by Carl Widger
When you’re on an airplane, the flight attendants always remind you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. The reasoning behind this is simple: if you don’t take care of yourself first, you won’t be able to help anyone else.
This same concept applies to everyday life. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of work, family and other responsibilities, and before you know it, you’re running on empty. This is where burnout happens. Trust me, I know.
But just like on an airplane, it’s important to prioritise taking care of yourself first so that you can be there for others. My mission (or New Year’s resolution if you prefer!) is to be more selfish. Not your typical resolution but one I’m sure will make me a better Dad to my kids, colleague to my teammates and better fun to be around for everyone else!
Here’s what I’ve planned for the early part of the year, with a commitment to revisit my intentions on a weekly basis:
1. I smoke. I know. Stupid, ridiculous and illogical. I gave up for many years so I know I can do it. I’m going to do it!
2. The social elements of my personal and business life peak in November and December each year. It’s not going to be hard at all to do dry January so it’s not really a tall order but I’m looking forward to a month of zero alcohol and eating really healthily.
3. I’ve signed up for a half marathon in early March. I’m not built for running long distances. As in, myself and Haile Gebrselassie would have very little in common in terms of our physical attributes! I’ve never run further than 10KM so I’m very apprehensive about this goal but now that I’ve included it in this blog, I guess I’m going to have to do it.
4. I’ve planned some fun stuff to do with my kids later in the year. For lots of reasons, I’ve put “stuff” on hold for the last few years. Life is short. I’m not waiting around anymore – I’m going to do the things I want to do with the people I care about the most.
5. I’m going to plan every month meticulously. This planning will also help me to plan lots more of “me” time. That will mean different things during different parts of the year. But most importantly, it will involve me saying “no” to lots more people and lots more events and meetings. I’m sorry in advance if I hurt anyone’s feelings, but that’s all I’m sorry about.
6. Mountains, hiking, fresh air, dog walks. These will be my very best friends for 2023. Although my bernedoodle, Disney, is already my best friend and me hers!
By taking care of yourself first, you’ll be better equipped to handle the challenges and responsibilities that come your way. Remember, just like on an airplane, it’s important to put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others.
That’s my clear and focused intention for 2023. Everyone will be different. But I think everyone should consider putting themselves first and stop trying to please everyone else all of the time.
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