It may sound odd to some people, but it’s very important to do that, to have a healthy relationship with yourself.
A good relationship with yourself simply means that you listen to yourself, that you’re always trying to improve yourself, that you’re aware of your strength and weakness points and that you do value yourself.
A healthy relationship with yourself will also help you to have healthy relationships with others, because if can’t communicate with yourself in the first place, it’s hard to communicate with other people.
And once you begin to understand yourself, you’ll have a sense of clarity and purpose, you’ll know where are your flaws and where you need to work in order to fix them, and where are your strength points and how to strength them even more.
In short, he/she who can conquer him/her self, can conquer the world.
What You Will Find In This Article
For sure I won’t tell you to love yourself or accept yourself, that’s garbage!
Instead, I’m going to give you a practical technique that when you apply it, you’re going to get the chance to have a better relationship with yourself.
A technique that’s based on the fact that you need to spend some time with yourself, if you can’t spend some time with someone, how are you going to have a realtionship with that person?
That’s the first part, and everyone knows that you need to spend some time with yourself, but we rarely do that, why? Two reasons:
- We don’t know what to do during that time.
- We don’t have a schedule for that.
And this technique you’re about to learn in this article will show you how to get over these two obstacles which are stopping you from having a better relationship with your own self.
And even if you don’t know what to do with your life, this article can help you out by giving you some insights into what you can do.
A Step-By-Step Process to A Better Relationship With Yourself
I’m a big fan of the character strength. Any technique that you learn about, if all it does is giving you some kind of “an act” on the surface but doesn’t change/challenge anything within you, it’s useless on the long run.
This technique is:
Step #1: Schedule a time on weekend for yourself (all alone).
Step #2: Review the previous week (in a specific way we’re going to discuss).
Step #3: Plan for the next week (also in a specific way we’re going to discuss).
In brief: you’re going to learn two things during this process:
- How to judge yourself (without being too easy or too tough on yourself) to learn from your own experience.
- How to really plan your week out so that you get the most out of it (and also how to not beat yourself up if things went wrong).
As you can see, it’s like a self discovery journey that is going to make you more effective.
This will make you able to see what are you doing wrong and how you can stop it, and also will give you the clarity you need throughout your week.
Now let’s explore theses steps in details …
Step #1: Schedule a Time For Yourself on Weekend
This is important, scheduling a time and blocking it. It’s “you” time, you deserve it and you really need it to make yourself stronger.
For example, every weekend, at 2:00 pm, I go to have a cup of coffee all by my own, that’s “me” time. It’s the time where I have some conversations with myself (as we’re going to see in step #2), and it’s only one hour, at 3:00 pm I leave.
You need to be all alone and in a place where 1) You’re comfortable. 2) No body is going to distract you. 3) You have something to write on (notebook, your phone, a laptop …etc).
As I said, I go out to have a cup of coffee, and I simply open my iPhone and create a new note and start writing.
You need to have a deep conversation with yourself, let’s see how.
Step #2: Review The Previous Week
Before you go any farther, you need to look back and learn something or two, we need to have the previous week reviewed, not only so that we learn from it, but also to understand ourselves more.
That’s why we want to follow a system that allows us to do that.
Here’s what to do exactly:
- On the first paragraph, write all the “not-so-good” things you did during this week, I mean all the things you know you shouldn’t do, I usually write the things that I didn’t accomplish, the promises I didn’t keep and basically anything that I’m not proud of and don’t want in my life.
- On the second paragraph, I want you to write all the “Good Things” you did during the week, and this one is tricky, because we have critical minds, the first time I did this, I thought to myself “But I don’t remember doing any good thing”, don’t fall in this trap, think and think again, it doesn’t have to be something outstanding to write it, you can just write the fact that you took a decision to commit to better yourself by doing this, you helped an old woman down the street? it’s a great item on your list, you was able to smoke less cigarettes? write it down. Don’t be too harsh on yourself, write down even the smallest things, write down at least five items.
- When you do these two steps, and the more you practice them and do them, you’re going to feel more connected to yourself, because when you really realize that you have bad things but also have good things, you will be able to understand yourself more and realize where are your strength and weakness points.
- Now the final and the most important step, you need to write a paragraph about what are you going to do and focus on, and I don’t mean writing a plan, what I want you to do is to just figure out where are you going to put some effort, for example, last week I committed to put some effort toward writing this post and some other aspects of my social life, you don’t have to go in details here, I just said that I want to write one post this week while I had no idea what I’m going to write about, just answer the question: “what are you going to do?” generally, where do you want to aim your focus?.
- Congratulation! you’re all set, this doesn’t take a lot of time, it takes me an hour maximum to do this, but anyway, it’s worth it.
Step #3: Plan For The Next Week
Here we need some time management skills.
And I believe that the best way to get your time managed well is to make your goals so big and compelling that you’re forced to stick to a schedule to make your dreams a reality.
Before we start managing our week, the first and the most important step is to set our goals and define our actions for the next week.
How? good question.
Follow these steps:
- Your goals list: First write down the goals for this week, I mean the things that you want to accomplish through out this week, Not the actions, for example, for me it would be writing two helpful posts, that’s the goal, but the actions required to accomplish it include researching, writing a first draft, getting some pictures …etc, and that’s for the next step.
- Your categories: Your goals ultimately serve a bigger vision, for example, there’s health, social life, business, growth, learning, college/school …etc, for example I have categories like: social life, health and fitness, business …etc, and some big categories like business have sub-categories, like: writing, researching, marketing …etc, anyway, define these categories as much as possible, sure you can always change them.
- Your actions list: After you write down your goals for this week, you need to write down the actions required to accomplish these specific goals, as I explained in the example above, and you just write your list of actions, forget about anything else, just get your list ready and then we will organize those items in your list.
- Know your “MUSTS”: Some items on your list are more important than the rest, and you have to treat them as priorities, define which goals/actions MUST be accomplished/done by the end of this week.
Now we need some time management skills/tools, and don’t worry, that doesn’t have to be complicated, in fact, all the steps that you did can give you the sense of clarity you need to really commit to get things done.
And also remember that we don’t just “get things done”, first we define what really matters by having an honest conversation with ourselves.
Now we need to get some time management skills and get those goals accomplished!
Below, I will give you one method that I’ve found to be really helpful.
The Time Zones Method
This is the one that I personally use, and it works, especially if you want to be free without the feeling that you’re restricted by your schedule.
It’s really simple, all what you have to do is to divide your day into “zones”, for example zone #1 from 7 a.m to 11 a.m. And the key here is that inside these zones, you don’t put your “actions list”, instead you put your “categories”
For example, I divide my day into three time-zones:
Zone #1:from 7 a.m to 10 a.m
Zone #2:from 2 p.m to 5 p.m
Zone #3:from 7 p.m to 10 p.m
Update: Now I have different time zones, or let’s say that when things go crazy you will have to adopt 🙂 , don’t forget to adopt yourself when you things go out of control and you no longer can keep your old schedule.
The first zone I devote it to writing, the second zone is for: social life/writing/learning/other business stuffs, the last zone is for: gym/writing/other business stuffs.
Then after that I get my list of goals and my list of actions, for example I would have a goal of writing two high quality posts this week, and my actions would be something like: research, write the first draft, edit it, get some pictures …etc.
I simply put any action related to “writing” in a time zone that includes writing, and I put stuffs like “research, getting pictures” in “other business stuffs, and here comes the most important part, you must schedule it.
For example I would say: “Sunday morning, from 7 a.m to 10 a.m I would sit down and write about X, and I’m supposed to finish at least half of it, or I must get the first draft ready”.
This way, I know what I’m supposed to do Sunday morning, there’s no wonder.
If I want to meet somebody, or if somebody called me to hang out, I would simply put that on zone #2, I would look for a day where zone #2 is kind of empty, and I would add that to my schedule.
I usually do that before the week start, I just put everything into place, and usually I get some free time inside the zones.
One important thing, maybe you noticed that between zones, there are gaps, free hours, those hours are very important, because unexpected things happen, and you can’t control that, those “free hours” can be you savior.
For example, on Sunday morning I’m supposed to write from 7 a.m to 10 a.m, but what if I couldn’t? maybe I was sick or I had to do something urgent, I simply switch the zones.
As you can see, I have 3 hours between zone #1 and zone #2, I can simply switch zone #1 with that free time/zone, so that instead of writing from 7 a.m to 10 a.m, I can simply write from 10 a.m to 2 a.m.
Yes that can be overwhelming, because I have to go from one zone to another without any rest, but it keeps your schedule save, usually one unexpected thing can ruin the whole week.
One of the most important things to remember, especially if you’re not used to time management (like me), is to not beat yourself up at the beginning, yes you can screw things out, you can do a lot of mistakes and get nothing done, don’t worry, acknowledge that the next time you review your previous week and resolve to become better the next time.
Note: The credit for this technique goes to Farouk form 2knowmyself.com, you can check his article here.
Mistakes to Avoid While Doing This
Always remember that your goal is to get things done, not to count hours, this is very important, for example if you have an important task from 2 p.m to 6 p.m, and by 4:30 you’re already done, then great, you can chill out, and I say chill out so that you don’t hate your schedule.
When you get things done, and then you reward yourself, it’s more likely you’re going to keep doing what you’re doing, don’t burn yourself out, you can use that time to set with your family or just enjoy something you love, and remember, you actually completed the task in hand, so why not reward yourself?
And also one of the mistakes that you must avoid, if one day everything went wrong, don’t ruin the whole week because of that single day, I did that before, unexpected visit from a friend and after it I couldn’t get back on the track, so avoid this mistake, don’t beat yourself up and start the next day immediately, even if you have to reschedule things.
Just make sure that you learn from your mistakes and keep on moving forward.
What Works For You
I really hope that the method I shared above was helpful. However, if for some reason it didn’t work for you, or if you have a better way, then do whatever works for you.
The most important part in this technique is the part where you review the previous week and have some conversations with yourself.
Having such conversations with yourself can give you the energy to manage your time to achieve your goals or simply to live a better life.
So, if you already have a technique that works fine with you, then go for it, you don’t have to switch if you’re already satisfied with what you have, just focus on the part of reviewing the previous week and combine it with the best time management method you know.
Don’t get paralyzed if you couldn’t manage your time using the “time zones method”, that’s only 20% of the technique, the rest 80% comes when you really sit down, be honest with yourself and have a deep conversation with yourself.
The last thing you need to worry about is a technique to manage your time, as long as you’re learning from your mistakes and committing to become better.
And actually if you’re not managing your time well, you will make a lot of mistakes and screw things out, and that should be on your list of “not-so-good things” when you review your previous week, and that’s where you commit to make things better the next week, it’s like time management comes naturally with the process.
And that was true for me, when I first started doing this technique, I wasn’t thinking about time management, yes I knew that it was a must to have my week planned a head, but it just felt like a lot of work to do, but when I started to do this technique, time management was the key to become better the next week.
And changing our behaviors (avoiding multitasking or such tips) may work in the short-term, but we need something that sticks, we need a habit.
Having s session with yourself, every weekend can be a key, a session where you just talk to yourself honestly, review the last week and then prepare for the next week, this has so many benefits.
First of all, on the long run, you will have a better relationship with yourself, and that will lead you to a better understanding of your needs and goals.
Also you will get your weeks planned a head, that will give you a piece of mind, and also will help you know what you must accomplish this week, by allowing you to focus on this week only, day in and day out.
And the most important benefit is learning from your own experience, I mean when you acknowledge your mistakes, and decide to become better the next week by avoiding/fixing these mistakes, and also acknowledging the good things you did, and deciding to keep them/improve them, you’re on your way to become the best version of yourself.
That’s so big!
You are making a conscious decision to make yourself better every week, hats down 🙂
And one last thing, you don’t allow your mistakes to control you, at the end of the week you sit down while knowing you have another chance to make yourself avoid these mistakes, this is important, you just start all over again, even if you had a really bad week.
Now, I want you to go and give it a shot, it may sound weird the first time, you know, sitting and talking with yourself, but believe me, it’s worth it, you never know what a single experience can do to your life!!
So, go a head, read this article again if you have to, it’s long, sorry for that, that’s why I created a smaller version, a check list that you can go through with much less pain :D, you can download it below.
Make sure that you do it, also share your thoughts below.