Today I’m going to pull you out of your comfy little cocoon that you’ve created behind your cell phone wherever you’re reading this.
We’re going to bulldoze straight into the super hard topics.
You know, the ones you always try to sidestep, especially when nosy yet well-meaning family members, like Aunt Nancy, ask you how you’re doing.
No more burrowing under your false, “Oh, I’m fines” even though you squint your eyes when you check your bank account hoping that it magically grew and you avoid the scale because you devoured about 274 Christmas cookies last month (you might’ve eaten your holiday feelings) and you still haven’t run your numbers from last year because you’re realllllllllly afraid your business didn’t make a profit.
Or, you’ve never actually “run your numbers” because your personal and business accounts are actually…cough…mixed together and you don’t know how to figure out how much you made in your business last year.
Instead of continuing down this self-destructive path of “if I don’t pay attention maybe my life won’t blow up,” how about we figure out three serious self-care habits that will change your life in 2018?
And, I don’t mean lighting a candle each day.
I love candles as much as the next gal. (My favorite at the moment happens to be the Moroccan Amber scent by Nest. Oh my goodness…I wish I could bathe in that stuff.)
But, that’s not really taking care of yourself.
You need to do more than light a damn candle and try to meditate for five minutes a few times a week.
Three things that are a must for true self-care are: 1) getting right with money 2) paying attention to your body and 3) connecting and spending time with the right people.
Let’s break these down a bit further and turn each category into a specific habit you can create this year:
1. Getting Right with Money
When you read this, what were your first thoughts?
Did you cringe and think about your overdue bills? Did you high-five yourself because you think you’ve got it all figured out? Did you admit to yourself that you have a lot of work to do in this area even though it hurt to do so?
Before you move on, take a few minutes to think about money and your current relationship with it.
How did you get here? Has your spouse had a big influence on your relationship with money? Do you have the same relationship with money that your parents did when you were growing up? Have you created a relationship with money based on your favorite movie…Clueless?
Is your relationship mostly negative or positive?
Do you think negatively or positively about people who have lots of money? When you hear the phrase “rich people,” what do you think? Do you automatically assume those people are bad? Do you want to be one of those people? If you have negative thoughts about “rich people,” how are you ever going to become one of those people?
One way to improve your relationship with money today is to remind yourself that there are amazing people who have lots of money and crummy people who have lots of money just like there are amazing people who are broke and crummy people who are broke.
And, as you make more money, you have more power. That’s the truth.
You can change the world with money.
Plus, you need it to purchase the supplies for your business, to run your website, to hire a virtual assistant, to hire someone to clean your house so you can create more products or serve more people, to pay your mortgage, to feed your kids and your two golden retrievers, Bigfoot and Thor, to dress yourself, etc.
To make this money, you have to get right with money.
This means tackling your money issues.
If you’d like to join us, we’re focusing on this topic in Sunday Society this month. We’ve got a two-hour live call dedicated to this topic on January 26th. To join the call live or access the replay, just sign up for the membership program right here.
During this call you will learn so much about your own personal money issues and how to declutter them. (P.S. I’m closing Sunday Society membership within the next month, so if you want to join us before that happens…it’s time to make a choice!)
In the meantime or if you decide not to join, I’ve got a habit for you that will help you get right with money in 2018.
As you wrap up your work at the end of each day, jot down the following things in your planner or a separate notebook: how much money came in (especially if you have a business), how much money went out (out of your personal and business account), and one thing you’re grateful for that money has given you that day.
The one thing you’re grateful for could be something like the new shirt you feel confident in that you bought the previous weekend or the food you ate at dinner or the treat you fed your dog when you left for work and buy on a weekly basis. This will show you that money is important (not evil!) and it’ll help you become more grateful for what you have in your life.
Also, keeping tabs on how much money is flowing into and out of your accounts will make you much more aware of what’s going on in that area of your life.
This isn’t a habit you need to keep forever. It might become unhealthy to do this forever, but it’s essential to stop burying your head in the sand if that’s what you’ve been doing. Try it for the next six months and see how it helps you become so much more aware of what’s going on in your life financially.
That’s the first step to decluttering your money issues…you’ve got to know what they are before you can deal with them, right?
2. Paying Attention to Your Body
Entrepreneurs are usually pretty terrible at paying attention to their bodies.
They’re often very passionate about what they do, so they work until they literally drop or their spouses remind them that their married. Oops.
But, what I’ve found personally, from mentors I trust and from working with many entrepreneurs is that you actually get more done and do much better creative work when you take care of yourself.
We all want to do our best work, right?
So, we need to learn to slow down and pay attention to what our bodies need.
This isn’t going to be easy if you’ve been ignoring your body for a long time.
Your habit in this area is to tune in regularly and ask questions. You could set an alarm on your phone for every two hours or you could tune in before making decisions to get a snack or another cup of coffee.
When you wake up, listen to your body.
Does your body want to stretch? Does your body hanker for a glass of water? Does your head hurt and beg for you to ease into the day?
When you think about getting a snack an hour after lunch, pay attention to what your body is really saying.
Is it giving you signals that you need some fresh air and a short walk would give you even more energy than a snack? Is your body saying that you’re really just bored and looking for a reason to stop working? Is your body dehydrated and you’re confusing that for hunger?
The better you become at tuning into what your body really needs, the healthier you’ll get and the more productive you’ll become. You’ll also be happier.
It’s a win, win, win, win.
Try it tomorrow. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it the more you do it.
Don’t give in to your first craving. Really think about what your body needs and wants.
3. Connecting and Spending Time with the Right People
You introverts are probably screaming, “Nooooooooooooo” at the screen right now and that’s okay.
I’m a big time introvert, so I relate to those of you who don’t want to believe this is a big part of self-care.
But, it’s undeniable.
Humans are triable. We need real, loving connections with other humans to be happy.
I realized how important this was when I got very sick and was unable to leave the house except for doctor appointments. My immune system was practically non-existent which meant that anytime I left the house, I got sick, because being around other people who were even carriers of illnesses made me sick.
When my husband and I tried leaving the house, the first time someone would cough, I would recoil with terror in my eyes and we’d have to leave wherever we were. It wasn’t worth trying to do anything.
Now I get monthly treatments that make me immune to those illnesses. YAY! I can leave my house again and do things like eat out at restaurants and go to the movies.
During the time that I was kind of like the bubble boy, I realized how important friendships and connections are to my happiness, even though I’m the first person who will pick reading and cuddling my dogs over a cocktail party.
The critical piece of this puzzle is making sure that you’re connecting with the right people.
If the only person you chat with on a daily basis happens to be your mom and she’s also the most negative person you know and doesn’t believe you’ll ever make your business successful, she’s not the right person.
That doesn’t mean you should completely cut her out of your life. Moms aren’t easily cut-out-able. But, you should find someone else to talk to daily.
Maybe another creative entrepreneur who knows what it’s like to try to build a business while working a day job. Or maybe your cousin who always makes you laugh when you catch up. Or maybe your friend from college who you lost touch with and have been meaning to reach out to.
And, you shouldn’t ever put all the pressure on one relationship.
Your spouse, your mom, your best friend, your business partner…one relationship can’t take all the good and bad. It can’t support your every need. That’s too much to put onto one person and will create a lot of strain on your relationship over time.
So, the third habit for serious self-care in 2018 is to do something each day to build or strengthen the right relationships in your life.
If you need more relationships, start there. If you’ve got the right people in your life, do something each day to make those relationships even better or to connect to one of those people.
If you do these three things in 2018, you’ll have made huge changes in your life by the end of the year–the kind of changes that literally change your life. This is what true self-care looks like.
What are you going to do this year to take care of yourself in a thoughtful way?