For 2021: Value Yourself
Love yourself for who you are, and trust me, if you are happy from within, you are the most beautiful person, and your smile is your best asset. ~ Ileanna D’Cruz
The new year is upon us. Most of us will make grand proclamations about the changes we will make. Damn near everyone is suddenly on a diet that almost everyone will have abandoned by Valentines Day. Lot’s of new exercise equipment and gym memberships are about to be bought and eventually become dusty and unused. This cycle is a bit mentally destructive, you see it focuses us on the failures we have, especially when it’s the fifth year in a row you have resolved to eat less chocolate, as you dig into a tasty Ghiardelli chocolate square.
So my hope for all of us is to break that cycle for the new year. I’m going to make a suggestion that we all do something a little different this year. Let’s be clear, I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t try to eat better, work out more, lose weight or drink less in the new year. These are all worthwhile life changes that would make you healthier and happier. There are lots of ways to achieve those goals and all I’ll say about them is that where I’ve had successes in my life on that front, has been by taking things slowly, forgiving the times you fall off your goals and just keep pushing. Beyond most things, believing that you can be successful is hugely important to actually being successful. Sounds pretty simple right?
Successful New Year Resolutions
One of the most important things that is key to personal success is confidence, or belief in yourself. But if you don’t already have that kind of confidence, how do you get it? Well like most things, it takes work, but work that is pretty easy to do. You build up your confidence slowly with small successes. So let’s say you have a goal of drinking less alcohol in the new year. Let’s also say right now you have a drink or two after work each night, occasionally more on the weekend. So, a lot of people will suddenly limit themselves to just one drink on a Friday night. Then they’ll have a rough day and boom, they have a drink and feel like a failure. Instead, start slowly, with minimal goals and celebrate their achievement. So start with having a drink every other day instead of every day. After a week of doing that celebrate the achievement and don’t make the reward a bunch of alcohol. 🙂 From there you increase slowly, go every 3 days, succeed, reward and keep expanding the time frame. Celebrating those successes is important as that is exactly how mentally you start to accept your ability to succeed.
So now that we’ve laid out a fairly simple process to help you achieve goals, how do we turn that toward the goal I’m suggesting for 2021, and what do I mean by valuing yourself? Let’s start with the second part first, far too often I see people devaluing themselves. Often you see it in the way people devalue their time. Far too often I see people agreeing to do things for other people that take up a lot of their time. Often this is just the idea of come with me. Now there are certainly times this type of request is important for support or even just to have fun, but often it’s just someone infringing on your time because they don’t want to be alone. Again, if it will at least be fun, great, but too often people go along, eating up their time because they don’t want to face the grief of saying no. This applies to all kinds of things, running errands for someone, cooking for someone, etc… usually little things that are inconvenient for you, but make things much more convenient for someone else. Often, these type of activities include add-ons. You’re going out to get lunch, someone asks if you’d pick them up something as well. So they place an order with you that is either utterly complicated or they throw the add-on of, since it’s on your way, could you drop off/pick up something for me?
I start this discussion with these little time sucks for a specific reason, they are the nibbling little annoyances that open the door to people demanding, and you giving more of your time than you want to give. Once you’ve shown that you don’t value your own time, or yourself for that matter, it gets easier for people to treat you that way. And for them to make larger and larger asks of you. When you acquiesce to these types of requests, that you don’t want to do, you build up resentment and diminish your happiness.
So how do you start to change things? You follow the same rules that we discussed above for your new year resolutions. You start small by addressing those time add-ons. If you’re picking up a sandwich for lunch and someone else asks for one as well great. But when the, since you’re out, could you stop….question comes up, say no. You can be polite, hey I’m under a time crunch, so I won’t have time. You need to start valuing your time and not let people take advantage. One way I do this is to think about my salary. So if you make $35 an hour, think about your time in terms of your rate. Now I’ve always thought of my personal rate to be about twenty percent higher than my work rate. So imagine anything you’re asked to do is worth $40 an hour. And set a minimum time interval, 15, 30 minutes or an hour. So is that extra stop worth $10 to the person asking or $29, would they pay you that to do the favor? I’m not suggesting you asked to be paid, but if you start to think in terms in monetary value, you start to put a value on your time. Suddenly, accompanying someone for a couple of hours when you don’t want to, is like losing $100. It can change your perspective on your time.
The monetary idea is just a mechanism for you starting to value your time. The real need is to value yourself, to understand that your time, your thoughts, your friendship and even your love has value. As such, you should be very thoughtful about where you choose to expend that value, and that perhaps it should be spent only when that person brings equivalent value to you.
Valuing yourself, building your own confidence, succeeding and being more thoughtful about who and what you spend your personal time/value on, will bring you happier days my friends. ~ Rev Kane