You've heard the phrase many times: Adulting is Hard. Sometimes I step back from my day to day and I can never wrap my head around how people think I am responsible enough to: have children, finish my responsibilities, start a business, keep a home....and to be honest, my own inner voice tells me I have a lot of room for improvement! As a mother, and a business owner, how does create that balance of fulfilling maternal obligations (mounting laundry, sports schedules, school activities), nurture a business, exercise, eat well, keep an active social/marital life, and have "me time"? How does one find that balance as an adult?
I think as women, we are hard on ourselves and place a high bar on our personal expectations. So what do I do to try to maintain that balance of obligations and personal fulfillment? I have compiled an unofficial list of strategies that are helping me with my life management (disclaimer: this is a constant work in progress and I am by no means an expert):
1. Say No
Saying No is a skill I am still learning. I find this especially tricky when it comes to with sharing my time. As I've gotten older, I find myself being more protective of the free time I have, and with whom I spend that time. So when I am approached to volunteer for something, or spend time with someone, I:
2. Pause before answering
Sometimes I find that when someone asks me something I answer right away. I am working on pausing before answering, so that when I do answer I know it is from the heart and I have thought it out. But when you have agreed to do something, you need to:
3. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.
I say this to my sons all the time. If you do agree to do something, you have to go through with it! If you are later resentful and unhappy about the commitment you have made, then re-read #2 again.
4. Be okay with the mess.
Inevitably, with many commitments vying for attention in life, some things will fall by the wayside. In my life, that usually means laundry, clutter and small home projects on my to-do list. When I am unable to do everything in one day, I always try to put those tasks into context of life importance, and I am (still working on being) okay with the mess or incomplete tasks.....that said, it helps when you:
5. Complete at least one thing from start to finish everyday.
I find that doing a bunch of little things but not completing any of those things is so much less satisfying than completing a full task from start to finish. It can be a little task or a big task, but it is a motivator to finish more things from start to finish!
6. Lastly- (and this is one I struggle with):
Be kind to yourself
The phrase speaks for itself and is a good reminder if all else fails. What does this entail, exactly? A wise person once suggested to me that no matter how crazy my day is, and if everything is falling apart, I need to be able to carve out a tiny piece of my day doing something just for myself. Taking a walk, having a massage, grabbing a coffee, meditating, reading are things that help me reclaim my balance.
What are some of your strategies for obtaining balance in your life?