Small Changes Make Big Improvements
(c) 2002 by Cheryl Williams Levey, http://www.cherylsweb.com
Back when I was single
and childless, I used to go to an office every day and during good weather
months (I lived in the DC area at the time), I'd stop by a place called
Sugarloaf Mountain (in Maryland) on my way home from work and hike (walk,
really) in the woods there for a couple hours a few times a week. At the
time, being single and childless, I didn't really have to consider other
people when I decided I wanted to take that walk in the woods, and I could
decide to do this literally on my way home if I wanted to.
Then came marriage and kids and I found myself deliriously happy staring
into the eyes of my newborn son. It's been almost five years since then
and I'm now staring into his baby brother's newborn eyes, feeling that
same crushing love. You parents out there know what I mean!
But somewhere along the way, without even realizing it, I forgot about
myself. I forgot that I like to walk in the woods or on the beach (running
after a toddler to keep him from the undertow doesn't count!). I forgot
to take care of myself. Forgot to exercise, eat right, get enough rest
and to just plain care about my own well-being. My focus was so much on
my child (and now children) that I became invisible to myself. Happy,
for sure! But I forgot to care about me.
Now, I didn't just suddenly realize this. Over the past year, I started
having a gnawing feeling, like I needed to be doing something that I wasn't
doing. There were several areas in my life that just weren't right and
I was finally starting to see it. Work-wise, family-wise, health-wise.
So I'm slowly making some changes.
I'll focus on the
health ones in this article. First, I started taking my vitamins again,
and started avoiding certain things, like Coca-Cola (oh how I love that
stuff!). I started caring about my own health again. I'm learning that
small changes can make big improvements! Then, I started doing at least
30 minutes of physical exercise every day. Sometimes it's walking, doing
a Tae-Bo video, dancing to music with the kids, doing jumping jacks and
sit-ups, or whatever. As long as it's at least 30 minutes total each day.
Our family has also started paying more attention to what we eat and how
we prepare it.
Before, too often I would focus on the kids and work and then house and
other stuff, and pretty much forget myself. Turning it around is not selfish
(as some people think); it is very unhealthy to ignore one's basic needs.
I talk a lot about balancing life but forget sometimes to include my own
needs when balancing everything else. Do you do this too? It's funny how
parents tend to do everything for everyone before doing anything they
need. By ignoring our own needs, we are not the best we can be to anyone
As a result of the changes I've made, my mood is better and I'm more energetic
and more focused. I approach my work and my kids with more clarity and
patience. I get more done in less time, which results in more time for
my family. The simple changes in just the health aspect of my life have
rippled through to the other aspects of my life, making them better!
Try it yourself. Identify one personal area that can be improved and make
the true effort to change and just watch how it benefits every part of
your life! Oh, and don't forget to tell me about it!
Cheryl Williams Levey owns cherylsweb.com, a site
dedicated to showing you how to save time and money
while growing your home business. Do you have what
it takes to build a home business?