“I have so many big plans for my life. But when I finish work, I’m too zonked to start them.”
“I give so much to everyone during the day, I never have enough energy or time to do things for me.”
“There isn’t enough time in the day to do my soul’s work!”
We exhaust our energy giving to others, or getting caught up in busy work.
And we’re told that’s noble. That’s loving. That’s what we should do.
But if we’re delaying our dreams. If we’re getting swept up in the world’s demands and neglect our calling. If we spend our days fulfilling someone else’s vision, and pause our soul mission…
Then we suffer.
And the world misses out.
Putting yourself first is generosity. Putting yourself first is good for the collective. Honouring your time, your gifts, your space, your work is what will help heal the world.
By filling your jug first (feeding and fueling your mind, body and soul), that lovely liquid can then overflow and touch others, feeding and fueling the people in your life and community.
And so, designing your day for you FIRST is selfless. Not selfish.
Designing your day for you FIRST is the best expression of love for yourself and others.
Everything changed the day I stopped squeezing my stuff in around other obligations.
The moment I decided to design my days for me, was the moment I started living in alignment with my purpose. The moment I finally figured out my direction in life and work.
It seems counterintuitive.
We think that if we put our needs first, we won’t expand. We’ll lose work. We’ll upset our family or friends. We’ll appear narcissistic, neglectful. And we won’t be helping anyone.
And this shift can take some time and practice to really embrace and embody.
But it is so worth it, I promise you.
When you put yourself first:
- You start showing up to your work clearer and more confident.
- You start showing up for your family and friends with more love, awareness, joy and understanding.
- You begin to worry less about money and making ends meet, and notice abundance flows when you release your grip on trying to force it.
- You open up to new creative ideas and curiosities, ignite your intuition, and expand in ways you never thought possible.
Yep. All from scheduling your stuff first.
Here’s how you might like to design your day:
Open your planner and pop in YOUR things first.
When will you practise French, meditate, paint, journal, go for a walk or run, take an online training, design your new e-book, dream up your new business plan…? Record all these things first: your passion projects, your hobbies, your exercise, your mindset work, your rest and relaxation time, your creative space, your leisure. You might like to do this on Sunday evening or the first hour of Monday – whatever feels right for you.
Fill in the gaps with work tasks, family commitments, and life admin.
This might take some rejigging – especially if you have kids. You may need to delegate jobs to someone else, set up a car pool, take turns with childminding, swap your work days…
Batch your tasks.
You might have set days for set things. For instance, Monday is my creative day (when I write blog posts, record podcasts, and work on my passion projects). Friday is for life admin, when I take care of household stuff and bills.
This provides the structure my mind needs to relax (and not worry about when things will get done), and allows me to be very clear with my boundaries: “I see clients Tuesdays and Wednesdays” now rolls off the tongue.
Find your sacred time and space.
If it all feels too hard to schedule your life this way, perhaps pinpoint space in your day when distractions are at their lowest. When the world hasn’t started making its demands.
Recently, I’ve been waking up at 6.30am to do my meditation, self-coaching mindset work, stretching routine, and sip my coffee as I look out onto the garden. Dimitri and the dog are still sound asleep, my phone and Macbook are on airplane mode, and I have sacred time and space to honour and nourish my mind, body and soul before diving into the day.
For you, it might be mid-afternoon or even late at night. Be open to the lulls, and consider carving that time for you.
Share your intentions with others.
I used to keep my plans to myself. Maybe I thought I’d be mocked or criticised if I shared my dreams. But I realised keeping my nearest and dearest in the dark caused more friction (internally and with them).
So now any time I shift my schedule, I let Dimitri know. I walk him through my calendar, showing the times I’m open to discussing life plans or doing chores (for instance) – and when I need solitude to create.
We then schedule in sacred time to be together: whether that’s going to a yoga class, watching Game of Thrones on Monday evenings, or just pottering around the house on a quiet afternoon.
This is a wonderful way to practice setting boundaries, and to grow in self-confidence. As you get more comfortable putting your needs first, it’s easier for others to get on board – and for you to give them all your focus and love when you are connecting.
Loved ones are also less likely to feel neglected if they know why and when you need your alone time – and when you’re available to meet their needs. The conversation can simply start as, “This week, I’m experimenting with scheduling my things first. This will allow me to fill my cup, so I can then be fully present when we’re together – and give you all my focus and love. Here’s how you can support me this week: …………”
To wrap up…
I believe we weren’t put on this planet to be busy. You and I were gifted sensitive souls to help heal the world, in our own unique way (on a small or grand scale).
And as sensitive, empathic, heart-led humans, it’s essential we reserve our energy, guard our space and time, and prioritise our soul work.
Because when we’re filled and fulfilled, we then have the zest and drive and clarity to connect with others. To unleash our love. To care. To nurture. To help.
Design your day for you first, and you design a life of meaning, service and joy.