We’ve all heard the saying, “You get out what you put in.” But how many of us really think about that as it relates to our own lives? We invest in our families, our friends, our jobs and so many other areas that directly relate to the needs of others. Yet just think about what the word “invest” means: it’s about devoting time to a particular purpose; about giving of your time and talent to achieve a certain thing. We all have a purpose. We all have certain goals that we’d like to reach. So, when it comes to investing in ourselves, why don’t we see that as just as important as anything that we do for anyone else? After all, if we don’t take care of ourselves, how can we fully be of benefit to anyone else?
It’s extremely vital to invest into yourself. Here are five ways how you can start doing that…today.
Take care of your health. Sure, this includes getting an annual physical and going to the dentist every six months, but it actually goes far deeper than that. Health is not just about your physical state, but also your mental and emotional well-being too. When any area is not well, it should be tended to. So, when you’re not feeling your best, make the time to do whatever it is that you need to feel better whether that’s the common recommendations like eating healthy, exercising, getting adequate sleep and drinking plenty of water; or, going to a counselor or therapist to tend to any unsettling feelings that you may be having.
Go on vacations. It used to be that vacations were seen as being more of a luxury than a necessity. These days, with all of the demands of life, that is no longer the case. From the moment that we get out of bed in the morning until we retire (oftentimes very late) at night, we have been going like the Energizer bunny. This means that there are definitely times when we need to break our daily routine, get off of the clock and unwind. You are doing yourself and everyone around you a favor when you make the time, at least a couple of times a year, to take a trip strictly for the purposes of play rather than work. A well-rested person is a highly-productive one as well.
Set clear boundaries. If you’ve never read a book by Dr. Henry Cloud or Dr. John Townsend (CloudTownsend.com), it’s definitely worth a few of your dollars. Their entire platform is centered around setting healthy boundaries for yourself. A lot of people find themselves being either overwhelmed or feeling like they don’t have much to give to themselves. It’s oftentimes because they honor every request (or demand) that’s made of them and have not mastered the power to use to word “no”. It can take a while to come to this resolve, but you’re not a super hero, you can’t do it all, and so if you say, “I’m sorry, this just isn’t a good time for me” from time-to-time, the world will not blow up and life will go on. Saying “no” isn’t about disappointing others, but about protecting yourself—your time, energy and resources. We all should learn the art of giving out of our abundance rather than our lack. Boundaries teach us how to do this very thing.
Choose your relationships wisely. You can’t choose your family and if you’ve ever gone to human resources to file a complaint while on the job, it probably reminded you of the fact that you can’t choose your co-workers, either. What you can choose are your friends. Therefore, make sure that you select people who are interested in pouring into you just as much as they’re willing to receive what you have to offer. When someone really values a person that’s in their life, they will make the investment to treat them as a man or woman of great worth. Oh, and when it comes to the people that you couldn’t choose, there’s a wise man that once said, “You don’t have to like me, but I do expect to be respected.” Definitely some wise words to live by.
Be a dream chaser. There are a lot of seniors who will tell you that what they regret most in this season of their lives is that they didn’t pursue all, if any, of their dreams. They got married quickly. They had children too young. They let other people pressure them to do things that “looked right” rather than what they felt was best for them. All of us have dreams and oftentimes, they are visions to inspire us to make what we see a reality. In this life, while we may be responsible to a lot of people, the main person we’re responsible for is ourselves. Don’t make any apologies for going after some of the desires of your heart. When you follow through and make an investment into yourself in that way, what you get back in return will make every single sacrifice well worth it.
About the Author: Evan Fischer writes for Midwest HR (click here). Midwest HR offers innovative HR solutions to organizations that are focused on productivity, profitability, and growth.