A few years ago, I stumbled across the term FIRE – Financial Independence Retire early. This really interested me. One of the basic principles of FIRE is the idea that every time you get paid you paid yourself first. You did this by paying money straight into your saving’s account, pension or investment account BEFORE you paid your bills. Paying yourself first, as if you were paying a bill, makes you more likely to succeed in building up a pension, savings, emergency fund or investment account. I really took to this idea and set up my banking to accommodate paying myself first. This small change has helped me save for my future more than any other move I’ve ever made.
Using this principle in other areas of life
I realised that paying myself first transferred directly to other areas of my life too. Specifically looking after my energy system and my emotional well-being. In order for me to be feeling and operating well I need to take care of myself first and from there I can take better care of others. In order for me to pay myself first in terms of my inner wellbeing I have to be disciplined. Not being disciplined and not looking after my energy and my emotional wellbeing, isn’t worth it. If I don’t look after my energy system and my emotional well-being, I feel depleted and run down and generally don’t feel like doing anything that is actually good for me.
Paying yourself first by putting self care as your priority goes a long way to establishing a healthy emotional and physical state.
Some of the ‘pay yourself first’ practices I do daily:
Most days I do a short meditation, which clears my space and grounds me. I eat mostly a vegetarian diet, try to exercise at least 3 times a week and try to get at least 8 hours of sleep a day. I try to drink at least 1 -2 litres of water a day, as it helps me feel grounded. If I have a busy period coming up, I’ll do some batch cooking before hand so I don’t have to worry about eating badly. The difference in how I feel when I DON’T put these actions as my top priority is astounding.
I learnt that when I did actually prioritise these helpful practices, things in my outer world seem to flow better and I am more able to cope with life’s ups an downs.
No time to do it…
You might be thinking that this would be next to impossible with all things you have to do in a day. Or that you couldn’t possibly take time for yourself to do these things. I understand this, I really do. It’s daunting to put yourself first sometimes but sometimes, you must. In order for yourself to heal, to find peace and find contentment, you have to pay yourself first, and put time and effort into doing what is helpful and necessary for you to feel well and balanced. This will enable you to better deal with what life brings your way.
Pay yourself first. The rest will follow.