I don’t know about you, but this is one of my favourite times. A time when I take stock of the last year and where that got me and when I start to look at the year ahead and get excited about everything that I’m doing and aiming for in this year.
I’ve noticed that I’m not alone in this. Lots of people that I’ve spoken to in the past couple of weeks have been experiencing a mix of the dynamic “Right! the New Year is approaching and I’m going to do something different that’s going to make my life so much better!” and the well-known “Oh, but I’m too (insert the applicable response) ……..tired, broke, cold, miserable” excuse for inactivity. Do you recognise that in yourself or anybody around you?
Well, we’re going to look at how you can beat the winter blues simply by making it all about you. So I suggest that if there is somebody close to you that’s walking around feeling miserable… send this to them quickly! For those that have already beaten the blues and are charging ahead with making their plans for the coming year – well done! You can also use these tips to add more energy to your resolve.
With the many different roles that we undertake in our lives these days, we can so easily get caught up in playing each one and everything it entails that, for a time, we lose ourselves in the mix. It can feel like we’re doing everything for other people and nothing for ourselves. What we do on a daily basis can stop being about choice and start being purely about obligation. This can be particularly highlighted over the festive season when we drag ourselves up to go to yet another gathering when deep down we’d really like to stay in bed for a lay-in and really wish we’d never agreed to go in the first place! No wonder so many people feel burnt out by the time they reach the New Year.
Well when New Year gets here, and some of the demands have lessened, it will be a great time to step back and bring the focus back to you. Not only is it the simplest way of beating winter blues, it’s a great way to give an extra energy boost to your New Year plans and get next year off to the best start.
So be really honest with yourself, how good are you at focusing on you? How often do you put yourself before anything or anybody else?
For many of us, as we continue to juggle our commitments, obligations and other people’s needs, it’s not often enough. Perhaps we feel that it’s selfish to focus on ourselves when there are so many other people and jobs demanding our attention. But are we getting it wrong? Think about it for a moment. How differently would you feel if you put yourself first more often? If you were to do more of what you wanted to do? Would you feel more tired, stressed, time-poor, lacklustre? Or would you feel quite the opposite?
Our energy levels are directly related to how we feel. If we do little for ourselves we feel fed up, over-stretched, put upon and we tend to have low energy levels. With low energy levels we feel less inclined to do the things we know we need to do, let alone anything else on top. We also work more slowly and so become time-poor. Whereas if we consciously put ourselves first and look after our own needs and wants, we feel happier, more fulfilled, lighter and our energy levels soar. When we have more energy we’re more productive so we get more done in the same or less time, making it possible to fulfil our commitments as well as looking after ourselves.
Sometimes we get so caught up with the roles we undertake, the commitments we have and the people around us, that we forget that we have a choice. Try choosing one thing just for you, do it and see how different you feel. See also the amazing knock-on effect that has.
Top 5 Tips for Putting Yourself First
- Don’t say ‘yes’ when you mean ‘no’! How often do you do this? How does it feel? Not good? When you’re asked to do something, give it some thought and give an answer that’s true to you. You will feel so much better when you say yes only when you mean it.
- Do something different. If you feel tired or over-committed, the chances are you didn’t choose to feel that way. By consciously breaking your routine (even if it’s only for one day) and doing something out of the ordinary, you have taken back your right to choose. Choose something that will give you a buzz and see what a difference it makes.
- Know what gives you energy. Make yourself a list of all the things that put a big smile on your face and make you feel great. Things that are focused on and all about you. Then when you need a boost you have a ready-made list of pick-me-ups to choose from.
- Set aside time for you, and only you, regularly. Whether it’s signing up to a series of classes, doing an activity you really enjoy or simply setting aside a couple of hours at a time to do exactly as you please, that may include doing absolutely nothing. You don’t have to do it alone, just make sure that whatever it is, you are doing it for you. Put it in the diary and stick to it!
- Have a plan. If you know what you’re aiming for and you have a plan for how you’re going to get there… you will have all the motivation you need to drive you forward with the focus firmly on you. Imagine the energy that will create!
If anything resonates with you in this article, I will be delighted to hear from you, and of course be happy to help you.
I offer coaching and mentoring to you – for you to make the changes you want to in your life. To help you to have more fun, more freedom and less stress. That is it. There is no catch. I believe in you.
Professional Transformational Coach, Consultant
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING