. Here’s a few great reasons why.
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#1: Your well-being is parallel to your success
We are in a strange culture where suffering and stress are self-induced. I’d also go far enough to say that we tend to believe that the more stress we have, the more we seem to be getting done. But did it ever occur to you that you’re more than likely able to accomplish more if you aren’t in a bad mood?
Whether it’s reading one chapter of a book every evening before bed, taking a day off to binge watch Netflix with face masks or going to the spa, you need to give yourself a break every so often and indulge in some much-needed rest and recovery. Constantly pushing yourself to work when you’re feeling burnt out will only make you pump out sub-par results at work. Ever try writing an essay when you’re having writer’s block? Working while uninspired is the same thing.
This year I could have produced better results had I taken more breaks or gotten enough sleep (I honestly feel like I could have minimized the number of nervous breakdowns I had if I did this too). If I had also been warier of my poor eating habits and more diligent about exercise, I would not have gained weight or dealt with constant aches and pains as a result of being sedentary.
#2: Your goals should always be your main priority
Never be ashamed to put yourself and your goals first. After all, it’s your life – why put your dreams on the back burner? You should always be striving to better yourself and your situation, no matter what is going on around you. Always make sure you are moving forward and not backward, even if that means just taking tiny steps toward your goal.
#3: Taking care of others will take away from you
You cannot help other people effectively if you aren’t in the position to. If you’re starving, what makes you think you have the means to feed others? While this might sound like an endearing form of love, this kind of selfless thinking will wind up taking away from bettering yourself and your own situation.
Taking care of yourself means refusing to lend people money if they have a bad streak of not paying you back. This means declining dinner invitations from frenemies who want to wine and dine you while digging for the latest dirt on you. This means drawing boundaries with even family members who are toxic to you in any way, shape or form.
Reflecting on this year, I feel that I could have avoided a lot of emotional damage if I had avoided certain people who were toxic to my well-being. I knew I had a lot on my plate, but as an act of selflessness I kept trying to help people who could not be helped, which wound up causing me more stress than I needed.
#4: Taking care of yourself first is a form of self-respect and self-love
I used to believe that having a strong work ethic and driving myself into the ground meant I cared about my success and the direction my life was going, but taking a step back I am realizing this kind of thinking did not consider my basic needs. I would often sleep less, eat poorly, and spread myself thin across not only my own projects but others as well. I was negligent in putting my own needs first.
Whether it’s taking a break, saying no to a toxic friend or focusing on your goals, putting yourself first is a form of self-respect and self-love. By taking care of yourself you are enforcing the belief that you are worthy and deserving of much-needed appreciation, gratitude, and rewards.
What’s your New Year’s resolution for the upcoming year? Let’s chat in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter below to get more blog posts delivered to your email.
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