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“You have the same number of hours in a day as Beyonce.” Happy Monday everyone! Today I wanted to share with you five things you can do to find better balance in your life in order to achieve a more successful week. We have all heard the above sentiment about Beyonce regarding her success. Sometimes this quote inspires me to be perseverant and a go-getter, but more often than not I just feel beat and unhappy at the end of the week when I did not get up at 6 AM every day, work, teach and practice yoga, blog, paint, eat perfect-macro meals, and still find time for self-love, family, and friends. I do not know how people with children stay sane with their busy schedules.
Social media and our society put such high expectations on women. Some people seem like social butterflies, while others have amazing designer closets filled with the latest trends, while others have fit bodies, perfect families, or a huge happy smile on their face. Unfortunately, we never see the “behind-the-scenes” work put in at the gym, the struggling finances, loneliness resulting from too much work and not enough play, or the last time that social butterfly has made time for his/her family. Because we only see what is portrayed through social media images, we feel a sense of competition and failure when our life does not look like a reflection of our phone’s screenshot folder.
I especially think my generation of lades are working toward the ethereal balance of stay at home mom and working businesswoman. Being a stay at home Mom is absolutely a full-time job. Simply keeping a successful career and having a personal life can be tough to balance. Somehow, we are supposed to be unicorns that juggle all three. I know many friends and women that understand how idealist all three are and are therefore either choosing to remain TINK (two incomes no kids) or have put off children indefinitely.
Most would agree that the ultimate goal of life is happiness. I think happiness stems from balance and creating a life of full-filling relationships and passions. When we become to focused on one certain aspect of our life, whether it be work, play, family, or passions, we can get burnt out or feel overwhelmed. This week, in my yoga classes and personal life, I am focusing on balance between work, blogging, yoga, my hubby, family, and friends. This post is absolutely “preaching to the choir” as my Dad would say, but here are my tips to help you find balance this week:
1. Get some sleep; take care of yourself! I have an incredible circadian rhythm that favors the candlelit hours. I learned in college that I can work and do chores most efficiently at night. As a result, I have a tendency to want to work until 3 AM. I can usually get up around the same time as usual, but my daily efficiency and energy decreases by the day at this rate, and I end up sleeping away the weekend. I stopped this bad habit once I graduated, but now even a 1 AM night can do me in. Self-care is of utmost importance when you are trying to find the TIME to accomplish more.
We can all remember one lucky day where we had a clean house, completed our workout, showered, and prettied up by 8 AM. Those are the days we feel we can take on the world! So take care of yourself so that you can find that energy and confidence to tackle the day.
Responding mantra: I will go to sleep, check out when it’s time to check out. I will pay attention to my personal needs.
2. You are not a unicorn; your journey is not Beyonce’s journey. Realize that comparing yourself to Beyonce, or anyone else for that matter, is idealistic and unrealistic. Beyonce is 35 years old. I do not personally know how close she is to her family and friends. I do not know her background or how many days she was completely overwhelmed. Maybe God happened to let all the right cards fall into place to set her up for that to inspire us. Or maybe it was hard and her career was the full center of her life. All I know is that it’s never smart to compare our journey to someone else’s end, and we should only focus on the present, rather than this impossible, distant goal, when we think about and plan our week.
Comparison is the thief of joy. I can also tell you that not a sole person on any social media has not had a moment of longing for a more idealistic life. Find peace in knowing we are all in this together.
Responding mantra: I will not compare myself to others. I will limit social media. I will find gratitude for all I accomplish.
3. Baby steps. You do not have to be CEO tomorrow. You do not have to have a perfect, loyal squads or 4 matching babies with bows tomorrow. It is great to think about long-term goals, but the key to balance is to take little steps toward your goals. Think about one or two long-term goals that are hanging over your head. What can you do a couple times this week that takes LESS THAN 5 minutes that will help you work toward that goal?
Responding mantra: This week, I will do any cleaning that takes under 5 minutes, exactly when it presents itself. I will take the stairs instead of the elevator. Grilled over friend. Etc.
4. Focus on one goal a day, plus a backup goal. My planner always lists 1000 different things and I do not accomplish half of them. I’m quite a time-optimist.
Today, I am working on my blog and spending some time with my hubby. I am going to focus on fitness by amping up my workouts on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Tuesday I plan to teach yoga and eat healthy by grocery shopping and meal-planning the remainder of the week. Thursday I will spend time alone, practice yoga, walk around the mall, and potentially get a pedicure. Friday I will spend time with my family or hubby. Saturday I will set aside time with my friends and husband to catch up.
Decide what is important for you to focus on this week and assign one topic to each day of the week. Bonus: include at least one day for yourself!
Responding mantra: One day, one focus.
5. Expect the unexpected and be flexible. Unfortunately, the world does not revolve around us. Be prepared for the schedule you created in #4 to get thrown awry at some point. You may have friends that want to grab dinner last minute on Wednesday. It helps blossom relationships and shows support through action when you can be there for family or friends at the last minute. Some days truly do not work, but people NOTICE when you actively show up. Your child gets sick and you attend a work training. Your hubby forgets to do chores on your self-care day. Instead of getting frustrated, look at every situation as an opportunity. Know you do not have to say yes to everything (see #1), but be flexible and remember your priorities.
Responding mantra: I will understand that curveballs come from God and act upon them accordingly, always seeking new opportunity.
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Choose which of the above has been causing lack of balance in your life lately. Choose the appropriate mantra and write it on a sticky note and place it on your mirror. I plan to work on all of these over the next two weeks.
Let me know in the comment box below what you choose or if you have any other ways to keep balance in your life!
With Joy, Audrey