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In 2018, women are living a life unlike anything we’ve ever seen. A woman’s lifestyle, mindset, aspirations, and even independence are a complete 180 from the era of their mother’s before. Gone are the days of an unequal voice, and in its place, the ability to do it all. From motherhood to relationships, to maintaining a fulfilling career, the increased desire to live one’s best life is no longer a thing of the past.

This is especially true for women entering their 50s. In 2018, many women of this age bracket have children in K-12, are accelerating in advanced occupations (over 70%), and living the lives that 30 years ago would be inaccessible. Across all aspects of a woman’s life, she is most likely to put her family, career, and friends before herself. Access to a positive work-life balance is not always the reality women in their 50s experience. But running at full tilt will not equate to living your best life. The true act of personal leadership, and honest parity, is taking care of yourself. Making yourself a top priority is a true act of love for others.

Author of The Human Element, Brianna Wiest, said it best. “Putting yourself first doesn’t mean only caring about yourself. It means having a grounded and realistic understanding that you are your first and only locus of control, and you have to be rooted in that before there’s any possibility of lending yourself to anybody or anything else.”

Brianna is on to something. If women put as much energy into their happiness, their mental and physical health, and truly invested in themselves first, everyone in their lives would be positively impacted.

See below for a few awesome reasons why putting you first is essential:

1) Happiness. Happy wife = happy life. When you feel your best because you’ve allowed yourself time, energy, and the commitment to do what you love (even if it’s just watching Real Housewives by yourself every Wednesday), you obtain a positive mindset that carries through to your relationships.

2) Health. Healthy isn’t a goal. It’s a way of living. Focus on your health so you can be your best when you focus on others.

3) Clarity. Small changes make a huge difference. When you focus on the present, living in the present, and truly embrace your presence, you will breathe deeply and enjoy life.

4) Like finds like. What you put out is what you get back. The motivation to prioritize yourself will draw that same, positive motivation from those around you. You will attract the right people, make the best decisions, and benefit from a positive, authentic self.

5) Intuition. When you give yourself time to reflect, the right amount of independence, and the acceptance to make yourself a priority, you will be uniquely in tune with your intuition. Listening to your inner voice and understanding what is best for you, will help you intuitively recognize what the absolute best for everyone around you is.

Happiness starts with you and success requires effort. Between soccer practice, caring for aging parents, and maintaining a healthy career or relationship, it almost seems impossible. But, the time to reset and make yourself a priority should start now. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take the time to make time for you.

How will you put yourself first?

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