Home Optimal energy The best free gifts to give yourself this year to take charge of your life | Ruth Schmel, PhD

The best free gifts to give yourself this year to take charge of your life | Ruth Schmel, PhD


Balance in life is elusive and your time is not renewable. Still, you can improve both with good sleep judgment, smart choices, and proper effort in activities.

During times of seemingly endless requests for contributions and advice on gifts for others, start with gifts for yourself for the New Year that will boost your energy, and bring pleasures and progress over time – the all for free!

Often times, you may feel overwhelmed by the choices to experience what is effective effort and appropriate attention among your activities. Instead, give yourself several minutes to think about the consequences and available resources before committing or taking action to clarify what is right for your needs and the situation.

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Good judgment also creates limits, which can usually be adjusted as situations evolve.

As much as possible, build self-care into your foundation of being honest with yourself about what’s important and valuable. Considering your true needs and preferences helps to avoid that dangerous four letter word, “more,” like the never-ending urge to do more, to get more, to be more.

This year, there are three immediately accessible gifts that contribute to your quality of life and honor your true self. With time, experimentation, and good judgment, you will find out what is good enough or, better yet, what is optimal for yourself.

Here are the 3 free gifts to give yourself this year.

1. The gift of sleep

Among other benefits, scientists claim that sleep increases the ability to fight disease, sort and store information, and learn.

This investment in yourself benefits from a healthy ritual of sleeping, going to bed, and waking up at around the same time each day. About seven to eight hours a night is recommended.

2. The gift of choice

Choosing can be difficult when there are so many options and demands.

To simplify the processes of what to embrace and what to let go, ask yourself a question before you act: “How does this contribute to what I want or what I really have?” need for my life or who do I care about? “

However you wish, think about the balance you have with the person who is dear to you. In this relationship, what is the healthy compromise, the level of trust and mutual respect?

Another possible test is whether you look forward to being with the person and how you generally feel after being with them. There are plenty of criteria to consider, so adjust the suggestions however you want. Add whatever makes sense to you.

3. The gift of appropriate effort in activities

Recognizing that unforeseen needs will almost always arise, decide ahead of time how much time you need to devote to your chosen priorities. Maybe doing it on a Sunday night before the start of the week helps. Otherwise, create your own ritual or rhythm.

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Here are the organizational categories that your plan may include:

—Family and close friends






-Cultural activities

-Social activities

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—Spiritual interests


Collect your gifts for yourself.

Given this wide range and long list, it’s unlikely to find time for all of this. So choose the best each time you make your plan for the period you choose.

For more efficiency and a good use of non-renewable time, create two shutters. For example, exercising with a family member or friend and learning a new skill for the job.

These gifts to yourself benefit from your good judgment and thoughtfulness. You can continue to adjust them to your changing circumstances at no monetary cost.

Expect the best results because you are in charge most of the time. Continue to appreciate the choices and agency you have to step into the continuing experience of life.

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Ruth Schmel Ph.D. is a career and life management consultant and author of the “Choose Courage” six-book series on Amazon. She helps clients of all ages access their strengths and make viable their visions of current and future work. Enjoy a free consultation on her website, or receive as a bonus the first chapter of her unique seventh book designed for individual readers: Happiness and Joy in Work: Preparing for Your Future.