What have you done for you lately?

Alright, confession time. I admit that I am a sucker for Biggest Loser. I went through an Oprah phase back in college. Dr. Phil became my companion for awhile when I was in grad school. I know the jargon is what I’m trying to tell you. Here’s what I have learned from all of these years of … ┬áprofessional study.

If you can’t make the time and effort to be good to yourself, nothing else will work for you. All of the advice that people will throw at you won’t stick. Why? It takes a willingness to do something for yourself to do all of that stuff people talk about. If you want to improve your health by exercising and eating better, it takes time. If you want to accomplish a specific goal, it takes a dedication to yourself and your wishes.

This does not mean that it always needs to be “me me me.” It does not mean you need to be selfish. But sometimes, regularly, you need to stop and ask yourself, “Hey,what do I want? What do I need, more to the point?”

The first step in making a better world is making a better, stronger you. After all, you need to be on pretty solid ground before you can pull someone else up, right?

But I don’t have time to be “nice!”

Today, Chris Brogan wrote a post called “Haven’t had time to blog.” It seems to be in direct juxtaposition, in some ways, with the idea of doing stuff for you. But this hasn’t just started, and it’s not a function of the online world. A few years ago I was talking to a crafty friend of mine and we noted that we both can’t just sit and watch television. Part of our crafting addiction was that it gave us something to do while we relaxed and watched television. We both had been engrained with the idea that sitting down on your butt with a bowl of popcorn and a movie is a bad, unproductive, useless way to spend your time.

Where does this pressure come from?

Why do we feel like doing something purely for the enjoyment of it is a poor way to spend our time? Sure, it’s not saving the world if you go sit on a beach for a week, but how recharged do you feel when you get back to work? And okay, maybe going to your favorite bakery and buying yourself that creme brulee won’t help you achieve that weight loss goal, but gosh darn it, sometimes you need something that tastes of heaven! When did being kind to ourselves become a bad thing? When did it become wasteful to sit and vege out or do something distinctly unproductive from the world’s perspective?

I say, heck, let the blog go for a day. Maybe a week. Hit that book you’ve been wanting to read. That one that has nothing to do with your business. Catch up on your favorite television show. And just sit there and enjoy it. Turn all of the lights off and absorb an entertaining experience. It’s not sinful. It’s a rebuild mode. For a very human computer.

So when was the last time you did something nice for yourself?

If you can’t answer this question easily or without too much thought, we know what we need to work on first.

15 comments
janwong
janwong

I SO agree with you. Sometimes being social has become so integrated into our lives that it becomes a chore or a routine. You come online, switch on Twitter, Facebook, reply to comments, write a blog post or two and the cycle repeats itself over and over again. Doing something different and nice for yourself would definitely be a good change - a refreshing one, too! :) I recently got an opportunity to attend a conference that brought together several iconic speakers from the Silicon Valley and it was truly refreshing to connect with real people (not like I don't) and to learn away from the computer screens.

girlygrizzly
girlygrizzly

Margie, both you and Kaarina are, in your individual, always perfectly lady-like and remarkable ways, have ganged up on me today!! I must have been wavering and needed a little shove...maybe I was listening to that nasty lizard voice...

I started @JohnFalchetto 's Expat 30 Program.... well, I finally decided to start, just today (in my post today). I just finished my next post for my Expat 30 habit.

The reason I mention this, is I truly feel this IS FOR ME, in so many obvious ways and then more.

I can tell you, I can't sit and watch a movie... I haven't done that in almost 5 years. (sheesh). Before I couldn't anymore, I was a total movie-freak! Now, I DO feel ashamed to sit and watch. Even before, I would do homework, read a book AND watch a movie!

In all the time I've been online, I have been very honest. I say this, because it is true- I will spend 12-16 hours a day sitting here at my computer, devouring posts, watching webinars, bugging as many people as I can get ahold of at HubSpot, through their forums and at the help desk with my questions about everything and anything. I only know what I've learned since January, and honestly, the more I learn, the less I seem to know!

Back to the hours in front of my screen, I write and write, research, read a few more posts, research, write and write. I get pulled away a lot. I home school my 7th grader and I have my very energetic 4.5 year old! What I don't do, is stop. I work from my first cup of coffee until I go to bed. (I have a goal!)

John's Expat 30 Program might help me, a lot. I want to do something really good for myself, but keeping in mind the prize at the end of the tunnel. I decided today. ~Every single day, to step away, go outside, and take a walk. (sounds too easy? Hmmm...) As far as I would like, but no shorter than the bottom of our airstrip.

This was a great post to hug close and know I choose well.

Thank you.

~Amber-lee

KDillabough
KDillabough

I.LOVE.YOU.

This post is perfect in its timing, intention and message. I just wrote a post about seeing the "remarkable", pausing and seeing perfection in imperfection...basically, pausing, slowing down and being in the moment, so I am sooooo on the same page with you on being nice to oneself:)

I am now going to turn off all the lights, eat a creme brulee and watch Castle while re-reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:) Cheers! Kaarina

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

If I have the choice to spend time with my loved ones or blog, I know which I'll choose.

If I have the choice to spend time with my friends or blog, I know which I'll choose.

If I have the choice to enjoy life to the fullest or worry about getting another blog post up, I know which I'll choose.

Happiness and fulfilled family life over something that very few people care about in the grand scheme of things is much more my cup of tea, thank you. :)

Latest blog post: Building a Culture of Success

NancyD68
NancyD68

I do nice things for myself frequently No one else is going to! When my internet went out, I read a book with that time. I also take big mental health days at least once a month. Me and my boyfriend went to Yankee Stadium last month for $5 dollar day and wound up seeing Mariano Rivera break the all-time saves record!

My boyfriend also makes me "unplug" totally at least a few days out of the month.

Sometimes we need to put ourselves first. I am learning that is not a bad or evil thing. If i don't care for me, no one else will so I need to make it a priority.

I think Raul is right about Chris' post. I read it and got the same thing. It is about addressing those BS reasons to not do something.

rj_c
rj_c

Margie,

These last few weeks I had to distance myself a bit from the online world. Not only did I have personal things that where not working to my benefit on the productive side I had to let a few of the blogs I run go and not publish.

I also held back on my daily writing exercises. I had to do it to refresh a bit and try to get things in order since my business like many others are not doing so well.

The last few weeks I have done a few things for myself and my family.

As for what Chris was talking about I think his post is more inclined towards the people that continuously decide to spend there time doing something fun but then complain that they don't have time for others. I guess it is a matter of priorities.

I choose to not publish in some of my blogs and that did affect me in one way but it brought positive things on the other side. Some people just don't realize that there decisions affect them no matter what.

Sandi Amorim
Sandi Amorim

Love this Margie! Sometimes stepping back and letting go is the best possible action. We get so busy and preoccupied we forget the simple things that work and that can easily spiral into burnout!

KDillabough
KDillabough

@girlygrizzly@johnfalchetto Amber-Lee, you know that when you take moments for yourself, and plot them into a plan of priorities, the "me" moments are as important as all else. Take the pressure-valve off...breathe...smile...relax your mind and your body...recharge, regroup and then go for it! Rinse and repeat. Luv ya my friend:) Cheers! Kaarina

margieclayman
margieclayman moderator

@KDillabough sounds like a great evening to me! Although I must sadly admit I couldn't get into Castle. I really wanted to because I LURVES Nathan Fillion, but the writing just seemed kind of forced to me. I'm a picky show-watcher :)

Thanks for your comment m'dear!

margieclayman
margieclayman moderator

@Danny Brown Makes sense to me! And with that little punkin you have running around the place, I'd have to beat you up if you said otherwise :)

margieclayman
margieclayman moderator

@NancyD68 You are probably right, Nancy, but still, there seems like a pressure there. Like a feeling that if you watch TV instead of blogging or instead of building your business, you're coming up short somehow. I think a lot of people are struggling with that right now, and it's dangerous. I'm glad to hear you're learning to put yourself first :)

margieclayman
margieclayman moderator

Well said, @rj_c , as per usual. Unplugging is something I'm terrible about. I'm one of those people who has my phone beside me as I watch tv. Not at my computer is unplugging. Sad sad sad :)

KDillabough
KDillabough

@margieclayman I really loved the first season of Castle...lately it's pretty meh. But I'm hanging in, hoping for the original spark to return. Call me the eternal optimist:)Thanks so much for the lovely tip of the hat over at the Blog Library: you made my day! Cheers! Kaarina

NancyD68
NancyD68

@margieclayman@rj_c i just have to tell you Margie, I sleep with my phone next to me. Except when my boyfriend is over and he takes my phone. :(

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Clayman recently wrote a blog post in which she talked about making time and effort to being good to yourself, and releasing some of [...]