The biggest lie we tell ourselves about our self-care. And the secret to overcoming it.

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Self care. That all-elusive holy grail of internal bliss and outer glow. Have you achieved it?

My guess is, like the rest of us, you’re somewhere en route. Maybe you’re at the very beginning of the journey, just starting to tune into your body. Or maybe you’ve been playing in this playground for a while, and bone broth and cultured veggies feature prominently in your daily routines.

Either way, I’d wager that you’ve unknowingly told yourself this lie about your self-care more than once. I’ve heard it countless times from clients, and have uttered it many times myself.

“I’ll start on Monday”

I know, I know. The beginning of the week represents so much possibility for a new start. “Monday” gives us the weekend to go whole hog and justify our debauchery against our presumed and projected discipline. “Monday” has magical future powers. (Don’t even get me started on the New Year.)

But here’s the deal: What “I’ll start on Monday” really means is:

“I don’t wanna!!!”

or:

“I know I should {fill in the blank} but it sounds like no fun / a lot of work / too much time / scary / overwhelming, so I’m just going to postpone it for a few more days.”

And then here it is: Monday inevitably arrives, and here you are, the same you as you were last week. Except now you’re faced not only with the beginning of a busy week, but with the reality of making happen whatever it is you’ve been avoiding.

Now I know – from ample personal experience – that “Monday” is just another way to procrastinate. It’s all about pushing into the future what we know we should be doing today. Yeah, maybe we will actually step up on Monday. Maybe even Tuesday. But what about deeper into the week? What happens by Friday and the following weekend? Are you still on your game, or are you right back at the starting point projecting to Monday yet again?

The Biggest Lie we tell ourselves about our self-care. And the secret to overcoming it.  | eatnakednow.com

You and I both know that it’s easy to be disciplined tomorrow. Gosh – if I’d actually followed through on the number of commitments I’ve projected into the future, I’d be one accomplished and uber-healthy wonder woman! (Trust me, I know this cycle so well it hurts.)

So how do we stop procrastinating, and start acting?

Over the years, working with countless clients on what is fundamentally behavior change, I have learned that there’s one simple secret to break through this cycle of procrastination:

Start TODAY.

As in: right now. Wherever you are, and whatever that looks like.

It won’t be perfect. You probably don’t have everything lined up. But guess what: who cares? This represents more accurately your real life anyhow. And here’s the thing: you’re a resourceful and creative person in the rest of your life – let’s apply those skills to your self-care.

It’s like those old clothes in your closet. You don’t wear them anymore, but you save them for that future “someday” when you will. Well, here’s the deal: put them on TODAY. Not comfortable wearing them? Then you won’t love them any more in some distant “someday”. Into the giveaway bin they go.

It’s the same with self-care. If you can’t start TODAY – in the middle of your real life with its real challenges, distractions and many, many good reasons (excuses?) to postpone what’s really important (you!) – then how is “Monday” going to be any different?

A year from now, you'll wish you started today. Why wait? | eatnakednow.com

Here’s my challenge for you (and me):

Take one self-care action you’ve been meaning to make for the last few weeks or months and make it happen today.

Been wanting to start up yoga again? Go online right now, find a class near you tonight, and take it. Can’t find a class near you? There are tons of online yoga programs (like this and this or even free on YouTube) you can take from the comfort of your living room.

Noticed you’ve been going a little crazy on the sugar? Cut it out starting right now. Yes, this means giving the chocolate bar you’ve stashed in your desk to a co-worker.

Been meaning to start meditating but haven’t figured out how to squeeze it in? Go sit somewhere – anywhere! – for 10 minutes this afternoon. Close your eyes and just breathe.

The key is this: there is ALWAYS a way to make it happen. What needs to shift is not your life, it’s you. Waiting for external situations to line up perfectly is a no-win game. Starting now, even imperfectly, is always the best way to start. You can fine tune as you go.

Here’s why it works:

  • It shows you something very important: that you CAN do it even when things aren’t perfect. Because guess what? Things will almost never line up perfectly – at least not consistently – so this builds in your resilience right from the start.
  • It shows you that you can be resourceful, creative and get it done. Imagine how easy it will be when things do line up for you!
  • It shows you that YOU are a priority and worthy of being put first. Not only that, you discover that you are in fact the only one who can set that priority.
  • It builds a really important muscle: the muscle of breaking through the “I don’t wanna’s” into the “I can do this!” mentality. This will serve you well in every aspect of your life.

So what will it be? Please share what you commit to doing TODAY in the comments below.

photo credit: © Martinmark | Dreamstime.com



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2 Comments

  1. Bill

    May 9, 2015 at 1:55 am

    This is a good message. Even as I frequently urge people to stop delaying making changes in the way they eat, I keep delaying starting a daily practice of meditation. Your mention of both in this post was a good reminder to me that I need to work on my own self-care too.

    • Margaret Floyd

      May 13, 2015 at 6:34 am

      Bill, I think this message applies to every single one of us! 🙂

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