The Best Gift to Give Yourself this New Year

The Best Gift to Give Yourself this New Year

As 2019 winds down, and I begin my preparations for 2020, one thing that I always make time in my schedule for is reflecting back on the previous year—celebrating my successes and acknowledging what has room for improvement.

For many entrepreneurs, frequently on the list of improvements for the next year is to spend more time working ON versus IN their businesses. When you work IN the business, you’re focused on the day-to-day, and the urgent issues tend to ride roughshod over the important. Working ON the business, however, moves your long-term goals forward because you’ve made the future your priority.

It’s micro versus macro.

So, what is this magic gift you can give yourself that will help you work ON your business? It’s amazingly simple and powerfully elusive: Time.

The gift you give yourself is protecting that future time now. Block out time to work on your business or on the “one thing” that will move you towards your primary and most important goal(s). If this is new to you, try to start with a minimum of two consecutive hours a week that is dedicated to working ON the most important goals you’ve outlined for yourself.

Blocking out time though, is pretty easy. It’s the keeping of self-appointments that is hard. For this to work, you have to do one thing—

Keep. This. Time. Sacred.

Seems easy, right?

We’re all busy with a to do list a mile long: calls to make, fires to put out, emails to answer. Yes, these tasks need to be done, but should be worked on after your primary thing. The world will not end if you put the urgent on hold for two hours while you work on the important.

Look at your calendar right now for the next week—how much of your time is accounted for? How much time do you have dedicated towards working “on” your business? How many of the time blocks on your day would you categorize as urgent versus important?

To give yourself this amazing gift (trust me, you’ll thank yourself for it after a few months), take the time today to review your calendar, and block out time for the two months as a trial. Block at least 2 hours a week, and ideally 2 hours consecutively. It works best if you block the same time every week as an appointment you absolutely can’t miss.

Give it one month and see if you notice improvements in your professional life. If so, you’re already protected the next 30 days and can schedule out the following month.

If something comes up during your sacred time, you have to decide if it really is the most important thing in that moment. Can in wait 2 hours? If so, then do your primary thing. If it’s truly cannot wait, move your block of time to later in the day or the following morning. Again:

Keep. It. Sacred

Try this for 30 days and you’ll be amazed at the progress you can make!

An added bonus is this works in your personal life as well. Block time for things that matter: Dates with your significant other, time with your kids, time for friends, or just time to have for yourself to do things that bring you joy.


How To Survive The Holidays

How To Survive The Holidays

Four Tricks to Keep Your Sanity & Your Waistline Over the Holidays

As we get deeper into the holiday season, what should be the most joyful and fulfilling can also become the most stressful. When we try to fit more into an already packed calendar—holiday parties, after-work get togethers, time to prepare for all of the events we’d like to throw and attend—the more our regular schedules get thrown out of whack and we tend to put ourselves on the backburner.

Most of us love this time of year and enjoy seeing our friends and family. Unfortunately, the added stress can also wreak havoc on our health and nutrition goals. We often decide we need to just get through the month of December the best we can and then re-focus on ourselves and our goals in January.

But that means we often start the New Year (and our goals) utterly exhausted, 5-10 pounds heavier and having not followed good habits we established over the year. Instead of starting our New Year at the starting line, we’re already 10 yards behind. It’s not an auspicious way to start the new year!
Hopefully, these four tips will help you have a little more sanity over the next month and let you start the new year with more energy and less weight than normal.

1. Cancel events that won’t bring you Joy – or that can wait until after the new year.

If you look at what is in your calendar for the rest of the holiday season, you will likely find that it has commitments you wish were not there, that you made when your calendar was empty, or before you knew what the holidays would look like for you and your family.

Would you still schedule those same commitments seeing how your calendar looks now?

You don’t have to attend every get together that shows up on your calendar. Find the ones that mean the most to you and commit to those. For the rest, send your regrets, and don’t feel guilty about skipping. By choosing only those that mean the most to you, when you attend you won’t be thinking about all the other things that still have to be done on your schedule.

For reoccurring events, see if they can be merged into a holiday one, or postponed until January. For example, if you have a standing phone call with your aunt every month, but you’ll see her at a party, don’t feel guilty about canceling the call and picking it up again in January.

2. Schedule time for you NOW

To ensure you’ve got some down time for yourself, schedule time for you over the next 4 weeks. Schedule 2-4 hours EVERY week and label it “Me Time”. It can be an evening or on the weekend, all in one chunk or an hour here and there. The trick is to Keep It Sacred. Do something that nourishes you, that gives you energy. Get into nature, read a book, go to a movie, do anything that brings you energy.

Do not use this time to catch up. That’s just stealing from yourself. By building some down time, you give yourself the gift of recharging. It may seem like you already don’t have enough time. Trust me that this will give you more energy to do all the extra things you have to do. And you’ll do those things with more grace.

3. Look at menus before you go to restaurants

Many companies and friends have get-togethers at restaurants. This is often after work when we’ve spent the whole day making decisions and we’re likely tired and stressed. This is the WORST time to have to make a healthy decision. You’re already depleted of energy. Your Amygdala (Reptilian, or “base” brain) will be screaming FEED ME. And it usually doesn’t want healthy food. It wants fast energy and that’s sugar & carbs.

By looking at the menu in the morning, you can make the decision of what you’ll eat when you’ve still got energy to make good decisions. By not having to look at a menu at the restaurant when you’re tired, your base brain won’t have to be involved in that decision.

4. Eat something healthy before going to a party

Most of the time you go to a holiday party, there’s going to be LOTS of food that doesn’t support health and nutrition goals. Eat something healthy before you go in (fruit, nuts, protein bar, etc.).

It’s a double win: you’re getting some good food AND it will help you to eat less of the unhealthy food. You also stand a much better chance of not over doing it. Make it easy on yourself and keep some of these goodies in your car the entire month. That way you’re always prepared.