How to find time for you?

One of the great joys in my work is that when women learn what I do they often eagerly share with me what they are “on fire” about  — and what they struggle with.

Hands down, the number one issue and challenge I hear is this: “how do I find time for me?”

Last week at my very favorite Charles Hotel in Cambridge, MA — 36 hours of sheer bliss!

And, they aren’t the only ones confounded by that.  I know first hand what they are talking about.  Because I, too, struggle with having enough time for me.

And, I don’t even have children of my own.  Just a husband and a 17-pound cat!

Over the years, as a life and executive coach, I frequently worked to help women find time for themselves.

There was the corporate CEO who got up 30 minutes earlier every day so she could stretch to a yoga DVD; the stay-at-home mom of two who scheduled a date with herself every Tuesday night at her local Starbuck’s so she could read and write; the physician who scheduled a weekly massage — no matter what.

Today, as a speaker, writer and an entrepreneur running a company, I am keenly aware of how hard it is to find time for quiet, for exploration, for relaxation and fun.

Yet, along the way, I discovered one major strategy that moves mountains  toward solving the time-for-me problem.

Time for me must be scheduled!

No ifs, ands, or buts about it.  If time for me is not designated on the calendar, we are at the whim of our busyness, and work or others’ needs almost always win out.

Scheduling time for yourself is NOT about being pampered.  Time for yourself is essential to your health, your vibrancy, your ability to keep on going and your peace of mind.

For years, the motivational speaker Zig Ziglar made the point of how important it is take care of ourselves by asking audiences:

If you had a million dollar racehorse, would you keep him up all night, smoking and drinking coffee and booze and eating junk food?

If you did, how many races would he win? Obviously, horses can’t smoke or drink booze. But if they could, no sensible owner would subject one to that kind of treatment.

Yet, in the race for life, many people abuse their bodies, even as they observe the idea that if you’ve got your health, you’ve got everything.

We are those million dollar racehorses — and treating ourselves as we are is the key to our success for whatever we dream or desire.  That I know for sure, as Oprah would say!

Are you wondering what scheduling me-time has to do with the picture of me above in a hotel room?  Well, I happen to LOVE nice hotel rooms.

So, on occasion, I schedule time for just me in a beautiful hotel room.

It’s where some of my best ideas have been hatched!  Something about the comfy, clutter-free environment, the ability to order room service, and the simplicity of one lovely room frees my mind and puts my cares on hold.

If you have favorite me-time moments or strategies, please share with us in the comments section below.