I am sure that by this point in your life you have been told that you need to love yourself. But what does that really mean? Should you be in love with your career, your body, your soul? I believe we have to love it all.

However, I can’t teach you that in one blog! It is a lifelong process. My experience in my own life and with clients has taught me that it begins with a little self-respect. Once respect is established we can talk some self-love!

You have to make time for your life and the things you value! That may take on many meanings for you. Unfortunately, most of us give away a lot of our time and energy without leaving much for ourselves. Then we feel depleted and don’t have much left.

You are the expert in your life and only you can shift yourself into a place of Self-Respect. But here are some tips to get you started:

1. Set Boundaries! Learning to set some boundaries is the best way to begin to love and respect you. If you can learn to say no when you need to, it will feel like a weight has been lifted off you. Too often, we fail ourselves because we are over-giving to others. Sometimes it is in an effort to gain acceptance from them. Well, they will live and still love you. Only say yes IF you really want to do something. Say yes when it fills your heart to help them. If no feels like too big of a jump at first, start with “maybe”. It’s magic, I swear.

2. Take care of you! Are you sacrificing your own health for others or work? Yeah, I have been there. Take time to eat nourishing food, exercise, or maybe get some sleep. You are valuable and deserve basic self-care. This will enable you to BE more in the long run. If you are plain burnt out you have nothing to give. Ask yourself right now, what I am sacrificing that hurts my health or happiness? Now you know where to focus. Commit to yourself to focus on one area. Maybe, you just start eating breakfast.

3. Do something for YOU each day. This is a little more focused. What are the little things that bring you joy? I love reading and good coffee. It fills me up and I can do it each day. Make a list of what brings you joy. It can be anything! Now figure out what you can actually do on a Monday, just for you. A Saturday may offer more time, but you have to do this daily. Now commit to do it. Commit to gift yourself something small each day. It helps and you deserve a treat.

The beauty is that we typically already know what we need to do. We just fail to do it. We make excuses about why we don’t have time or someone needs us. This is about you. Harsh, I know. Take a minute to figure out why it feels comfortable to have no boundaries or self-sacrifice. What are you gaining from it?

There’s no judgment here. It’s not bad, just figure it out. There is power in that knowledge. You can unlearn all that old stuff. I used to have a strong desire to be needed. It made me feel loved. Yet, I was always drained! I didn’t feel good, so I am guessing I wasn’t great company. That’s no way to live.

Anything outside of you will not love or care for you the way that you. The famed author Don Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements) said “you are the greatest love of your life” and that is a goal! Only some self-respect will help you begin to accept who you truly are and how you want to live your precious life.

Do you have a plan for self-care that works? What brings you joy? I’d love to hear your feedback!