Published on January 28, 2021
An issue I encounter with many folks I meet in the office—and, dare I say, most—is not how absolutely disorganized they are but how adamant they are that they are organized to a fault in every aspect of their lives EXCEPT FOR (wait for it . . . ) their weight, eating lifestyle and health – basically, their self-care.
For one thing, I don’t buy it right out of the gate. With over two decades in the weight loss business, I have the eyes and ears to spot the “I”m organized” disorganized person rather quickly and, as I’ve written before, my experience confirms that clutter and chaos, disorganization and dishevelment, makes you fat.
For another, once I get to know clients, meeting/speaking with them several times a week, learning about things going on in their personal and professional lives, and their reactions to various circumstances and situations, not only am I proved right, but they get to see and own up to just how disorganized they are.
They’ve been hiding not only behind their fat for so long, but also behind their “I’m busy” banner. And as we all know, being “busy” is NOT the same as being “productive.” Not even close.
You know folks, we’re not all that different from one aspect of our lives to another. Who we are at home is who we are at the office is who we are with friends and so forth. We are who we are. Our character assets as well as our defects are with us all the time, whether we like to admit or not.
We can’t be fastidious and buttoned up in areas of our lives that we deem a priority, and then be sloppy, disheveled and disorganized in aspects of our lives that we ALSO deem a priority.
The person who claims to want to make a change (weight, fitness, career, personal relationship, etc) and doesn’t give laser-focus to the time and steps needed to make it happen, who doesn’t look for and use the tools and resources available to effect that change is, in fact, whether they like or not, disorganized. And they’re disorganized because what they claim to want isn’t a priority. And it’s on purpose.
To make yourself a priority, you have to be selfish.
That’s right. I said it. You have to be selfish.
Unfortunately, the word “selfish” always brings to mind negative connotations. We think self-centered, self-serving, self-involved. We’re supposed to avoid thinking only “me and my interests,” right? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
This is how the p.c. police define that word. And just because someone defines something we’ve done as selfish, doesn’t mean we have to define it on their terms.
In my opinion, sometimes the right thing IS to be “selfish.” And it may even be required more than “sometimes.”
There are times when being selfish is the right thing to do for our emotional, mental and physical health and well-being. There are also times when taking care of ourselves is absolutely necessary: We may need alone time, we may need help, we may need rest.
None of us should ever neglect ourselves and our health to avoid feeling selfish.
You have to be selfish.
You have to learn how to say “No.”
I consider myself a pretty generous person when it comes to giving my time to help someone, to answer questions, etc.; no doubt most people feel the same. I’m sure all of us often go out of our way to help others. We do it because it feels good to help.
At the same time, if I took a few minutes to respond to every single request I get via email or voice mail or by someone popping their head into my office; or if I said “yes” to every family request to “pick me up at the train station at _____” or “Can you stop at the supermarket for ______” or “Can you drive me ______,” I’d literally have no time left in the day for productive work — work that moves my business forward or for the time I purposely set aside for my own personal needs. For example, there’s a big difference between someone telling me, “I need you to pick me up at the station at 8:00 p.m.” and calling me to coordinate their arrival time around my availability to retrieve them.
What’s important is that we learn how to say No, to put our priorities first, that we’re clear on our goals and have a defined schedule and structure to make the progress we want.
I believe you have to treat yourself with the same “customer service” that you do your prospects and clients. You make a date with a prospect or client. You show up. On time. Every time. And you’re prepared for the meeting. That’s how you get new clients. That’s how you successfully maintain those client relationships.
Well, your body, your health is your business.
You need to do the same for your self-care. You need to put dates/time blocks on your calendar to __________ (prep your meals, go grocery shopping, get to the gym, go for your massage, do your weekly laundry, write a blog or two, etc. and so forth — whatever needs to be done, whatever your personal priorities are), and, barring any real emergencies of course, you stick to that schedule; you work around that schedule to provide assistance to others: “No, I can’t pick you up at the station at 9:00pm. If you can get in at 10, I can do it.” “No, I can’t do lunch on Tuesday; I block Tuesdays for working on my business; I can do lunch on Friday, if you like.”
Too often, I think, people don’t say “No” out of fear of hurting a relationship, be it personal or business. In my opinion, however, the better we get at saying “No,” the more productive we are and the faster we reach our goals. After all, if we want to be successful (at anything), we must be accountable for ALL commitments we make — to ourselves and to others — and manage expectations to make this possible.
And we can’t do that if we’re not selfish.