Alright, confession time. I admit that I am a sucker for Biggest Loser. I went through an Oprah phase back in college. Dr. Phil became my companion for awhile when I was in grad school. I know the jargon is what I’m trying to tell you. Here’s what I have learned from all of these years of …  professional study.

If you can’t make the time and effort to be good to yourself, nothing else will work for you. All of the advice that people will throw at you won’t stick. Why? It takes a willingness to do something for yourself to do all of that stuff people talk about. If you want to improve your health by exercising and eating better, it takes time. If you want to accomplish a specific goal, it takes a dedication to yourself and your wishes.

This does not mean that it always needs to be “me me me.” It does not mean you need to be selfish. But sometimes, regularly, you need to stop and ask yourself, “Hey,what do I want? What do I need, more to the point?”

The first step in making a better world is making a better, stronger you. After all, you need to be on pretty solid ground before you can pull someone else up, right?

But I don’t have time to be “nice!”

Today, Chris Brogan wrote a post called “Haven’t had time to blog.” It seems to be in direct juxtaposition, in some ways, with the idea of doing stuff for you. But this hasn’t just started, and it’s not a function of the online world. A few years ago I was talking to a crafty friend of mine and we noted that we both can’t just sit and watch television. Part of our crafting addiction was that it gave us something to do while we relaxed and watched television. We both had been engrained with the idea that sitting down on your butt with a bowl of popcorn and a movie is a bad, unproductive, useless way to spend your time.

Where does this pressure come from?

Why do we feel like doing something purely for the enjoyment of it is a poor way to spend our time? Sure, it’s not saving the world if you go sit on a beach for a week, but how recharged do you feel when you get back to work? And okay, maybe going to your favorite bakery and buying yourself that creme brulee won’t help you achieve that weight loss goal, but gosh darn it, sometimes you need something that tastes of heaven! When did being kind to ourselves become a bad thing? When did it become wasteful to sit and vege out or do something distinctly unproductive from the world’s perspective?

I say, heck, let the blog go for a day. Maybe a week. Hit that book you’ve been wanting to read. That one that has nothing to do with your business. Catch up on your favorite television show. And just sit there and enjoy it. Turn all of the lights off and absorb an entertaining experience. It’s not sinful. It’s a rebuild mode. For a very human computer.

So when was the last time you did something nice for yourself?

If you can’t answer this question easily or without too much thought, we know what we need to work on first.