Pay Yourself First
Working in a professional environment is overwhelming – there is always too much work to do and not enough time or resources to get it all done. It is easy to convince yourself if you do one more task, your to-do list will look better in the morning. That one thing can turn into a couple of hours of work that robs you of time with your family, practicing self-care or participating in other activities that build a healthy body and spirit. Working overtime to get through your work to-do list may seem like the right thing to do, but in the long run, failure to pay yourself with personal time erodes mind, body, and spirit.
I’m not making this up. According to a recent CDC study, on average, only 28.8% of working men and a dismal 20.9% of working women meet the guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities. Of note is that, in general, Southeastern states were consistently rated “below average” in study categories.
Balanced professionals have learned how to set a weekly goal to pay themselves first. They succeed because they are very intentional about maintaining the discipline to do it.
To get started, make a list of the things that energize you and make you a healthy person. Here are some options:
- Talk a walk outside
- Attend a new gym class to do a workout you’ve never done
- Practice yoga
- Read a book you’ve heard recommended
- Schedule a special dinner with your family
- Dare to take a roller coaster ride
Then take that list and turn it into your commitment to yourself – your Personal Payday reminder. Make an appointment on your calendar for each goal you set. Block off that time and hold it sacred.
As a business professional, you are looked up to by employees and family as a role model of success. What message are you sending? Time and money are the same thing when you are building a business or a professional career. Paying yourself with an investment in health is essential to long-term success.