I don't really love the term "New Year's Resolution". Never have. To me it seems to require implementing drastic 180degree changes all at once until they inevitably taper off... making way for yet another need for major change come the following year end. I am however, a big fan of goal setting. I love to really dig in, assess all areas of my life, analyze what stands to be improved, figure out how to do it, make a vision board, charts, to-do lists... you get the picture. I even took a day long goal setting class on Dec 30th! Yes, I'm obsessed.
What's crazy is that this time around, I have found my major all-encompassing goal to be the same for both my personal and professional life! Above all else is PRACTICING DAILY SELF CARE, second to that is ACHIEVING NEXT LEVEL TIME MANAGEMENT & EFFICIENCY SKILLS.
I've been fortunate to be able to schedule some time for reflection in the past few weeks and it is clear that everything depends upon taking better care of myself. I know, this is old news here.... but somehow I have allowed myself to pretty much neglect self care for the past 2 1/2 years. I have been in a phase of life where my (business) baby has needed a lot of love and I was happy to buckle down and focus and make things happen. Not enough hours in the day to finish all my work? Not a problem, I'll just open my laptop during breakfast and work until bed time. You get the picture; and I know I'm not the only woman to overwork herself these days.
Recently, I've had an awakening that I want to share in case someone needs to hear it. I have learned that the more time I give to myself intentionally doing things that make me happy, the better I am at work. I find myself feeling so chill, even when things get stressful, and also being able to really connect with my clients and have a good time with them. Practicing daily self care allows me to feel like the best version of myself across the board!
Now, more about the approach that is working for me...
1. I CLOCK MY HOURS.
Even though I have some freedom when it comes to my schedule, and I don't need to punch in in order to be paid, I track my hours each day. Now I have a goal to stay under 45 hours per week- instead of being proud of myself for working 60+. I break down each work day into the time that is scheduled with clients and then I schedule in time blocks for specific tasks, with the day to not total more than 8 hours. This gives me a focused mindset to not let personal things creep in during work time or to tackle a random work task while I'm supposed to be relaxing at night.
It's working so well that I can't believe I haven't done this before.
2. I USE MY HAPPY LIST.
This is something I just thought of and it is seriously so easy! I tend to have a hard time leaving work alone (see above) and if I find myself with 30 minutes to spare I still sometimes need to force myself to think of something self-care to do instead of just starting work early. It's like I completely draw a blank and can't think of any of my hobbies or interests.
So here is what I did, and you can do it too! I sat down and had a brain dump (into the last page of my 2020 paper planner). I titled the top "Things that Make Me Happy", and then I filled in the page. I came up with things that are free and take less than 5 minutes to things like travel that can take several days and cost a bit more.
To put the Happy List into practice I simply make sure to do at least one thing on the list each day and if I am able to do more than that I celebrate it, I don't shame myself for not working day and night.
Need help with your happy list? Check out mine below for inspiration!
Things that Make Me Happy
Sitting in a coffee shop alone
The Art Institute
Having a Tidy House
Learning about Sustainability
Getting a Massage/Facial
Going for a walk in a different neighborhood
Accomplishing a one-and-done task
Spending time with a friend
Trying a new restaurant
Happy New Year!