7 (Easy) Ways to Put Yourself FirstSep 05, 2017
Before we dive in...
I've had a true "Before & After" experience.
In the "Before" I'm showing up late to everything, blowing off social engagements, and eating and drinking WAY too much.
Similar to every good "before" picture, I was a hot mess.
Not putting yourself first can look like that. Or simply not having anytime to do what you REALLY want to do. It could even lead to not knowing what you really want.
It affects work, marriage, motherhood, and friendships. It affects your self-worth, personal fulfillment, and quality of life.
It's YOUR experience, and only you know if you need to start putting yourself first.
There's a lot of negative ideas about being selfish and what it means, here's what it looked like when I actually started doing it...
The "AFTER" is a much different scene. I show up when I said will, I'm very responsible, less reactive, super healthy eating, no alcohol, and most people who know me say how caring and dependable I am as a friend and a parent.
The only way I can EFFECTIVELY be all of these things is to always put myself first.
Before we dive into the 7 Easy Ways to Put Yourself First, I'd be robbing you of the SECRET KEY to making it work for you if I didn't share this first...
You can try any ONE of the tips below and you'll feel better, guaranteed.
But the key to true success is to remember this...
Routines & structure create space & opportunity in life.
This was a BIG surprise to me because "structure" had always represented rigidity.
There were so many rules I didn't understand. People who didn't seem to care about me were telling me what to do. Abuse at home, drug addiction, and expectations I could never meet.
Because one of my parents was very 'militant' it made me rebel against structure, thinking I wanted to live 'carefree'.
I still have a carefree nature, sometimes. But even that comes more authentically from the stability of my routines, as minimal as they are!
Now I know the truth...
We need structure to have for true freedom.
We need to be adaptable in order to embrace ALL that it means to be a successful human being.
Structure + Adaptability = Pure Joy & Success
Structure includes routines, habits, commitments, and disciplines.
And believe it or not...
You already have ALL of those in your life.
We have intentional & unintentional routines happening throughout our day. Every day. We're committed to SOMETHING.
So what are you committed to?
No judgement here. Those have been MY HABITS.
But when we find (super) easy ways to add self-care into routines, we begin to create a more balanced, fulfilling life.
(If we don’t, no one else will.)
It’s your responsibility to put yourself first.
When we have babies, this looks different than when we have adult children.
When we’re 23, it looks different than when we’re 53.
How might it look for you?
These 7 tips will help you become the most successful person you can be.
Without self-worth (which we get from putting ourselves first), we’re not going to be as valuable to others or to our business.
Let’s jump in with the #1 way to start putting yourself first.
1. Be Prepared
Successful, confident women share certain qualities & this one’s high on that list.
Think of someone rushing late into a meeting, apologizing, uncomfortably making excuses.
This person has given away their power – before the meeting even started.
From this starting point, they better be damn good because they’re behind the ball.
We never want to be the one who's rushing in like this. I know this feeling ... I used to do it, until I committed to being prepared.
By making THIS commitment, my whole world changed!
At first I was a little uncomfortable, not sure what to do with all the extra time! Once I got over that, I began to fully enjoy the experience.
Then… I had kids.
But once I got my bearing, I got back on track. It’s not always perfect, but for the most part it’s become the norm.
It always (always) feels better to have two crazy kids running around an airport as we WAIT for boarding, than running to a flight, feeling (& looking) like a lunatic, praying we’re going to make it.
So how do you do it?
There’s a few steps to being prepared.
This story may seem a little extreme but it's a great illustration of what "waking up prepared" COULD look like...
I remember reading a CNN news anchor's routine for having an early call time. She slept in full hair, make-up & wardrobe!
I thought it was crazy until I tried it the next week for a super early flight. I was determined to sleep face up but even rolling onto my side in the night, curled up in a cozy little ball, everything looked great in the morning.
Oftentimes, I put myself last, but when I have my hair & make up done I feel tons better.
This particular 12-hour day, filled with a delayed flight & too many unexpected twists, did not derail me. I was Wonder Woman.
This is ONE example of seeing a situation and choosing to take steps in order to feel PREPARED.
Some other examples...
Do you clean the whole house BEFORE you clean your personal bedroom space?
Do you make breakfast for other people before you make your own?
Are you realistic with your time to get somewhere on time, or even early?
By going the extra step to PREPARE your space, your stuff, your SELF FIRST, you'll feel more confident & handle everything that comes your way. (Like that day I woke up PREPARED to fly!)
• Plan on traffic. Unless you live in a rural area, traffic happens. I live in Los Angeles so this is a biggie for me. Even when I travel to other states, there seems to be traffic everywhere I go. Plan it into your schedule accordingly.
• What did you eat for breakfast? What will you eat through the day? Healthy eating is one of the very best ways to put yourself first. Anyone who does this will tell you, it requires preparation. Meal planning is an amazing way to get what you need nutritionally, keep your stamina up, your mind clear & bypassing the last minute choices that usually lead to crap. Putting yourself first equals not eating crap!
• Pick your clothes out the night before. I can go nuts trying to decide what goes with what when I’m rushing out the door. I can’t tell you how many times successful people have said they lay their clothes out the night before. It’s time to be part of that club!
• Know your day. Know your week. Know your month. What’s on the calendar? What do you need to know or do to be prepared for those things? My husband & I look at the month before it starts. I have my social media calendar & my marketing & business calendar (mostly) planned in advance.
There’s always going to be unexpected. Always. So create wiggle room. The best approach is to have a plan, have routines, have structure. Then go with the flow.
REMEMBER: Structure + Adaptability = Pure Joy & Success
A final thought on being prepared: Don’t just busy yourself with getting ready - commit to loving the process of self preparation. I know, sounds crazy but try it.
2. Healing Waters
Water is healing. Hot salted baths or natural hot springs might come to mind but how can you realistically work it into your every day?
Our showers can be sanctuaries. If yours isn’t, create one. If you share a bathroom with others, figure it out. If there’s lots of kids toys, use storage nets or google ways to keep it contained.
If it’s not clean, bring a sponge & use shampoo/body wash that’s already in there, keep it simple. Consider some resources from the list in this article to simplify & keep your entire home clean.
Breathe in the steam. Take the time to let this ritual care for you. Purchase products that make you feel good. (I love these!) Even if you only have 10 minutes, enjoy every single second, it’s yours. Some other water activities that we already do during the day but can take these moments & literally soak them in (get it?):
• Splash your face with warm or cold water.
• Wash your hands & take your time, let it be a relaxing, meditative ritual. (my favorite hand soap)
• Drink water. Add strawberries, oranges, cucumbers. Use water for healing the inside & outside of your body.
3. Saying "No" Is Actually Saying Yes
Huh? Let me explain. When you say no to one thing, you’re really saying YES to the other thing you think is better for you.
You’re telling the universe, "I know you got my back. I know I’m safe. I know there’s some situation or opportunity, some better relationship that’s waiting for me."
Trust, trust, trust. This higher vision you have IS being prepared for you. By saying no to something that you know in your heart isn’t the best for you, you’re saying, “I’m willing to say yes to that better thing, situation, or relationship.”
You’re saying YES to what you want more of in your life. To what you truly desire.
We have to stop being afraid of saying No, upsetting someone else, putting our own well-being last, and not having boundaries.
Set boundaries. Say no with confidence & you’ll begin to see how you’re really saying yes to So. Much. More.
If you'd like help with this more, consider working with a Life Coach. Click Here to schedule a Free Consultation.
4. Breathe Baby, Breathe
Feel it go down to your chest.
As you expand these airways, breathe deeper until you’re breathing into your belly.
From there, breathe deeper, down to your lower abdomen.
You can breathe anytime, anywhere.
The gift of your breath somehow gives you clarity, confidence, & a greater capacity for life.
Such a simple thing to do but if you’re not paying attention to it, your breath becomes shallow & unsteady, the opposite of power & putting yourself first. It’s something you can do anytime, anywhere.
Powerful. Open. Positive.
Get in the right frame of mind. Start your day, start your meetings, start your conversations, start your life with the right frame of mind.
Visualize the best of what you want, how you want to feel, how you want things to go & how you’d like to see the outcome.
“What you let your mind think, you will be.”
No, not Buddha, Becca said that one.
By not choosing your thoughts, by not being aware of them – we give up so much self-care & power that is freely available to us.
Choose your mindset at the beginning of the day & before every meeting or conversation.
End your days with gratitude.
Be proactive with your mindset and your path will light up more.
Spiritually, I encourage you to connect with your higher power & keep this first. It’s up to you which spiritual path feels right to you.
What loving, higher power feels right to you?
If it’s a sticking point, go out in nature, talk to the sky or to a tree, something that’s not you.
Being spiritually centered is something that helps me, my husband, & so many other super successful people not just create more money or opportunities, but more joy & more love.
I’m a big believer in Positive Power Statements. These aren’t just old-fashioned affirmations.
Replace negative thoughts with positive, powerful statements that kick those bad thoughts' ass!
6. Balance Your Checkbook
Money matters in your inner & outer world.
We are powerful women choosing to put ourselves first.
Financial freedom & creating wealth are amazing ways to do this.
It might feel good in the moment to splurge (speaking from personal experience), but if we do it a lot & break the bank doing it, it doesn’t feel good at all.
Keep track of what you’re spending. Have a Spending Plan & each month be accountable to it.
Unless you pay off credit cards each and every month on time, stop using them.
This is a huge way to put yourself first.
Borrowing money is no good. Saving consistently is very good. ((Let me know if you'd like to watch our Abundance and Wealth Workshop.))
7. Have a Spiritually Powered Plan
This is the first and last step. Have a plan.
Look at the month & the week. When you start each day, look at your current plan for the week and go to your higher power, be with God.
Ask for information and inspiration.
What is it you can do today to get closer to your vision?
Write it down.
Check it off.
Now if you’re ready to create more self-love, self-improvement, self-first routines in your life - let me know what you’re committing to!
If you have strategies that help you, share them with me and as always, if you like this article, please pass it on!
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