Self-care is about more than taking a bubble bath

When we think of putting aside some time for self-care, so many of us immediately think of taking a relaxing bubble bath or scheduling an appointment with a therapist.

There is so much more, however, that goes into taking care of ourselves. In fact, it all starts with small acts that reinforce mindfulness and personal growth on the way to achieving your goals; something that a simple notebook can help with. Here are some tips.

List realistic, actionable goals

First, keep it measurable

Say, for example, that you want to lose weight. This alone is not an actual goal, it needs to be specific otherwise how can you measure it? Decide on how much you want to lose, and work toward it.

Second, keep it realistic

Acknowledge what you’re willing to do to acquire this goal you’ve set. If you want to lose 50 pounds, will you enrol at a gym or design a new meal plan? If you want to upskill to get a new job, how are you going to achieve this? Will these actions reasonably lead you to your goal? Breaking it down into weekly milestones is a great way to stay focused.

Third, set the date

After you’ve decided on your steps and discerned how they will help you reach your goal, it’s time to set a date. Keep this realistic, as well. For instance, will your selected actions reasonably add up to losing 50 pounds in a year, or will you need two years?

Keep track of your productivity

First, keep a tracker

This is where your notebook comes in handy. Maintain a list of completed tasks or little “wins” each day. These lists can help us to see regular progress, and also motivate us to reach our goals. If you struggle one day, write down what you will do the next day so that you stay focused.

Second, refer to your goals

It’s important to regularly check in with ourselves by comparing what we’ve been doing with the goals we’ve set. How are our actions setting us up to reach our goals? What do we need to improve on to reach our goals by the dates we have set?

Third, note your gratitude

No matter how small or minute, it’s important to keep a record of the things we’re grateful for. During your journey, for instance, this could be the progress you have made towards your goal or complements or support that others have given. It can also be unrelated, and simply be an observation of what you are most grateful for each day. Not only does this help us to see where we’ve made improvements, but it can trigger a flood of positive emotions when we express gratitude every day, broadening our outlook and making us more committed to living a healthier life.

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