Being intentional with your day take focus on how you spend your time each moment. There are so many days that I crawl into bed and realize that I promised others too much. I spent the entire day focusing on others. Many of these times are because I did something in fear of their approval, not really out of a genuine service. I invited that person over for dinner because I felt bad for not seeing them in so long. Or I agreed to an after-work outing because somebody really wanted me to go, not that I really had the “free” time to spend or the “free” money to spend either.
I read an article the other day on Donald Miller’s blog, Storyline, that really reminded me of this perspective.
If we can very easily plan away our days, why is it so hard to find a moment for ourselves?
So I sat down and made a list. A list of things that I could do on a daily basis to make sure that I had time for myself. Because really, if I give all of myself away to others every day, especially out of fear of disapproval, I am ragged. I am tired. I am not genuine. I am not 100% loving. I am not giving of my full self. It is a disservice to others, and myself.
1. Wake up 15 minutes earlier.
I know you may ask, how much earlier can I get up?! I sat my alarm earlier to just barely shower some mornings. Other mornings I have full intentions of going to the gym. Some mornings I just want to make coffee and get out the door on time. Fifteen minutes to read, to pray, to spend time on myself makes my morning so much easier.
2. Your phone can wait.
Especially in the morning, I have an issue letting others control my time. I unconsciously look at my phone as soon as I wake up. From there, I spend my extra time responding to others. Regardless if it is checking my email, my social media, or texts that came in through the night, I spend my time focused on others instead of myself. Lately, after turning off my alarm, I do not lay in bed scrolling through my phone. I do something for me, and let my phone and all of my energy for others wait. I take care of me first.
3. Utilize those “pause” moments.
Spending time in line at the grocery store? In the parking lot at your child’s soccer game? Baseball game? After school? How many times a day does that happen? Those add up! I counted one day and my “pause” moments was an equivalent of over an hour?! Now I take advantage of those moments for me and read. I love reading. It use to take me months to get through one book… last week I read one in three days! Find those “pause” moments and do something that you enjoy.
4. Enjoy outside.
Vacations are the instances that we actually take more time for others than the average given day. What do we do during those vacations? Exercise? Play? Be outside… Some days I cannot bring myself to commit an hour to go to the gym. “I do not have enough time…” I complain. But go outside. Take a walk. Work in the yard; garden. Drink your morning coffee on the porch. Or eat your evening dinner in the back yard. Doing some of the more normal-every-day-have-to-do tasks, like eating, outside will make you feel better. It is that little extra step that will have such an impact on your mood, because you took that intentional step to help you relax.
5. Do unto ourselves as we would do unto others.
Seriously. Do you do more for others than you do for yourself? Think about it. If you continuously give and serve, you will have nothing left. No time to recharge. No time to recoup. No time to for you. And typically, you also do not leave anything goodness for your family either, so they suffer too. This is more of a mindset thing, not an actual thing. But think about it, and do something for you that you would typically do for others.
What are other ways that you can find time for yourself today?