This morning I had a session with Susan (not her real name), who runs her own business and is also a mom. As we were reviewing the goals from our last session, it was clear that Susan was doing well on her business goals, as well as a personal goal of getting rid of clutter in order to make her home more beautiful. Great! However, when I asked her about her goal to join Weight Watchers—she skated by this issue as fast as she could.
My job is to hold her accountable. So I went back to the Weight Watchers issue to explore what was really going on. Susan told me that she wanted to reconnect with Weight Watchers not only to lose weight, but to start eating better. She simply hadn’t had the time and a major challenge was getting organized—figuring out meals ahead of time and going to the grocery store to have the healthy food she needed in the house.
Susan confessed that many of her poor choices stemmed from her lack of planning. For instance, it was almost lunchtime and she had about forty-five minutes until her next client appointment. What was she going to do? Well, she might pick up a muffin or get a small, lower calorie meal at one of our local drive-thrus.
I listened, not totally believing that poor planning and organization were the entire picture.
Why? I knew that she made a lunch with snacks for her middle school daughter every morning, and asked Susan why she had not packed a lunch today for herself. Her response: “Well, I take care of everyone else, but not myself.” This refrain—or something quite similar—is one that I hear over and over again from my female clients.
The underlying issue is about putting yourself on the priority list and paying attention to your needs first, and to also pay attention to the needs of your children and husband. But here’s the key: you need to be on the list!
Susan’s homework from this session is to email me every morning with the food she will be eating at her three meals the following day. She challenged me by asking if she could only doing this on Monday—Wednesdays—Fridays, and if she needed to email me her food choices over the weekends. My response: “Don’t you eat all seven days of the week?” Being accountable to me daily will get Susan in the habit of checking her schedule the day before to determine if she will be out of her home office and needs to pack herself a lunch or snack instead of grabbing food on the run. And, most importantly, it will get her to once again start paying attention and making her own needs a priority.
So, here we go ladies—get out your calendar or BlackBerry and schedule in some of your own needs. For you that might mean scheduling a weekly manicure, pedicure, going to exercise class, walking with a friend, a date night with your husband or significant other, shopping time alone, etc.
And don’t forget scheduling down time to simply be!