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Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and he arrives every December with back to back appointments for all salon professionals. Clients, anticipating the inevitable Facebook and Instagram upload, want “the look.” You will eat too many sweets, be busy, stressed, tired—and, you will make your best money. Maybe you are taking a break and stumbled onto my blog and the #mefirst hashtag—a reminder that you are number one in your life, not your clients, friends or even loved ones. #mefirst means take care of your needs first, then see about others. Sounds awfully selfish at Christmastime, but you really do give your best, when you are at your best.

Will 2020 bring out the best in you? Maybe not a totally new person, that’s a tall order, perhaps just a bit more secure and balanced, a little more accepting that the new year will bring challenges, but you can somehow ride them out. This core belief chills you and brings you peace.

I will come clean: I fail at sticking with lofty personal goals. I you, like me, start out all fired up and give up, we are going to be friends—the good news is, we are not doomed to a life of failure. First up, is not allowing failed attempts to convince you that you can’t build your best professional and personal life—of course you can. This year try something easier and go for “success lite.”

Instead of the big New Year resolutions, take tiny steps in the direction you need to go. Tiny steps are easier to set, stick with and restart if you stop. Tiny steps become big changes. There is one condition: practice your tiny step every day and make them so tiny you just can’t refuse yourself. Check it out:

1) Exercise: instead of a mile run, begin by walking around the block daily
2) Nutrition: instead of dieting, add, vegetables and fruit to your daily diet.
3) Money: Instead of a major budget, start by saving your tips in an envelope daily.

You with me? Don’t really change anything big, just get in the game and play it every day.  As your tiny steps become second nature, you will feel stronger. Gradually, add a tiny bit od difficulty until one day you are walking a mile, eating heathy daily, sticking to a reasonable budget. Who knew those first tiny steps you thought so silly could lead to this? Now you have a way to change anything in your life.

Need some tiny steps to kick-start your #mefirst?

~Hand out one business card per day
~Text a client and ask how the new style is working for her

~Sign up for that social media class

~Walk ten minutes a day after work

~Drink lots, lots of water (eight glasses a day)

~Stay away from sugary, high-carb breakroom snacks

~Eat fresh vegetables with every meal

~Bring your lunch and snacks to the salon

~Stretch between clients (who cares if it looks silly)

~Sleep eight hours

~Schedule a monthly massage

~Breathe. Take deep, profound breaths often during the rush of your appointments

~Spend a few minutes by yourself daily. You’ve really have to.

The reward for this effort? That you be happy and that every day in December (or any day of the year) feel less and less stressful as you get closer and closer to feeling balanced and joyful. After all, the best gift we can give our clients, coworkers and family this holiday is a calmer and happier you. That’s what everyone really wants for you—they want you to be happy.

Feliz Navidad

#mefirst

Carlos Valenzuela, @carvale19,  is as a Hairdresser, educator, ex-salon & school owner. His focus is guiding salon professionals to a more fulfilling career & lifestyle. attend Carlos’  Upcoming lifestyle workshop  March 8-10, New York City https://ny.thebeautyexperience.com