Imagine finding time to:
• Fulfill life’s daily demands,
• Make headway on your big goals, and
• Be able to pursue your favorite and most self-nurturing activities.
I know I don’t have to tell you … that can be a very tall order, requiring lots of focus and discipline!
And do you notice that often, after you’ve put in your best efforts, you may let go of that last item on the list above – your promise to yourself? Do you say you’ll find time for that weekend away or that special event “another time”?
If that’s a pattern for you, then I advise you to start following through on rewarding yourself, starting as soon as you finish reading this article.
Well, let’s start with 3 immediate benefits you gain from rewarding yourself consistently:
1. You provide yourself with the enjoyment you deserve.
When you follow through on rewarding yourself you return to your daily life refreshed and alert, with more energy and optimism than you started with.
2. You build your trust in yourself.
Just as a child looks to a parent to keep promises, you integrate and bolster your energy by matching your words with your actions. Don’t you deserve to be as good a friend to yourself as you are to others?
3. You strengthen your focus and self-discipline.
When your promises are backed by concrete action, you heighten your incentive to tackle the most daunting tasks … and succeed.
You may be saying, right about now, “That sounds great, but how do I get there?”
Here are 7 Timely Tips to help you set this positive cycle in motion:
1. Actions, not words.
If you are used to pushing past your own promises to yourself, you need to rebuild self-trust. Start small, and be sure you only make promises that you know you can follow through on.
2. Don’t retract; reschedule.
When life throws you a curve ball, don’t let it through you entirely off course. If a planned reward evaporates, replace it with a new one you create.
3. Aim for success.
Break your goals into smaller steps or chunks, so that you experience success. Don’t punish yourself by making your rewards conditional on overambitious benchmarks.
4. Go public.
If you need reinforcement, enlist a friend’s help. Report in, or ask your friend to check in to ensure you’re keeping your promise to yourself.
5. Daily does it.
Build in small rewards every day. Practice builds proficiency.
6. Build up.
Gradually escalate to larger rewards, and try including friends in this. Then be sure not to let them down!
7. Free treats.
As you establish strong patterns of success, build in time for yourself that is not dependent upon achievement. This is so important! You could, for example, take one day a month and use it to do whatever you want, no matter what. This enables you to recharge your energy and enhance your creativity.
In addition to the short-term benefits described, when you keep your promises to yourself, you will feel more energetic, be more productive, and enjoy other long-term rewards as well. Here are just a few …
• Your health benefits when you are able to remain alert and refreshed.
• You come to know yourself better and better. Keeping current with what you truly enjoy enables you to be more skilled at providing meaningful rewards for yourself.
• The more you look to yourself for satisfaction, the less you’ll be tempted to place unrealistic demands upon others to make you happy. So your relationships benefit and thrive.
• You recognize the daily pleasures that surround you when you build balance into your life. Gratitude adds to your pleasure, and you become less susceptible to work-a-holism, urgency and defeatism.
Remember, time for yourself is always within your power! When you keep your promises to yourself, you’ll find that your energy, efficiency, and effectiveness all receive a huge boost. What could be better?
So, what is your next step for enhancing your quality of life and productivity … and finding time?
Here’s one idea. Sign up for our free gift, “The New Finding Time Boundary Template: 9 Simple, Sequential Steps to Find More Time and Recharge Your Energy!” at http://thetimefinder.com/TemplateSG.html
This time template will help you move beyond overwhelm, disappointment, and frustration. Using a workbook format, with room to record your answers, you will discover that 24 hours really are enough!
By Paula Eder, Ph.D., The Time Finder Expert.