We live in a world where you can barely purchase any sort of electronic doohickey or thingamabob and up pops the option for some sort of extended warranty or maintenance plan.
Most of the time I say “no thanks” and click decline. Every once in a while though, I pause before clicking the “no thanks” button and wonder if maybe I should consider it, especially when the doohicky or thingamabob is important to my life or business.
There are three areas I believe that every solopreneur needs.
- Personal Maintenance Plan: Protect the Asset (YOU are the asset)
- Business Maintenance Plan: Quarterly Business Reviews
- Website Maintenance Plan: Keep your website safe, secure, and working for you
What? A Personal Maintenance Plan?
Yep, a personal maintenance plan. Let’s look at the word and what it means.
“Maintenance: The work of keeping something in proper condition; upkeep.”
You, your business, and your website need to be kept in proper condition, and that requires upkeep. If we ignore any of these areas, over time, they fall into disrepair and no longer work properly.
We have (or at least are supposed to have) a home maintenance plan, a garden maintenance plan, lawn maintenance, and a car maintenance schedule, so why not one for you personally, your business, and your website?
This week we are going to look at Personal Maintenance Plans. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of your family, business, or your website.
You are kind of the lynchpin to making your life and business work, so don’t ignore yourself, okay?
So, yes, my fellow solopreneur, you need a personal maintenance plan.
Because if you don’t make a plan, it won’t happen.
My phone gives me a couple of reports about how I’m doing. First, the weekly phone usage report tells me how much I’ve been picking up and using my phone each day. Those numbers tell me a lot.
The second “report” is my photos app. It shows me how many pictures I’ve taken over the past week since my last Grateful Friday list. If it’s slim pickings, that is a signal telling me I have not been outside nearly enough. Which means I’m not taking care of my mental and physical health the way I need to.
Between lots of extra doctor appointments for my family, Oliver slowing down and being sick, and our winter finally showing up, getting outside to exercise has become hit-or-miss instead of a daily habit over the past few months. Which is not good.
- It makes my weekly Grateful Friday collage MUCH harder to assemble
- My mental and physical health takes a hit
- Behavioral issues with the dogs appear
I’ve noticed in the past couple of weeks that a few other important pieces of my regular maintenance habits of self-care and stress and anxiety management have dropped off my schedule. As a result, I’m paying the price. So this week, I’ve made a point of adding them back to my daily routine.
It’s had me asking, “What else do I need? What is missing from my personal maintenance plan?”.
What is a Personal Maintenance Plan?
A maintenance plan for you can encompass many things. Regular checkups with your doctor, medicines and supplements, healthy eating, drinking water, exercising, getting enough sleep, getting outside, journaling, and more.
I firmly believe that you need to schedule in time to rest, relax, and recharge. As a card-carrying member of the “let’s keep going because I’m on a roll” club, I say this because I know what a difference it makes when I stop and rest, even when I don’t feel like I need it.
Think back over the last few weeks. Can you remember the last time you took time to unwind, de-stress, or a few minutes to sit back and put your feet up? I mean intentionally, unplugged, deep breathing, soul healing downtime.
I’m pushing the point here because if you are like me and so many other women I know, it is probably hard to remember the last time you really rested.
Many of us, as small business owners, find it all too easy to push self-care to the side and take care of everyone else, family and clients, first. We are the holder-togethers, the people-pleasers, and the caregivers. It’s easy to put ourselves last or take care of others and then take care of our own list of needs late at night or squeezing it in when we can.
BUT, ignoring our self-care, upkeep, and maintenance takes away our ability to perform at the high levels we often demand of ourselves.
We need to stop ignoring, stop pushing through and re-learn the art of simple self-care and taking time off from our businesses. On purpose, without guilt, and without feeling like we are causing problems for someone else.
It’s Time For A Shift.
If you want to show up prepared and at your best for your family, your clients, and your business, then it’s time for a shift.
It’s time to shift from thinking self-care is a “personal luxury” to this is a “personal maintenance plan”.
Create Your Own Maintenance Plan:
Are you ready to shift your way of thinking and create your own plan? Great! My advice is to start small. No grand sweeping changes.
- Take a few minutes to look at your weekly calendar and think about where in that busy schedule are you taking care of your physical and mental health.
- Ask yourself what is missing. Where do I keep thinking, “I wish I had time for…”.
- What is one thing you could do this week to keep yourself working in proper condition?
- Pick another thing and add it to next week’s schedule
What one thing came to mind as you read through this list?
What’s keeping you from taking the time to do it?
Marta Goertzen is an entrepreneur, writer, WordPress Website developer, and nature photographer. She daily explores the trails and beaches of the South Central Oregon Coast with her dogs Oliver & Mochi. You can follow along on their adventures on Instagram. Marta also fully believes that change starts with gratitude and that gratitude can change everything. Find out how with the “Grateful Friday 7-Days of Gratitude Starter Kit”