Monday, June 16, 2008

What’s Your Priority?

Don't be a time manager; be a priority manager.
~ Denis Waitley

I facilitate a gathering of women that meets every Monday morning, called the Healthy Lifestyle Group. It's a special interest group of our local branch of the American Association of University Women. We support each other in eating more nutritiously, being more active, and keeping a positive attitude.

This morning, I asked those present to do some brainstorming with me about what constitutes a healthy lifestyle. Besides the obvious of eating in moderation and exercising, we came up with the following:

* Keeping a journal - both of food eaten, and of feelings/attitudes
* Setting goals, and building in rewards all along the way
* Breaking old habits, which starts by being aware that they exist
* Eating at home as often as possible, so we control what goes in our bodies
* Prioritizing: what's really most important?
* Making time for yourself

That last one is hard for many people, I think especially so for women. We're trained from an early age to take care of those around us. We can become so busy that it's hard to make sure we're on our own to-do list every day.

But I know that making yourself a priority is crucial to living a healthy lifestyle. It isn’t about being selfish. It doesn’t mean that we stop taking care of the people and commitments in our lives: it means that we have more energy to do it! It means we’re saner and calmer, and have more to give to those we love because we care enough to give to ourselves first. It also means that we’re teaching our children and grandchildren to love and respect themselves by setting a good example of what self-care is all about.

Just like any other new habit we're working to adopt, making yourself a priority takes time. We must stay conscious every day of doing something good for ourselves - something that feeds our spirit, nurtures our body, and promotes our good health. It may be hard to squeeze in that time, but aren't you worth it?

There's an old expression that says we make time for what's most important in our lives. So let me ask you this:

Where are you on your priority list?

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There's still time to enter my Summer Blog Party Attitude Changes Everything Contest! For all the details, click here.

Until next time...


Lora said...

I seemed to actually have MORE time for myself when the kids were younger. While they were at school - I carved out time for myself to do crafts, take an aerobics class, read a book... Now that I'm working and taking care of a 3 year old most days, building a new house, renovating another to sell, and trying to keep up with a work-aholic husband - there isn't much time for me. I blog...that's "my" time. But even then I'm squeezing it in. *sigh*

Midlife Mom said...

You are so right we as women take better care of everyone else then we do ourselves. I find that an hour of quiet time most afternoons is a real energy booster for me plus makes me more sane! lol! I either read, occasionally watch something on HGTV or take a snooze. I highly advise it!

Deborah said...

What an awesome post!! And so true.

Unfortunately it took my hubby dying to open my eyes. I don't have anyone around now to take care of so now it's ME time. My (used to be) closest friend doesn't understand that at all and has told me she doesn't like the new me. That's why she is my "used to be" closest friend now. Because I like the new me and am going to keep her. My daughters like the new me too and they want to keep her.

RunningNan said...

my me time is my run time. I feel my best when I'm out there... Then i'm free for whatever I wanna do!

dadivastreet said...

Great post! I find I do so much during the course of the day for so many, yet I don't find time for myself. Thank you for helping me realize that I am a priority. I tend to forget.

Cammy said...

My me time is when I'm exercising. Something pretty serious has to happen for me to cancel a workout. Fortunately for me, nothing serious has happened! :)

And for the record, I didn't know the "old" Deborah, but I sure do like the new one. LOL

Exuberant Color said...

I am at the top of my priority list and it took me a long time to get over the guilt and feelings of being selfish. Once I got there though, the heart palpations rarely happen, the migraines come less often.

Manuela said...

Well, thanks to you I can add something to my "priority" list--UFO'S! I love that term, it's just perfect.

Top of that list is my basement (the depository of all things not being used, disposed of, etc.), then the garage and finally my cross stitching!

Needled Mom said...

Taking time for oneself is so important and it does wonders to lift the spirit.

We're having a great trip. Tonight we are in Banff, Canada and enjoying a good rainstorm.

irunbehind said...

thanks for the reminder!

i have to make myself remember that i have to take care of myself to be able to take care of others and therefore give myself permission for self care whether it be active or restorative. with a house full of kids this summer it definitely could use the reminder!

Barb said...

We (at least I) do need to take better care of myself, if not for me, then for those I love. After loosing a loved one recently ~ I realized that tomorrow may not come ~ I need to do it TODAY!