I frequently get asked “How do you do it all? All of your businesses and 3 kids?”
I have to constantly work to find balance in my life in order to “juggle” it all and still feel like I’m taking of care of myself and my priorities. That’s what it comes down to for me- I have to determine what my priorities are and by letting the top of list prevail- the rest will usually fall in line.
The Align and Shine challenge has been a great daily reminder for me in keeping balance in my life. Having a physical and an emotional/mental health focus each day has helped me stay present and focused. And that to me is what a truly balanced life is all about.
I loved the worksheet for the Align and Shine challenge by my coach, Lara Galloway. One of the things she works with me the most on is setting my priorities. Some days I wake up (sometimes at 3AM) and all I can think about is the massive to-do list and it overwhelms me, but I’ve learned techniques to help me manage and maintain focus.
- WRITE IT DOWN! When I have a list of the things that I need to accomplish it takes it out of my head and onto paper (I also like to use the notes section of my computer). Nothing is better than checking off a few things at the end of the day. I know I don’t have to do it all, but I can look back the next day and re-prioritize what’s on that list and check off another one or two. It helps me visualize what is the most important and stay on task. And be able to see what I’ve accomplished. Yay me!!
- Me time! Sometimes this is with my coffee for 5 minutes sitting quietly at my kitchen table in the morning (without electronics in hand). Sometimes it’s the much needed massage, or the girl’s night out with women that I love and love me. Sometimes it’s a night at home, alone, binge watching TV (Transparent and Girlfriends Guide to Divorce are two of my top picks!). Making sure there is a bit of time in each day to be with myself and a chunk of time in each month, to focus on me- on having fun and on unwinding.
- Oh- the kids are the most important. Almost always. If I take care of myself first I generally have better capacity to take care of them. Sometimes I have to miss a game or not be there for something that’s important for them. But their schedule goes in my calendar and I do my best to plan around them. I can’t live my life for them but I can make sure that I am present in their everyday lives and am there for them for the most important things. I don’t have the time to volunteer in their classes every week so instead I make sure to drive on one or two field trips each year (I pick and choose the cool ones!) I also believe doing something special with them one on one on a regular basis is more important than being there every time they swing at the ball. The connection and quality interaction is more important than the continual presence. It will have more impact on our relationship and connection.
- Balance the food component. 30 clean every month? No way! But I do keep my diet clean 80% of the time. It makes me feel better in so many ways. But I won’t say no to the dessert I really want or the glass of wine to wind down or celebrate. Moderation yes! Deprivation no!
- My workouts- I don’t always have time to take the classes I want to in a week, so how do I work to balance that out so I continue to feel strong and healthy? Fitting in a hike or a walk in a 45 minute break, walking to the movies or dinner with kids instead of driving. Or I play a couple of innings with Damian in the backyard at night (he thinks I’m really good!). There are a lot of ways to move our bodies and stay strong and fit that don’t necessarily require the “I need to take 4 classes a week” mentality. Yes that’s my ideal- but to have true balance we can’t be rigid with what we “believe” is ideal.
- Family- this is definitely a priority. I know sometimes I feel guilty about not spending time or connecting enough with my family. And family to me isn’t just my kids or my partner, it’s my siblings, my mom, my mentors and my friends (the special ones that make up my inner circle). I know I don’t always have the time to give each individual what they want or need from me. But I make sure when I’m there I’m present, I do my best to call, to send a text of love or thought, or just a kissing emoji if that’s all the time I have in me at the moment. These relationships feed me so much- they have to be a priority.
I know I can’t do it all- but I also know that I can do my best and that’s the most important thing. By keeping a list, a calendar, allowing myself to accomplish what’s most important and letting some things go, at least for today, I can feel successful, get a lot of accomplished and have compassion for myself.
Now stand on one foot, hug your outer hip inward and feel your capacity to live a strong, supported and balanced life!