How do YOU prioritise yourself? 2022

jonsek
jonsek Posts: 49 Member
edited December 2021 in Motivation and Support
I think back a year and remember all the promises I made for myself starting 2021. I was going to eat healthily, exercise, meditate and look after my mental health and cut back ALOT on alcohol.
Yet again here I am in December, bloated, stressed, stuffing myself with sweet treats and drinking far too much alcohol.
Yet again I make my pledge for 2022 … What goals have you made and managed to stick to? How did you manage to stick to your goal? Has it been worth the effort? Any tips to share?

Replies

  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 769 Member
    The thing with priorities is that you have to ACTUALLY make them a priority, which means putting them ahead of other important things.

    When most people say they're going to make something a priority, what they mean is that it's at the top of their priority list of things to ADD to their already jam-packed roster of *kitten* to do.

    So what they think is a super high priority, is actually going to play second fiddle to everything else in their life that's already more important, and they're just going to try and shove the new priority in with sheer will power.

    Two years ago I decided to make my health my #1 priority. Period. More important than work, more important than family, more important than anything. Because without my health, I'm pretty useless for those other things.

    So I put my money where my mouth is and everything takes a back seat to my health. If a job offer would be amazing for my career, but make it hard to get enough exercise and eat properly, and maintain my mental health. I'm not doing it.

    If my family want me to take part in activities that would make self-care impossible, then I'm not doing it.

    I put my health first. Period.
  • rosebarnalice
    rosebarnalice Posts: 3,479 Member
    It's important for me to treat eating well and exercising as acts of self love and self care.

    The flip side is treating eating or drinking too much, and loading up on salty/ fatty/ carby/ sugary junk is the opposite of self care: it's brutal punishment to my body that leads to self loathing and self hatred.

    An occasional treat is one thing, but talking myself into snarfing down half a jumbo bag of chips or Oreos isn't "treating myself because I deserve it." That's lying to myself, and me and my body don't deserve to be treated that disrespectfully-- especially by me.
  • jonsek
    jonsek Posts: 49 Member
    Some really interesting answers. Thank you. Noticing a repeated theme … valuing yourself and seeing self care as a priority ❤️
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,736 Member
    jonsek wrote: »
    I think back a year and remember all the promises I made for myself starting 2021. I was going to eat healthily, exercise, meditate and look after my mental health and cut back ALOT on alcohol.
    Yet again here I am in December, bloated, stressed, stuffing myself with sweet treats and drinking far too much alcohol.
    Yet again I make my pledge for 2022 … What goals have you made and managed to stick to? How did you manage to stick to your goal? Has it been worth the effort? Any tips to share?

    I don't really do goals, but in this context that's a subtle thing. I kind of look for opportunities (or sometimes experience triggers), then move in a positive direction and see where it takes me.

    I got active in my mid-40s after cancer treatment (chemo and the whole nine yards) because I realized I needed to do something if I was ever going to feel strong, energetic, and even happy ever again. (Cancer treatment is depleting, physically and psychologically. I had also been widowed not long before, which didn't help on the psychological side, along with some other stuff I won't belabor).

    It stuck because I found an activity that was so much fun to me that I'd do it even if it weren't good for me (but it is). So, I stuck to being active because it was fun, and I like fun. Now, decades later, if I go too long without working out, I start feeling tense, grumpy, irritable, depressed . . . reversing that is motivating, too . . . but that effect took a while to develop/recognize.

    Weight loss was triggered by my doctor getting increasingly emphatic that I should take a statin for high cholesterol, after other interventions I'd tried didn't make much improvement. Mental fog is a common side effect with statins, and I figured I'd already given up too much cognitive bandwidth to chemo, so I didn't want the statin (or the heart disease risk). A few months in, they took out my gallbladder, which turned out to be an ugly, cholesterolized, thickened thing with actual holes in it: That kind of sealed my resolve. Also, by then I'd discovered that calorie counting was pretty workable, for me.

    Now, after reaching a healthy weight and staying there for 6+ years, it's sunk in how dramatically much it helps my quality of life (more nimble; less joint and other pain; improved general sense of well-being in ways I can't really pin down, but that are definitely present - and more). Now, I put up with some current non-indulgence in order for future Ann to keep having a better life, for longer.

    For me, sticking with anything is more a matter of finding enjoyable or at least tolerable habits that I can find, groove in, and then almost do on autopilot. It's barely at all about things like motivation, will power, etc. Those are not my strong suits.

    Despite that, though, I can get a certain limited amount of benefit from convincing myself certain things are not a decision, just a thing I do. You know the old saw: We don't think about whether we're motivated to brush our teeth or put gas in the car, we just do it because it has to be done. Some of my Winter exercise routine is like that: I just strive mentally not to give myself a choice.

    Many people seem to like the New Years Revolution approach to life change, but that's not worked well for me. I do better if I wait for my head to tell me that I mean it this time, so the opportunity to change is ripe. Sometimes, events trigger that. Sometimes it "just happens". 🤷‍♀️ I wish I knew what flipped the switch: I'd bottle and sell it, get rich.

    I strongly suspect that much of the above is idiosyncratic, not relevant to others.

    I do, though, have a fairly strong opinion that a key success factor in making life changes is to find the right personalized route, a strategy and plan that takes into account, even games, our individual preferences, strengths, limitations, practical constraints, etc.

    Paths that others take can inform our thoughts about what'll work for us, give us things to try on for fit, but following someone else's approach in more rote fashion may not be all that successful IMO, because we're not them. Just my opinion.

    Betting you can find a path: Just not giving up, but instead chipping away at it when you have the emotional energy available, can take a person places, long term.

    Best wishes!