Being a changemaker can be demanding. Whilst we concentrate on making a difference to others it's easy to forget about the change we want for ourselves. But it's so important to take time out to work on our own personal changes.
Personal changes like improving fitness, making more time for ourselves, writing up those blog ideas or whatever else it may be can help us avoid stress and burnout and give us the energy to keep going.
Last year I took too much on and let my fitness slide. I really wanted to exercise, I just felt I was too busy to fit it in. As a result, my sore back got worse, I seemed to get tired easily and I felt less and less motivated to exercise.
Now the typical thing to do here as the new year approached was to set a New Years resolution.
But I don’t like New Years resolutions. I find I set ridiculously ambitious goals for the entire year, I go for it the first few weeks, then the kids start back at school, work ramps up, it all gets too hard and I give up.
This year I set one simple goal instead.
The goal was to swim laps in a 50 m pool ONCE and that was it. I didn't say when, where or how many laps I would do. I just had to get to a pool, hop in and swim once.
It doesn't sound very inspiring to swim just once, and it's not like me to set myself one small goal either. But all of a sudden going swimming seemed very achievable. The more I talked about it with friends the more excited I got and the more possible it became in my mind.
The tipping point occurred when after sharing it with a group of friends, one friend said she'd come with me. I didn't say yes straight away, but as I thought about it over the next few days I thought "that's it, I have absolutely no excuse". If I meet someone there I can't let them down, I will go.
I went and bought some bathers suitable for swimming laps and set the time and date with my friend.
I went for that swim at 7am one Thursday morning and I ended up swimming 20 laps. I felt so good and proud of myself. The seemingly impossible of a regular swim suddenly became possible and I thought I could definitely do this again. I set another date with my friend and off we went. We now have a weekly swim scheduled, and my next goal is to swim 6 weeks in a row.
This approach has worked for me and you can try it too (at any time of the year):
Step 1 Set one small simple achievable goal in the area you want to change for yourself
Step 2 Share this goal with others
Step 3 Set the date and time and have a friend come
Step 4 Do it and share again with everyone once complete
Step 5 Set another goal in that area and start the process again.
What do you think of this approach? Could it work for you? What do you do to ensure you make time for yourself whether it be exercise or other activities? Please share, we'd love to hear from you.