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Putting yourself first.

More often than not, I come across people who have trouble in succeeding, let alone even getting started with achieving their goals due to not having the "time" to even begin.

"I need to get the laundry done... bring the kids to practice... clean the house... go the grocery store."

"I have to make dinner for the family, by the time I'm done, I'm just too exhausted to do XYZ."

"I need to make sure the kids have their lunch."

"My spouse refuses to eat healthy, therefore I will have to make two separate meals which will just be too hard."

"My boss doesn't like it if I take a lunch or I just don't have the time because of all my work projects."

"I've committed to helping out at XYZ weekly event and it's taken up all my time."

The list goes on and on...

What is the common theme you see with these? The priority in all of these comments is focused on everyone EXCEPT for the person making the comment. We need to stop feeling like we are required to put everyone else - friends, family, spouse, children, work, school, organizations, first and only allowing ourselves whatever time is left over. Putting yourself first isn't going to make you look like a terrible, selfish person.

How can you expect to take care of everything and everyone else if you don't even take care of yourself? I get it, there is a joy to making sure that people are happy and taken care of, however, how can you expect to keep doing that if you aren't happy, both physically and mentally? After time it will start to weigh you down and you might even begin to resent those people you're always putting first, and the only person to blame will be yourself for allowing it to happen.

So how can we break this cycle?

Ask for help.

Do you automatically take on everything yourself, whether at work or home? Have you done this for so long that everyone just assumes you're going to take care of it and they don't bother stepping up to the plate? Well now is the time to STOP! Don't feel that the world rests solely upon your shoulders. Ask for help. Do you need to pick up a few items from the grocery store... the grocery store that your spouse passes every day on their way home from work? Well then, ask them to make that stop on the way home. Let them know how much you appreciate it!

Ask your spouse or kids (if old enough) to help out with dinner. Have them help cut up veggies, boil water, put something in the oven, wash the dishes. Start having your kids shadow you while in the kitchen and teach them how to cook. Before long, they just might beg you to let them make a meal! WIN!

Make a chart of all the weekly tasks that need to be done. See how you can split them up among the household so that everyone is chipping in.

Are you swamped at work? Go to your boss or coworker and let them know you have too much on your plate and could use some help with XYZ. Don't be afraid of looking like you can't do your job if you ask for help. Bosses are people too and everyone understands that you have a life outside of work. Remember, you are only one person!

Put your mask on first.

Make time out of your day to sit down for a meal, even if this means eating before your kids do. In order to take care of the daily happenings, you need to be well-nourished with enough fuel in the tank to keep you going and being productive.

Find 20 to 30 minutes out of your day for exercise. Do you find that you just don't have those extra 20 to 30 minutes to spare for your health, yet you can be on social media or in front of the TV for an hour? Change your priorities. That post or television show will still be there, but your health is not something that can be paused or scrolled past.

A few days a week ask your spouse to take care of the kids or make dinner so that you can get a workout in. Remember, you are a role model for your children. You need to show them how to be a strong person that takes care of themselves mentally and physically.

What will you do today to put yourself first?

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