It is the season of giving. It’s a time when we search our memories of the past year for clues of the perfect gifts to give the people in our lives that are important to us. We study our minds for a hint in discussions about a need, want, or even something fun that we’d like to wrap up and surprise with. With great anticipation, we hand over or hide our present and look forward to seeing the face of our grateful recipient as they open their gift.
In a recent conversation, I was talking with a friend about the importance of investing in ourselves before we can invest in others. My friend was citing his tendency to be a giver, often at the sacrifice of his own desires, needs, or happiness. He said he knew he needed to invest in himself first, and that is his new goal as we move into this new year.
We do that a lot. We get so focused on meeting expectations or keeping up with the Joneses or satisfying the needs of any given day that we forget we owe a gift to ourselves. We lose sight of that “goal” to which we were going to be faithful. We prioritize down the most important items for the more immediate ones. Today’s “crisis” owns our attention and devalues our long-term needs (Think retirement planning).
As we take time to love on each other, sing carols, share homemade meals, and soak in the spirit of this season, I want to plant a seed. It’s fine to let it gestate in the back of your mind for a few days while you celebrate and snuggle up with friends and family. Then…
I want you to think about the gift you need to give yourself as we turn a page on the calendar. Whether it’s better health and wellness, or a better income, or a better attitude, or even a change of scenery, it is a gift you give yourself to make your gifts to others more meaningful and valuable. To invest in yourself, you’ll have to make up your mind and make your choices intentional.
You have to give TO yourself before you can give OF yourself. That’s not selfish. It’s just the truth in humanity. I’m not saying that your potential is limited, because it is not. In fact it is unlimited, but its realization requires effort, planning, and measurement. Think back over the last year to the perfect gift you could give YOURSELF.
Let’s set the right goals, map the appropriate action plans, and make a difference in ourselves.
Merry Christmas! Tomorrow Begins Today.