It is very normal when pursuing our Goals and Dreams to get a bit out of balance. It is easy to let your own self-care, as well as other responsibilities and relationships temporarily fade into the background as you move forward. As you read the tips below, pay particular attention to which areas really stand out that you need to focus on.
Tip #1: Physical Self-Care. Make a plan to eat healthily, exercise 3-4 times per week, get plenty of sleep, and do some slow deep breathing. Taking care of your body will help keep you sharp and focused.
Tip #2: Emotional Self-Care. Ask yourself these important questions, What do I need emotionally to keep moving forward? What do I need emotionally to keep my feet on the ground as I focus on my goals? Listen to yourself, and take action.
Tip #3: Friendship Support. Check in with yourself on this important source of support. What friendships do you have in place that will sustain you as you pursue your goals? What type of support do you need? Everyone is different on this. For some it is time to talk, for others it is a good pep talk when discouraged, and for still others it might be a kick in the pants when you need it. Take the time to write down a list of friends you can go to for support, and what you need. Then take action to ask them if they'd be willing to support you in the ways you need. You aren't meant to do this alone so don't!
Tip #4: Spiritual Self-Care. If your spirituality is an important factor in your life, make sure to take time to nurture this part of your life. A healthy spiritual life can provide a great source of inspiration, purpose, strength, and stability.
Tip #5: Have Some Fun. Don't forget to take time to enjoy the good things in life. Think about fun activities that energize and rejuvenate you. Set aside time each week even if for just 30 minutes to do some fun activities. You are worth it, and taking the time to refresh yourself will help you do your best work!
Tip #6: Have Some Colleagues in Place to Brainstorm. It's so important to have like-minded peers who are the same path to challenge, inspire, and encourage you. Set up a regular meeting with a colleague, join or create your own monthly mastermind group. This support and fresh viewpoint will give you the motivation and boost you need.
Tip #7: Erase Your Negative Messages. A vital part of your self-care is wiping out as quickly as possible the automatic negative message we all struggle with. Try to not be surprised or derailed by them. When they come there are a variety of ways to eradicate them. Practice some of the following ways, and see which ones work best for you. For example, imagine that message on a blackboard and erase it; See it on a computer screen and delete it; or picture it as a mean old discouraging troll and blast it away! The most important thing is to face these negative and draining messages head-on, and get rid of them!
Tip #8: Practice Positive Self-Talk. Part of staying in balance as you pursue your dreams and goals involves coming alongside yourself as an encouraging best friend. Think about what you really need encouragement about, and write these supportive statements on index cards and keep one in your wallet, desk, or bathroom counter. Repeat these statements to yourself frequently. Here are some examples: What I have to contribute is meaningful and important; I can do it! Just keep going, progress comes one step at a time; I am meant to do this in the world; etc.
Tip #9: Nurture Your Closest Family Relationships. It's easy to neglect our family relationships hoping they will understand, etc. This is only realistic in the very short-term. Make sure to put time into the family relationships that are meaningful to you. Make sure to thank them for the varying kinds of support they are giving you. Don't assume they just know -- they need to hear it! Take the time to ask them what their needs are during this time you are focusing on pursuing your goals.
Tip#10: Ask Yourself How You Are Doing. Don't forget to check in with yourself regularly to see how you are doing, and what you need. It's easy to get lost as you pursue your goals. Neglecting yourself will lead to burnout, discouragement, and even giving up on your goals. Don't let it happen. Take time each night to see how you are doing inside, and respond to yourself in the ways you need.