I bought a new shirt last week that says "Trust your Limits".
When I first bought this shirt, I didn't love it. I like to think that the sky is my limit and I can do it all. So why do I need limits?
Yet, every self-help and inspirational book I've devoured over my personal development journey the last couple of years talks about this idea of setting limits, creating habits and taking care of ourselves first.
I've just finished my first book of the new year (and decade) called "Essentialism" by Greg McKeown.
There are so many gems within the book and ironically, buying the shirt coincided with the week I finished the book. And I thought "This is fitting, here I am trying to focus my new year on only what is essential in my life and to do so, I need to trust my limits."
Yet initially I thought, I don't want to be limited.
I want to do it all.
Everyone says "You can do it all if you're just organized or just disciplined enough." But I beg to differ.
We get caught up in this idea that we have to do it all. We have to show up and say yes to all the events, all the parties and all the meetings. Saying no is hard in the moment but it's ultimately respectable. We don't have to do it all. We just have to do what's important.
Priorities (plural) was never an actual word until 19th century. How can you have multiple priorities? A priority by definition....is singular as it means "the fact or condition of being regarded or treated as most important." Can more than one thing be the most important?
I know it may be a game of semantics at this point, but truly we don't have enough hours in the day to do all the things. For example, Sleep is just as important as everything else on your to-do list. Yet, I see so many friends not getting enough sleep because being that Pinterest-perfect mom is exhausting or trying to fit your workout in can only happen if you do it at 10pm so you just get a little less sleep.
This year, I'm working on getting my 8 hours of sleep a night. I'm still able to get up at 4:30am to have my alone time because I'm allowing myself to go to bed at 8:30 at night. Mornings have always been magical and productive for me. You may be a night person and that's fine. You do you.
The point is you need to take care of yourself before you take care of everyone and everything else. You need to trust your limits and say "no" when something is too much or doesn't fit in with your essentials or goals this year.
I may not have any clue what to watch on Netflix or know who's up for any of the awards this year, but I'm ok with that. I'm taking care of myself. I'm reading every night, I'm running, swimming or doing yoga every day. I'm writing every morning. I'm figuring out my rhythm and learning how to respect my limits and say no to social events when it will just be too much for me or my kids.
I write this post almost as a confession that over the last few years I've been riding this whirlwind supermom routine while maintaining a full-time job and worrying about the number on the scale while trying to read all the books and learn all I can and be the best friend possible by showing up to every party or social event. It's downright exhausting.
And mentally there are times I just need to think and focus. And let myself be still to see what truly is essential moving forward.
So if you're riding the same wave as I am this year, believing "less is more" and trusting your limits, I applaud you.
If you're still doing it all and making it work, that's ok too. (Just tell me your secret).