It’s all about you

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?

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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?

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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.

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Top 5 Tips for Putting Yourself First

  1.  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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.

Maggie Currie

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Professional Transformational Coach, Consultant
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING

Website:       http://www.maggiecurrie.co.uk

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/maggielifecoach/

Email:            hello@maggiecurrie.co.uk

 

Looking after YOU first.

How do you respond when someone makes a request of you and it really is not something you want to do?

I suspect you try and search for an excuse, such as I am busy that day, I have to wash my hair…..and all these excuses seem very lame to you. And so you say yes, against your better judgement.

BUT, what if you could respond confidently to the request? What if you could say no without guilt?

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The question has just been posed.  Pause.  Were you going to say yes, even though there’s a voice deep down saying “no”?  What possible reasons could there be for saying no?

  • It’s beyond your means?
  • It’s beyond your comfort level?
  • You have no interest?
  • You have to wash your hair?

Identify all the reasons you have for saying “no.”  Identify which stem from a lack of confidence, which would be detrimental to you and which come from a sincere disinterest in fulfilling the request.

What would happen if you said yes?  Perhaps:

  • You would be considered ‘one of us’
  • It would make your friend happy
  • Your visibility with other people may be improved
  • It would make you miserable

Would you feel comfortable with your self if you were to say yes, even though you knew it would not be in your best interests?

Saying “no” is hard for so many of us.  A false sense of guilt often comes into play.  Whether this guilt has its foundation in religion, a proper upbringing, or a world view that simply says “it’s not nice to say no”, we know it is there lurking in the background and make decisions  based upon it, even though deep down, we know it is not right for us.

New for 2013. From confusion to clarity – Becoming ME again

 

So you have made the decision, after scientifically weighing the results of your cost/benefit analysis, to honestly say “NO”.  Practice it in the mirror. Say it clearly and self-assuredly.….in the mirror.  Look yourself in the eye, and do it.  Just say “NO.”

Say it like you really mean it, and then say it again as if you speaking to whoever asked you the question.  When you pretend you’re speaking to the person who made the request, does it come out differently?  Practice and experiment with different ways to say “NO” until you find one you’re comfortable with.

Then go, and say “NO.”

Sometimes, if you have always given in to others,  guess what happens?  After all that practice, getting the tone right and pretending you are talking to the person who asked you the question, you may just be surprised to find that they are not willing to accept it!   They may try to push you to say yes, rephrase the question, or make a new, not altogether different, request.   This is where your personal boundaries come in to play.

Know your boundary—what ARE you willing to do?  Revisit the questions you asked yourself before. If you are really serious about saying “NO”, then stick to your guns.  Tell the person making the request that you would appreciate it if they respected your wishes and boundaries, and ask them not to ask again.  If you are comfortable expressing your “reasons why” then do so speaking from your personal perspective.

If you are going to say NO, you must say it in a way that means NO!  In a firm, yet polite voice with a firm tone.  Also, if you want to say the reasons why, keep it short and sweet.  When saying NO remember the power of non-verbal communications.  Look the person in the eye when you say the NO.  Shake your head at the same time as saying NO.  Stand up tall.

Don’t forget that when anyone asks a question of you, it is perfectly OK to say, “Can I think about that and get back to you”.   No-one should be pressurised into giving an immediate answer.  It will give you some time to think it through and to gather your thoughts.  It will also give you some time to think about how you are going to say it, the words to use and your body language.

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Practice makes perfect as they say!  Remember you must look after yourself first.  This is not selfish, it is a necessity. Practice in the mirror and soon you will:

  •  feel much more confident and proud.
  •  find that practice makes perfect—the more you confidently say “NO” the easier it becomes.
  • Others will respect your wishes and take you seriously the first time you say “NO.”
  • You won’t find yourself doing things you never wanted to do in the first place.
  •  have more time to focus on the things you do want to be involved in.
  • The list goes on from there…

I have learned  how to look after myself first and how to say no without guilt.  I have learned that my boundaries are vital to my day to day living and that once people are aware of those boundaries they respect them and me.  That isn’t to say that I always say no, I know when to say yes and when to say no.

So if you’re looking to finally take control of your life and make a change, why not drop me a line and we can talk it through.

To book in for a FREE 15 minute discovery call please Email me.

 

Maggie Currie

Thought Leader, Speaker, Author, Survivor
 
Contributor to BBC Radio, Vectis Radio, Susan Rich Radio
Published author and regularly write articles for national and international magazines.
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Find out more about me on my website.