Resolutions, goal setting, reflection, etc. We negotiate these with ourselves at the end of the year. It’s that time of year when we take a look at 2014 and assess what worked, what didn’t and what we can improve on for 2015. Some people make resolutions, some people set goals, and some people do nothing.
Whatever you do as a way to prepare for 2015, make a commitment to schedule in more “me time” activities. Most people leave that out of their planning and figure they will get to it sometime in the year or they plan for one short vacation the entire year. You need to do more connecting with yourself than just a short vacation or a day here and there. When you make plans to detach from the day to day responsibilities it improves your overall well being. You will live longer, be less stressed out and enjoy life more.
One of my passions is riding my Harley. I especially like to go on long road trips that are my fun adventures on 2 wheels. Over the last couple of years I have not made the time to get away and ride. I think the last time I went on a ride of any substance was 2011 when I rode across Alaska and the Yukon for 2 weeks with a group of 15 (see video below).
While I made time for me in small doses, I worked too hard and too many long hours and didn’t take many rides on my bike this past year. In fact, as I write this, the last time I went for a ride was the end of October!
Why is it important to take some time for yourself to do something you enjoy? Here’s 3 reasons why you need to make it a priority to schedule your “me time” as part of your goal setting or resolutions for this year:
1. Real Life Will Pass You By Because You’re Going Too Fast
We are in what I call a microwave society. Everything is fast paced and everyone wants it to happen now, so they go go go to meet those demands and never stop. Taking time for yourself allows you the time to disconnect from that chaotic pace, and it reconnects you with what’s important and gives you time to regroup.
This past Christmas a friend I was in a mastermind with died on Christmas day. I had just seen him a couple weeks before and he was perfectly fine. I’ve also heard of several people losing family members, friends and pets this holiday season. Last year a man I was dating died in a skydiving accident. My chocolate lab had to be put down last year also.
No one at the end of their life cares that they didn’t get that one more deal done, one more task accomplished or one more assignment completed. What they care about is that there weren’t enough special moments to remember and they wish they could have spent more special time doing things they loved with family and friends. Take time to slow down for you starting right now.
2. Combine your work with “me time” in order to spread it out over the year
If you are unable to take a week or two of because of the place you are in your work or business, make time over the year to do me time activities tacked onto work activities. Even though I didn’t get a lot of riding time this year, when I went to speak at different events, I added on a day or a weekend to do some me time fun time after those events.
In August I was speaking in New York City and got to spend the weekend seeing family. I spent time with my sister and my niece and her husband. My first speaking gig of the year is in New Orleans and my “other sister” will be coming there with her husband from Pensacola FL to get together.
3. All work and no play will stress you out and shut you down
You can’t operate in fight or flight mode everyday without it taking its toll on your body and mind. If you are going full steam ahead wound tight every day of your life with no break, it won’t be long before you implode. As a veteran who deployed for several months working 18+ hour days in high operations tempo I know what kind of a toll that kind of stress can have on your body. Military in combat experience it even more.
We don’t have to run our lives here at home like we are in a war zone, yet many of us do. We go, go, go until we can’t go anymore. Our health suffers, we don’t get enough sleep, don’t exercise enough, often times our eating habits become poor because we grab some processed snack on the run. We don’t take time for our spiritual practice and certainly don’t take any time for ourselves.
Don’t let 2015 be another year where you do nothing for yourself and make yourself ok with that. While you are contemplating what 2015 will be like, make sure you program some time to do something other than work. Do something you enjoy that has no gain for your job or your business. For me it’s going to be riding my Harley and planning a trip overseas. I’ve already blocked the dates out on my calendar. Some other activities is spending time with my kids. My daughter will be graduating this year so there will be a celebration in the month of May.
I remember when I worked for a defense contractor. I watched a man day after day shuffle from his cubicle to the gym. He had his gym bag and would shuffle along, head down over to the gym every day, same routine. Then one day I didn’t see him anymore and never saw him again. Did he retire? Did he pass away? He seemed so downtrodden with the day after day “wind up toy” routine. Don’t let your job or your business suck the life out of you. Don’t stop doing the things you enjoy just because you have the “busy person syndrome.”
Start planning your “me time” today. What will it be for you? Time, it’s the only thing you will never get back and when your time runs out, make sure you’ve lived your adventure and enjoyed your life to the fullest. There’s that saying that says at the end of my life I want to be able to say “wow, what a ride.” If you haven’t started that ride, hop on and get started today!