As a parent, your responsibilities can be overwhelming. Often you may be going through life on autopilot. You wake-up, shower, get the children ready for school or childcare, drop them off, get coffee, and head to work. At work you go through similar duties, after work picking up the children, getting dinner, baths and bedtime routines for the children, and you fall into bed to get up and start all over again tomorrow. What about you? Would you like to change? Even though there is very little time for yourself, we all need to stop and reflect on where we are in our relationships, careers, family life etc. This is called self-improvement. What can self-improvement do for you:
• Self-improvement lets you know your personal strengths.
• It can give you a better understanding of what you want and where you can excel.
• Self-improvement can help you to discover new opportunities to grow.
• It can increase your self-esteem and give you confidence to try new things.
• It gives you focus
• Helps you identify your weaknesses
• Bring you happiness
• Make your life better
There are many excuses you can list for reasons why you cannot even attempt to try to improve your life. Setting a goal such as diet, exercise, go to the gym, talk to your boss about changing your hours at work etc., seem just too difficult to attain. Your reasons may be not enough time, you have too much to do, you are too tired at the end of the day, caring for your children takes up too much of your time, and/or there are too many distractions.
When deciding to improve yourself, it will require you to change some of your autopilot behavior. You may need to alter some of your routines. It is not easy to accept change. Changing is what you are familiar with may mean you will not be comfortable with unfamiliar routines. However, change is necessary for growth.
Take baby steps. Focus on one change at a time.
For example: You want start going to the gym regularly. You could start by asking a neighbor or friend who has the same goal as you, to babysit for each other’s children every other week so that you can regularly go to the gym while she babysits, and you babysit while she goes to the gym.
Be prepared for setbacks, things do always go smoothly especially when our responsibilities sometimes are out of our control.
For example: Your child gets sick on your scheduled night to go to the gym and you have to stay home and care for her. Accept it and try again next time. Do not become discouraged and give up because things are not working out.
Pat yourself on the back and give yourself credit for any progress you make in a positive direction. Your awareness of your progress will give you the motivation to keep on self-improving.
The Healthiest Approaches to Self-Improvement, By Arlin Cuncic