YOU are a Priority

Oftentimes we spend our lives taking care of others and forget the most important person:  ourself.  You find your days and hours devoted to taking care of family members, taking care of clients and customers and work non-stop to meet deadlines.  Work consumes us alive as well as the zillion other tasks we have to get done in our daily lives.

Now how much time you spend taking care of family members of course depends on how large your family is.  It can include parents, siblings, your spouse, children, aunts, uncles, grandparents, inlaws, etc.  If you have a large family, this of course will consume quite a bit of your time.  If you have children, you will most often be preoccupied taking care of them.  I don’t have any but from what I see, having children is a full time job.  From the moment you wake up, until the time you fall asleep there are things that need to get done.  Many times, parents forget to take care of themselves, their relationships and the household ends up running on clockwork.  The parents forget why they are together.

I remember reading an article in Shape Magazine one day about how a mother of several children  managed to stay in shape and remain healthy.   Parents who are capable of handling business, taking care of the kids, while staying healthy and happy inspire me. This lady said one of her tricks was to post on her fridge a reminder that her time was also a priority.  That her time too was just as important as those of the kids.

That I think is important to remember.  No matter how busy you are at work, no matter how many deadlines there are, or how busy you are taking care of your family, do not forget to take care of yourself.  Your health is a priority. YOU are a priority.  For if you don’t take care of yourself, who will?  Do not expect others to take care of you, they are not you.

Once you take care of your physical health, you will realize that this will spread to a better mental health.  You will be less stressed and emotionally stronger.  Interestingly you will also discover you “seemingly” have more time.  Being in good health allows you to take better care of everyone else.  Therefore spending a little more “me” time is actually beneficial to all those around you!

Here’s to good health everyone! And remember, without good health (both physical and mental), you have nothing 🙂

My 24hours

While thinking about “Big Rock” the other day, I wondered what do I do in 24hours and how can I be more effective in achieving what I want to achieve?  I can’t make my 24hours become 48 hours in a day (although I would love to) so I just have to work with the same number of hours but with a prioritization.

A typical working day for me goes like this:

7 hours :  Sleep
1 hour  : Travel to and from fitness
1.5 hour: Exercise +shower+change
9 hours:   Work (assuming this is a VERY good day)
1 hour:    Travel home
1.5 hour:  Dinner + family time
0.5 hour shower
1 hour blog
1.5 hours spare time (in case of traffic, long showers, long dinners, )

Looking at this breakdown, I realize I have roughly an hour extra a day to do what I want to do. What should be my priority during this hour? If there is a long traffic jam, I lose this personal time.

It can be family, health or work.  Just one hour a day isn’t much, but if you realize that this is your valuable time then do what you want to do in that special hour 🙂

What are you going to do?

Finding “Big Rock”

We all know there are 24 hours in a day, yet we always want to do more in less time. While reading about effective time management the other day, I discussed the topic with Alex. A lot of people (I included) like to think that if I manage my time better, I can squeeze in more things. I can get more things done because I am more efficient. (This is awesome, I can actually do things that would usually take me two days in one day.) Actually if you really think hard about it. Being effective doesn’t necessarily mean squeezing in more accomplished tasks or finished works into the same amount of time. Effective time management is really about prioritizing. It means ensuring that you get what you need and should get done, actually accomplished in the allotted time.

An example is given in the book I read about a “Big Rock.” The big rock is placed in a glass and those who see it, declare that the glass is now FULL with this Big Rock. The lecturer then takes out a bag of sand and pours it into the glass. It fills the empty space. Nevertheless, he is still not done. Water is then  poured into the cup.  What  does this teach us? If we don’t first put in the “Big Rock” into the glass, we will never get it in.
What do you compare this big rock with in your life?
–  Family time and time for those who love you?
– honesty, education, or money and wealth?
– other things in life….etc..You name it. The “Big Rock” can be anything.  If you have unrealized dreams, then put it into the glass.  If health is your priorty, make time for it.  If your family is most important to you, then take care of them.  If your career, or business is what you live for, then that is what you put first in life.Whatever your “Big Rock” is in life, remember to first put it in the glass.  If not, your time will be filled with sand and water (which represent unimportant tasks and unexpected things that come to take your time away).Live your life, find your “Big Rock.” Once you find it, put it in the glass 🙂

A Thousand Dreams

I like to dream.  I dream of all the things I want to do and be.  I dream that one day I’ll be able to play golf like a pro.  I dream that one day I’ll sing like a bluebird.  I dream of traveling the world and having my own set of books.

I dream so many things that I wonder where to start.  Each day, each week, I come up with a new dream.  I wonder if this lifetime I’d be able to accomplish them all. There are just so many things to do in life. I have work, I have family, I have errands, I have social obligations.  Perhaps I need to have nine lives like a cat.

As said matter of factly by Alex:  “We only have 24 hours in day.”

It’s important to dream your dreams, but its also important to focus your energy on what dream you want to accomplish most and when.

If your immediate goal is to lose weight, then ignore all your other dreams for the moment and focus on losing weight.  It’ll take time.  It always takes time to accomplish a goal, and if you don’t focus all your energy on it, it’ll be hard to be successful.  There is no magic bullet, no magic pill.  Everything requires hard work.  It took  me half a year to lose 15kgs of my weight.  During that time, everything else was set aside.  I made time for my goal.   It wasn’t easy, but now it’s done, it’s done. 

I have crossed it off my “To Do” list forever.    It was worth it.  Everyday I am so happy I did it.

Once you get that goal over and done, you can then start on your next goal whatever that might be.  It’s through this succession of focus and prioritization that you will be able to accomplish all you want to.  Maybe you won’t accomplish all of the dreams you dreamt, but at least you’d have accomplished the dreams you really wanted most.

If you really want something badly enough, you’ll find a way to do it.  If not, there’s always an excuse. 🙂

Time flies but its in your hands

Time flies.  It seems to fly by faster the older one gets.  I remember when I was young, a day seemed so long. It was filled with going to school, having the afternoon nap, homework, playing with the dog, reading or doing other odd things.  I was always looking forward to birthdays and another year.

Nowadays, a day is over even though you feel like it just started.  You’re sitting there working and then before you know it, its already time to go home.  It goes by so fast, that years past like it was months.  My birthday seems to be coming by around faster.  Too fast.  I don’t look forward to it as much anymore.

Whenever people ask me how long I’ve been working, the answer is no longer one digit.  It is now two digits and I realize: “Gosh, I’m not that young anymore.”   What happen to all my dreams and goals?  Have I  accomplished all I want to?  Grey hair is popping up.

Despite all the bad news about time flying by fast, the good thing is that you’re the one controlling it.  Even if time flew by faster than expected, it’s never too late.  You’re the one in control.  You direct what to do with your time.

The trick is just to not get drowned by the speed with which its gone, but to hold it in your hands and decide what to do with the rest of it.  That’s what matters. It’s all up to you .  There’s no one else who can tell you what to do with it.  You’re the captain of your ship. 🙂

Afterall, didn’t Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC succeed at age 75? 🙂