For many people, finding love, someone you want to be with, and share your space, life, and yourself with, is a huge accomplishment. The temptation to let the time you take for yourself slip away when you’re in a relationship can be very enticing. So, how do you balance the different aspects of your life, and still have time to be your authentic self?
My ‘Live and Work in your Element‘ workshops introduce the idea of putting yourself first as a pivotal point of the journey towards manufacturing your perfect days. This is not an easy concept for some people to accept. When I make the bold claim – that for the average person who attends, I can ‘find’ 12 hours of their time back, there are numerous reactions. Some just shake their head in disbelief. Others have a silent, (or not so silent) moan about all of their responsibilities, or how busy they are at work. Most say, “Honestly I can’t see how that could happen.”
At this point, I’ve learned to just listen patiently while my audience has a moment to reflect/vent/worry about the implications of what I’ve just said. And then, when all eyes are back on me, and I have everyone’s attention again, I take a deep breath and say, “But if you don’t put yourself first, what everyone else gets is a lesser version of you!”
Keeping your own identity is all part of a happy, healthy relationship – one where you remain true to yourself. Losing yourself in a relationship can create anxiety, resentment, and it’s insidious – it can threaten the connection you have with your partner. So, where could the 12 hours be? Try these two simple tasks:
- Make a list of things that you would LOVE to include in your week. Things that would bring you joy, make you happy, fulfilled and content.
For example: What’s your favourite way to spend a day? What would you do if you thought you had more time? What have you always wanted to try/learn/do?
- Once you have the answer, ask yourself: Why am I not doing those things right now?
Here are some of the most common reasons that you don’t have time to do some of the things you love:
• You take on responsibilities that are not yours. Stop offering to help, unless you really mean it, and want to. Learn to say no – it doesn’t mean you’ve failed, or you are a terrible friend.
• You don’t know how to negotiate. Arrange a meeting with your boss, friends, family, and re-negotiate things that you need to.
• You believe that only you can do something right and refuse to delegate. Why not hand something over to someone else and watch them shine.
• You are doing something yourself that you could pay someone else to do i.e. cleaning, gardening, online shopping.
• You are not leaving on time – from work, a meeting, coffee with an acquaintance. All of those additional minutes mount up.
Can you see how putting even a few of these simple things into place will free up time? 30 minutes here, an hour there, not doing that task anymore?
So what does your list say on it? Can you now fit some of those things in – for you?