I spent New Years Eve solo. It’s unorthodox, but it’s a decision that I wouldn’t have made a year ago. My entry into 2019 was refreshing and representative of my focus for the year: me.
I wasn’t always content with me. Accepting my flaws, understanding my needs and voicing my perspective are all new phenomena. This time last year, I was unconsciously flowing through life’s transitions, but somewhere in 2018 it became apparent that this is MY life, and I have a say. That’s the starting point for this series on self-discipline: Start with self.
It’s not uncommon for people I know- especially women- to live in response to life and those around them. Two common examples come to mind. First, many people have fitness goals, but by the time they are finished with work and family, there’s not enough energy left for them. Or, often times when starting a relationship, women I know (including myself) will go with what their partner wants instead of being clear on and voicing their own expectations. My habits were no different, and last year was the first time I started making room for me by balancing life with self-care.
Balance wasn’t in my vocabulary before 2018. I had goals, and they required me to grind. I was growing a business, developing as a writer, teaching a new course, training for a race, juggling the unpredictability of singleness, and redefining my spirituality. Life was demanding and I was pouring everything I had into it. Consequentially, there was nothing left to pour into me. I rarely spent time with myself which meant I had a lot to learn about who I was and what I wanted in life.
Start with self.
When we set goals, we are making a covenant with ourselves to prioritize what's important to us. Yet, if we have not habitually reverenced, acknowledged, or validated ourselves, everything else unconsciously takes priority, and our needs and goals get lost in the shuffle. Not anymore. Committing to yourself isn’t the job of anyone else; it starts with you.
The first seed that made way for my self-care journey was an Orisun Sister Circle I attended where we made self-care trackers. The week of the circle, I’d been in multiple cities for business purposes while teaching and running off limited numbers of sleep. I was doing THE MOST but felt like there was always so much more to do. The tracker allowed me to set realistic goals for the things I wanted and needed to do for me (reading, 8 hours of sleep, working out, etc.). Over the next week I took inventory and saw how much I wasn’t doing for myself.
When I thought about what I wanted to do for New Years, I knew I wanted to be alone. I was hesitant about sharing this idea because I didn’t want to seem selfish or hear outside opinions. Yet, I found the courage to state exactly what I wanted and needed to do for me. I chose to acknowledge my needs and the world followed suit. This is the start of self-discipline: acknowledgment of self.
Committing to yourself isn’t the job of anyone else; it starts with you.
This year, we will achieve our goals because we will prioritize our needs. We will continue to get to know and honor ourselves- this is the essence of the journey.
If I am unfulfilled, so is the world around me.