In order to be your best, you have to continue to invest in yourself. In most instances, and especially when it comes to women leaders, we are the last to invest in ourselves and our personal development as we put what we consider “higher” priorities first. Because we have this mentality that everyone else is deserving, we typically don’t read as many books as we should, take time throughout the day to decompress, read the news or the latest Harvard Business Review article, or even have a cup of coffee with a peer to share ideas and develop a new approach to our business.

In order to grow, you must self-invest. Since most of us don’t really know what that looks like, how do we start?

Give yourself permission. In order to continue to develop your career, support your family, give your peers sound advice, etc., you must invest in yourself. You have to allow yourself personal time and tell yourself you are worth it, that nothing is more important or takes priority over this time. To be all you need to be for everyone else, you have to be your best self.

Schedule the time. Put it on your calendar. Don’t let anything come before this time of self-investment. Actions put on the calendar are more likely to get done. So put yourself on your own calendar. You are worth it!

Preselect your reading or your actions. Don’t wait until the scheduled time comes to then find something to read or review. Having to find the resource will quickly become an excuse to not execute your self-development plan. It will be too easy to simply work your email box if you don’t have a set plan in advance. Set yourself up for success.

Create a routine around peer lunches, coffee talks, etc. Time with peers is just as important as reading and spending time learning from a book. Not only does it help you learn new ideas and perspectives, but it gives you a chance to verbalize the learnings you have recently gained and apply your own perspective. This furthers your learning and application of the knowledge in a way that truly impacts your leadership and business acumen. Yes, that coffee break is valuable.

Hire a life coach. A professional career coach can help you invest in yourself, map out your next steps, and create a routine and a process to help you gain additional clarity. This person empowers you to find your path and helps you stay on it to achieve your goals. Again, you are worth the investment. Money spent on a coach will payoff as you achieve what you set out to accomplish both professionally and personally.

The list continues on, but these are the key steps that will get you started and will be the foundation of your personal investment. Take the time, don’t doubt the need, know that you are worth it. Invest in yourself. If you don’t, who will?