We’ve all been there… overwhelmed by everything we “need” to get done and trying (and often failing) to fit it all in with balance. But what if I told you this? You have 168 hours in each week. Feel a little relief about fitting it “all” in? What if I told you that you didn’t have to balance any given day, or even any given week? What if “balance” just meant that everything was tended to, in whatever manner works best for you, your family, and your life… that balance can mean prioritizing some activities now to free up time for other important activities in the future?
I struggled with the idea of “balance.” If I was cleaning, I felt guilty that I was “ignoring” my daughter or my business. If I was working, I felt guilty again for not spending time with my daughter and for not having a cleaned and organized house because, after all, I became a work from home mom to provide for my daughter. And if I was spending time with my daughter, I felt like I should be doing the other two. Wow, there are some dirty words… “guilt” and “should.” I’ll have to come back to those in a later post.
After working with some fabulous NLP trainers and practitioners, I came to a few realizations, including a desire to become a practitioner. One of the activities I worked on was discovering my values in the six areas of life. As I mentioned last time, flexibility and spontaneity are pretty high in my top 10. This was why making a calendar and sticking to it was difficult for me, in addition to the stuff I’d told my unconscious. But, I also realized that family time and providing new opportunities were also highly important. Spending time now to completely purge and organize my house would mean less time “cleaning” in the future, not to mention less time looking for lost items and less money spent replacing items we didn’t have time to look for. This would give me MORE time with my daughter and MORE time to spend on my business without taking away from her. And that time spent on my business? That is how I achieve financial means to spend on my family and those “new opportunities” like travel, classes, etc., not to mention allowing my husband to cut back on hours at work when he’s ready.
Knowing my values, those things that are highly important to me, plus looking at a week or a month at a time instead of each day, “balance” is no longer something that seems impossible. I accept that any given day or week will likely be unbalanced, and I’m completely ok with it. And that guilt? I won’t lie and say that it’s completely gone, but it’s so minimal that I barely even notice it when it does creep up. Part of that is from work on values and goals, and part is due learning a NLP technique to get rid of negative emotions such as guilt from the past through the present and into the future.
You are probably wondering what my schedule looks like now, because I DO have one now… and I check it daily. So what are the steps I use to create my calendar? Stay tuned for the next post in this series where I’ll walk you through my process. Hint: It’s about priorities and choices. Until then, do you live life according to your values for work, family, etc? Have you even identified them yet? If not, would you be interested in learning how?