Picking up where I left off in The weekly planner that could change your life and help you get shiz done, this post is about helping you plan your ‘self’ role and intentions.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know how much I believe in looking after yourself. To illustrate this, I like to tell a little story about an old and poor farmer who… killed his poor goose.
This farmer was old and poor, and all he had was his goose. He loved it so much. He nurtured it, fed it and gave it everything it needed and more. Then one day, to his surprise the goose laid a golden egg. He was of course ecstatic, and was so proud of his beloved goose. The next day, this happened again. And everyday, the farmer would race out to his goose to see it had laid yet another golden egg. The farmer was so fixated on the eggs and adding to his growing fortune, that he stopped caring for the goose. He didn’t give it what it needed, didn’t feed it like he used to and didn’t even tell it how much he loved it anymore! Then guess what, the poor goose died. And no more golden eggs.
I told this story to my students at the start of the year. I told them that their needs came first. Once their needs were met, that’s when quality work, or golden eggs are produced.
In the context of promoting happiness, positive psychology is more than just eliminating the negatives like anxiety, depression or disease. It’s about building on the strengths we have and thriving at life. I have four favourite positive psychology practices that you might like to give a go at, too (I read about these when I was researching and writing my thesis, if you would like to know more google Martin Seligman or buy one of his books. ‘Flourish’ is my favourite).
- What went well: I’m addicted to asking this question. It’s so easy to ask, and the answer doesn’t have to be ground shaking. It can be as simple as having shoes that fit you or a full stomach. It took a while for my kids at school to become confident with this question, but with practice, answers of what has gone well simply roll of the tongue. And listening to their answers always fills me up! It’s also a great debriefing question to ask Zac when he gets home, rather than just catching up with each others routines, we actually get more joy from debriefing this way.
- Gratitude: there is a plethora of research and evidence about gratitude out there. It’s really a no brainer. When we think about what we are grateful for and share it with people, they feel appreciated.
A person who feels appreciated always does more than expected.
3. Journalling: having a physical record of what has gone well for you or your daily gratitude list is really powerful. I practice journalling on and off, but I still have my journal next to my bed. It lights me up and feels good to look back and read some of the things I was grateful for previously. It’s a great reminder of the people who I appreciate in my life, and makes me feel more connected to them because I am focused purely on the positive.
4. Character strengths: I strongly suggest you complete the character strengths test on authentichappiness.org. There’s a brief version or a longer version. It’s so empowering and the research behind strength based approaches are overwhelming. It helps you to discover ‘the real you’ and empowers you to live your live in ways that recognise and celebrate your unique strengths. Read more about it if you already don’t know too much about it. I find it really interesting and so worth while.
Self love menu
With the four positive physiology practices in mind, create a list of ten things that you can do or like to do to care for yourself. For me, I love making myself a green tea, I love to read, learn and practice yoga. The list goes on.
Give it a try!
You can turn regular, every day activities into a self-love practice
I’m not a big fan of vaccumming. So when I have it in my mind that it really needs doing even though I don’t want to do it, it’s not much fun. But, when I change my thinking from that to ‘I create a lovely home for myself and Zac, it’s so nice to live in a clean and cared for home,’ then I am literally doing the same thing but for a different purpose.
Same goes for yoga or exercise. I could be doing it thinking I love my body and it is designed to move, or I could be doing it out of fear of not looking amaze in my wedding dress.
Another good example is eating. You can turn this into a practice of love! And it’s so easy to do because we do it so regularly. So it’s not always about putting time aside for yourself (although I highly recommend it), it can also be a balance of changing your thinking when doing everyday things.
Add your list to your weekly planner
I hoping that now when you complete your weekly planner, you have some more ideas to draw upon when completing the ‘self’ section. Take some ideas from your self-love menu and add them in!
What do you like to do to look after yourself?
Stay fabulous xx
Featured images via @foxyzingaro