Four Questions to Sharpen Your Self-care Plan

Posted on: May 17, 2020, by :
Photo by Geran de Klerk on Unsplash

Sometimes it’s hard to admit that we know what to do because we don’t do it. That’s partly because we put off doing things that we really don’t want to do. Some people decide to pick the low-hanging fruit and tackle what they know they can handle rather than attempting more difficult tasks, that is until they need to.

From a broader perspective, the things that are easier for us to do prevent our growth and development. Here’s a case in point.

Consider the person who is quite comfortable with their routine of going to work and then coming home and spending time with their family, only to repeat the routine daily with little regard for diet and exercise. Over time their habits catch up with their health and they realize that they now need to make multiple changes to improve their health or they will begin suffering the consequences. 

They have a coworker who exercises daily during their lunch break and who eats healthy most days. Participating in team sports helps contribute to their activity level while also helping ensure their sleep isn’t a problem. Within a year of establishing this routine, they achieved their health and wellness goals.

Changing their routine turned out to be a great choice. They improved their health and developed a set of habits that reinforce positive behaviors, ensuring they maintain good health. But what happens when they encounter a setback?

If they are committed, and physically able—they maintain their routine, or as much of it as they can, and stay on track with activities and eating habits. If maintaining a routine isn’t possible, a break may require a restart at a later date.

This example shows how important is to keep your self-care plan well defined, no matter what is happening in your life. Otherwise, you’re likely to get off track and be challenged in your attempt to restart your routine.

Here are four questions to ensure your actions support your self-care plan.

What are your self-care goals?

Your current situation may prevent you from seeing your potential. That’s what happens way too often—people are unable to imagine a better future even if they want one. This inability to imagine, stunts potential and positions you for setbacks before you even begin. The key is to embrace possibility and use imagination and optimism to take the action needed to realize your goals. The creation of your self-care plan begins with defining your goals. What do you want to accomplish?

What will be different when you achieve your self-care goals?

When you imagine the future you desire, what is new? What has changed? Describe the people in both your personal and professional lives. When someone asks you what you do, how do you respond?

What strengths can you leverage to achieve your self-care goals?

What seems to come easy for you from a strength’s perspective? Are you outgoing? Analytical? Resilient? Responsible? Committed to life-long learning? Are there other aspects that you consider your strengths? Think in terms of your self-care goals and identify a few of your strengths that may help you as you begin to create your self-care plans.

What are the main challenges you will face as you focus on self-care?

Your current habits may prevent you from achieving your goals. Are there any habits you have that may challenge your progress once you start working toward your self-care goals? For example, do you lack motivation or determination? Are you over-committed and lack energy or time? Or perhaps you are overwhelmed and uncertain about how to begin. Your beliefs and mindset could also prevent you from making progress. A realistic risk assessment can help you identify potential challenges while also prompting you to create plans to deal with them.

A Well-defined Self-care Plan Helps You Stay Focused

Well-defined self-care goals are critical for making measurable progress. The question is, “What can I keep doing that supports my self-care goals?” and, “What do I need to start doing to achieve my goals?” A well-defined self-care plan is an effective tool for identifying opportunities and anticipating risks. Keep your self-care plan focused by periodically asking yourself these four questions.