Editor’s note: When I see Lisa Kaplin’s weekly newsletter in my inbox, it’s usually one of the first emails I click on, just because I know I’m going to get one or more of these things: laughs, entertainment, motivation, good advice, or comfort. But yesterday, I woke up to my dog throwing up in my bed, which started a morning that was scary (because I was worried about my dog), chaotic, and really gross. So, I never got to my emails, instead I was washing bedding, getting the kids off to school, and taking care of my little guy. It was Thursday, so I knew there was a yoga class starting in 20 minutes. ‘Should I go?’ I was thinking. I had so much to catch up on, more laundry, and a work situation that was taking time. That said, another side of me felt like going to yoga was the right move. 10 minutes before the class I’m still thinking, ‘Should I go?’ I jumped in the car and made it to class, and let me tell you, I walked out of yoga a different person. Every problem I had seemed completely manageable. I realized that I took care of myself, which helped me take care of others and do my job better. And then…I saw Lisa’s newsletter, titled, “First I’m Going To Yoga!” It was shocking that I had just lived what she wrote about! It’s one of the best pieces of advice I can share with my readers. So with that, here is Lisa’s article! —Jackie Pilossoph, Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling.
But First I’m Going To Yoga
by Lisa Kaplin
Last year, I had the well-intentioned but ultimately doomed plan of putting yoga classes on my calendar after everything else went on my calendar. Needless to say, it didn’t work out that well. As my last priority, at least on the calendar, I ended up missing classes more often than not. Yoga is one of the sure-thing stress reliefs in my life. I’ve never once regretted going to a yoga class, but I’ve certainly regretted not going.
So this year, I’ve decided on a new plan and a new mantra for self care. It’s not a radical or new idea in that almost everyone and their brother will tell you to prioritize yourself and your own health (emotional and physical). Yet most of us know that it’s not so easy to do because we get pulled away by other demands and situations. I’ve thought carefully about what will keep me honoring my own well-being while still being responsible for my work and family.
Change Your Language, Change Your Life
I realized that my language in the past has been, “I’m really going to try to get to yoga today.” Could I have a more wishy-washy thought process if I tried? Yoga was a maybe and that’s how I treated it. This year, I changed my mantra and changed my behavior. “First, I go to yoga.” The other day I had some car issues and some little annoyances at home. I was ready to skip yoga, but instead I said to myself, “Yes, these things need to get done, but first I’m going to yoga.”
As it will likely not surprise any of you, once I go to yoga, all of those little annoyances aren’t so annoying, my ability to get stuff done increases, and my attitude improves exponentially. Shocking, right? Taking care of myself first is like that old saying around saving money, “Pay yourself first.” It’s kind of amazing how all of these little old-fashioned ideas are rather brilliant.
It seemed like a minor shift to change my language. However, my language changed my mind and my mind got my body into action. I’ve been hitting the mat a few times a week since the beginning of the year. It’s led to zero regrets, improved concentration, and a much more pleasant version of me. I’m paying me first and it’s working.
What’s your version of “first I’m going to yoga? Running? A long walk? Meditation? Maybe even a mindless television show? What will you make into your, “But _________ comes first” mantra?
Lisa Kaplin, Psy. D., CPC is a professional certified life and executive coach, psychologist, and professional speaker. She helps people tackle that “One day I’ll do this and then I’ll be happy” goal, today. You can reach Lisa at Lisa@lisakaplin.com or lisakaplin.com This article was originally published on Lisa’s blog.