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The classic way to "start the year on the right foot," according to all time management experts, is to plan and write down your goals. Just as important for us women who juggle multiple responsibilities and are no longer 20 is to ensure that we have Me Time to take care of ourselves.  

Let's face it, as we age our energy levels are not quite what they used to be and we don't recuperate so easily when we push our bodies and minds beyond their limits. On the other hand, we are busier and have more responsibilities than ever. So how do you ensure that you keep your energy as high as possible throughout the year? Beyond sufficient sleep, healthy eating and regular exercise, the single most effective way to ensure that you keep your energy high – and recharge your batteries before they get depleted – is to plan for times to rest, relax and recuperate from any stress or craziness on a regular basis.  

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•Every week, set up at least a couple of hours for rest and relaxation, a time where you step away from your family, chores and normal life to do something that recharges your batteries. It can be curl up on a comfy chair and read a book; go to a painting of yoga class; take a walk in the local park or in the countryside; eat lunch with a friend who makes you laugh.  

•Three to four times a year, plan a getaway weekend. If you can actually go away, do so, and go to a relaxing location. For some of you it might be a spa weekend, for others a visit to another city, or spending a weekend in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere. If you can't go away, take the weekend off from all chores, necessities, and from family – send your children to sleepovers for the weekend if you need to.  

The only criteria for those weekly and periodic Me Times are that they have nothing to do with your day-to-day life, work, family obligations, errands, or catching up. They also have to be away from anyone who makes demands on your time, as much as you love them.  Finally, a successful Me Time, whether an hour or a week long, makes you feel refreshed and more energized after the activity than before.  

Schedule those times for the whole year now, even if you take care of the details closer to the date. This way, you won't be tempted to schedule something else during those times, and you have enough advance notice to arrange the logistics of removing yourself from your daily life, such as finding care for your children or your pet.  Taking the time to do this today will ensure that you never fully deplete your energy, and function at a much higher level than you would without.



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