One thing I know from experience is that time is valuable and getting more time is the only way you will be able to make good changes in 2016. We can't add any more hours to the day but we can adjust our day to get more out of it.
Are you a "People-Pleaser"? Have you met everyone else's needs this year but not your own? Let me first say that helping people is a great thing to do. Spending all your time helping everyone else is not! If you are available all the time doesn't mean you are a very kind and helpful person. What it means is that you are a resource to others and are seen as not having any of your own dreams. If this is true for you and you are feeling a little bit uneasy about this subject, take a breath. All is not lost! This situation needs to change for the sake of you and your health! The first exercise is to practice saying NO! Not rudely of course. We don't want people getting too shocked. Some suggestions:
- Don't answer the phone every time it rings! Let the call go through to voice mail. Being slower to respond will allow some people to come up with another solution.
- Say you need to check if you are free. People will find this unbelievable at first, especially if you have never said this before. Practice doing this all the time.
- Just say you won't be able to help this time and don't explain. You will get yourself in a explanation knot if you try to explain, and you will look silly.
- Ask the people you have helped in the past to help you. Now that should be an interesting exercise. Don't make it too hard. The response they give you could be a real eye opener. Or you may find that they are happy to be of service to you. This is great because you both win...a win/win is a great outcome.
- When in a group situation and there is a need for volunteers, wait and see who else can do the task. Your eagerness to volunteer may be preventing someone from doing what they need to do, to grow. Hold back.
Now the bad news! You may find that some of the friendships you had, aren't really friendships at all. When relationships are based on win/lose, one person wins and the other loses. Not good. If you find some people aren't your friends anymore you will know that they weren't your friends to start with. No great loss. You will then have more time to find friends better suited to you.
Get a life in 2016! Do something you have always wanted to do. It's a bit scary. Do it afraid. It will get less scary. This I can guarantee. You will find you may even start singing a happy little tune to yourself. You may start spontaneously skipping down the street! These things may happen or you may feel a little bit lost for a while. You may slip back and do what you did in 2015...over help people to the detriment of you, your life, your dreams, your family's needs and your life's purpose.
Respect yourself and your time. Be involved with others but don't forget you have a responsibility to live the life you have been given. Find what you are passionate about. Work out how to regularly incorporate this passion into your day.
People pleasing seems harmless. It isn't! It's dangerous and sinister. In 2016 you can start small changes that will impact your year in a huge way. In fact write down all the successes you have had in 2015 and start writing all the successes you have during 2016. Read over them when you feel you are slipping back to putting everyone's needs in front of yours.
Find out what you love. Do what you love often. Wake up each morning with a smile on your dial and anticipation of what you will do. Grab some time to walk in a park. Read a good book. Be a tourist in your own city. Smile at people (you have more time now)! You don't need money to enjoy your life. However you do need to make sure you have time to have your own life first.
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