So, you've set your self-care goals and you're all set. You've even considered the ways you'll sabotage yourself - but wait! What about those well-meaning friends and relatives who:

~ With all good intention pass along clutter from their house to yours – "this would look great on you", or "I can't use this but maybe you can". (Surroundings & Structures)

~ Seem to dwell on the negative or tell stories about how unfair life is. (Emotions & Thoughts)

~ Invite you to have "just a bite", or encourage you to stay out "just a little longer". (Lifestyle Habits)

~ Shy away from your new found honesty and assertiveness. (Friends, Family & Peers)

They probably don't mean any harm but they may DO you harm if they steer you away from the self-care goals you've set for yourself. So how do your put yourself first and get selfish when others are tempting you to stray?

1. Be very clear yourself. If you're unsteady in your commitment that will show through.

2. Ask for what you need. No one can read your mind or know what would make things easiest for you. What request do you want to make?

3. Live by example – don't preach. Just like you weren't ready to take on healthy goals at other times in your life, those you love may not be ready now.

4. Plan ahead. Think of how you will say no, prepare alternatives or plan an "escape route". Do what you have to do to take care of yourself.

5. Be honest. Talk about your goals and what they mean to you. See "Telling the hard truth" for more thoughts on honesty in relationships. AND if you're going to throw out or give-away that clutter or leftover birthday cake as soon as you leave, you don't have to mention it.

6. Choose who to spend time with. You may choose to spend less time with someone who has unhealthy habits. Think about who it is you'd like to spend more time with - who makes you feel good about yourself, champions your efforts, or is a model of healthy habits and self-care? Focus on spending more time with those people.

As time goes by and your daily practices become more of a habit, you'll protect your self-care without even thinking about it. Until then, hang on for your life!

Author's Bio: 

Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, is the author of “The Everyday Self-Care Workbook”. To find out more about the book, or to receive her free monthly newsletter, “Genuine Self-Care”, visit