With Christmas, well and truly over, thoughts have moved towards the New year. A new you, a new healthy lifestyle and possible, new career prospects.
Over the past four years, I have built and grown my own business. Countless, sleepless nights, working more than 60 hours a week, spending far too much time on my laptop and phone; each and every day pushing myself that little more 'I will work harder, I will succeed'.
But, succeed at what?
For me, Christmas is a time where I can spend quality time with family and friends, but also a time for reflection.
I am lucky that with my business, I can pick and choose if I want a busy Jan/Feb. So with that in mind, I decided to take a well deserved, three weeks off to recuperate and recharge.
Easier said than done.
I am all for women building their empires; young, rising entrepreneurs, and for most doing all this while they are also bringing up children and running a home. Superwomen.
But have we reached a time where it is now acceptable, that if we don't kill ourselves trying to succeed in all we do, we are not trying hard enough?
To feel guilty to want or need to take a day off? To want to spend some of that hard earnt, cash on yourself?
Why do I feel guilty If I want some time off? Why do I feel like I'm letting myself down if I don't try each and every day, to further progress my business or improve myself in some way?
Why do I struggle to relax and switch off, during my time off - to then come back into the business feeling just as exhausted as when I left it?
In all honesty, once the Christmas chaos is over, I wait in dreaded anticipation for all the NY resolutions (yawn) to start. Posts about, 'New year, new you', This year do this, this year be better.... *rolls eyes*
Why do we need to make changes, only in January?
During my time off, I decided a few things needed to change, but they would be lifestyle changes. Small adjustments to help me through the next few months, not just the year.
Here are a few of my 'lifestyle changes'. Changes that don't involve you getting a gym member card, going on the soup diet or overloading your instagram feed with, what are deemed, inspirational, NY posts. I avoid the word 'resolution', it may bring me out in hives.
Learn to PRIORITISE.
Does that thing, really need doing now? Today? Can it wait?
I don't know about you, but I can become a little OCD once I get an idea in my head. I need to do it now, it must get one, if I don't the world might end, and I will die, sort of OCD. That's not healthy, and I'm slowly learning to chill. If I know I will be having a particularly busy week, I now make a list of things I need to do, to stop me from feeling overwhelmed. It's also a great feeling to know I don't spend the whole of my work life procrastinating, as I tick the odd thing off the list.
How much of your life so you spend working/stressing/worrying/spending time with loved ones/doing things you enjoy.
I Spend most of my time working, with the second largest part worrying about things I cannot change. How is that healthy or beneficial?
We must work to live, and if you are building/running a business you will feel like it takes over your entire life, but you are allowed a break.
I try to find a little time each day, where I do something I enjoy. I love reading, and alot can be said for just sitting down with a cuppa and a slice of cake.
Put that bloody phone down
I am the worst for this. In all fairness, I could not do my job without my phone or laptop. But I have now developed the habit of checking my phone every few minutes. Proof again, I have a relationship with my business/work life/ Not good.
Yes, you may need to have your phone with you at all times, but does it need checking every five minutes? Do you have to reply to an enquiry 8pm at night? Answer - No.
I now, either turn my phone off or leave it in a different room. This 'new change' is still in, baby steps mode, so will take me a while to break!
When was the last time you treated yourself? I love a little time to myself. Pop out for a quiet coffee, or catch up with a friend, have a long soak in the bath. Buy yourself that pair of shoes you have been eyeing up for the past few weeks. Again, nothing too elaborate, just a small treat here and there - why not?
Be KINDER to yourself.
This is a big one for me, and many other women I know.
There are days, where nothing seems to go right, and I mean nothing. From the minute I wake up, I seem to be a walking disaster. Inevitably, from that, I then blame myself for everything, and before I know it I have created a whole host of new problems, I never had to begin with!
I'm very good at pointing out all the things I have yet to succeed in, all the things I haven't done and all the things I've messed up on. It's amazing when you share these thoughts with a close friend/family member and they remind you what you have actually acheived in the past year. If you are doing your best, what more can you do? Stop beating yourself up, and keep going.
Implement a few of these things, in your life - and I'm pretty sure after a few weeks they will become new, positive habits in your life too!
What positive changes have you made this year, so far?