As many of us enter the new year with aspirations and goals of what they wish to achieve in both their personal and professional lives, it is easy to find yourself focussing solely on that end goal. If you are like me, a couple of weeks off have left you recharged and eager to jump head first back into work the moment the holidays have ended. The funny thing with self-employment is the lack of the line between work and life, I mean it is my life! You build something from scratch, watch it grow, input an enormous amount of energy and emotion, it's not easy to sit back and take time out. A prime example is right now, as I sit here on this hot Sunday morning, laptop sticking to my thighs, and fingers clicking hypnotically away, the husband asks, "Are you back to work already?" to which I respond, "Yes, but it's not REALLY work". And herein lies the clincher, it IS work, no matter what modifier I place in front of it.
Although I didn't set any resolutions this year, which in the past only took the form of *make my bed everyday, *drink less coffee, nothing at all life changing. But for 2018 I have set out to live more intentionally, and a part of this is to purposely seek balance and here's how I plan on doing it....
Who would think this little phrase could be so hard to utter, but I believe it's key in achieving that balance and allowing me to live as intentionally as possible. It's so easy to fall into the trap of taking any opportunity that comes your way, which can more often than not lead to feelings of stress, anxiety and burnout, in both the creative and physical sense. If I feel that the opportunity isn't aligning with me, I say no (this isn't the case all the time, though) I might have to do a check in post so you can all read and hold me accountable for my own advice, it's so much harder in practice.
FAIL TO PLAN, PLAN TO FAIL
I don't particularly like that quote as fail has such strong connotations, but it does support my point, stay organised! In contradiction to what you may think, organisation is key in keeping your day flowing. If you follow me on social media, you will know that I am a BIG fan of planning, but that's not to say that my day doesn't flow. I simply note down my to-do list, which helps hone in those feelings of overwhelm and not knowing where to start. Usually the most important task is the least fun and one that I would like to sideline, but I don't! I follow the basic idea of Eat Your Frogs (I've linked further reading to this at the end of this article), which to put simply is tackling the worst thing on you plate first and then working your way down in that same subsequent order. That way you leave your most enjoyable tasks for the remainder of the day and ending on a high note, in both the knowing that you've done those unfavourable tasks and now all that is left are the tasks that bring you joy and fulfilment.
MAKE TIME FOR MYSELF
Pretty obvious one right here, but the one I actually find the hardest! I am the mother to a very energetic 4 year old girl so when I find myself without her it's so easy for me to either go a) "Oh, I can catch up on work or study!" or b) sit and waste my life endless scrolling Instagram, which more often then not leaves me feeling pretty sh*tty. Meditation has been an important tool in helping me find space in my day, to make better and more aligned choices, and also help me set my intentions for the day, right from my first waking moments which is the time of the day where you experience the most clarity. My daughter is my alarm clock, so it has been a massive effort to make the painstaking choice of waking up before her, but just those 30 minutes in the morning before anyone is awake makes such a monumental difference in my day.
Note, this does not include the cat, who naturally wakes when I do and proceeds to meow relentlessly, climb into my lap and begin massaging my thighs with his demonic claws. So he goes in the laundry during this time, sorry not sorry, Maxi!
I've ditched the Headspace app as honestly, I didn't like the guys voice, and instead I'm using Melissa Ambrosini's meditation tracks, which I love! These are included in the notes for those interested in finding out more.
There are a few other points that I would like to delve into, but in the essence of this article, I'm saving the rest for another time, since I'm off to enjoy this beautiful sunshine with my family. Hello Balance it's nice to meet you, I hope to see more of you this year. Happy Sunday!