I've had blogs for as long as I can remember. The need for expression, and the art of beautifully articulating thoughts, ideas, and passions has always had a place in my heart. And whenever I read something that. just. hits. me. here... well, that's a kind of talent I find awe-inspiring. But my thoughts, ideas, and passions are always growing, evolving, changing, and I find myself wanting to do more, more, more. And then these thoughts start to overwhelm and my life becomes bogged down with never-ending to-do lists, which leads to frustration, and sometimes an inadvertent result of sabotage. Sometimes I’ll just seem to throw my hands in the air and give up on everything. EVERYTHING. Then, get lost for a bit in a whirlwind of binging on chocolate and hours of drama shows. I’ll pretty much play ostrich and hide my head in the sand for a few weeks. My diet and workout regime become nonexistent, thereby ruining some of the progress I’ve made in that area, and all of the projects I’m working on end up on hold, sometimes losing traction, in a state of limbo.
So, in an effort to combat this vicious cycle, one of my top priorities this year was to gain some balance in my life. Force myself to create boundaries and implement actions in my day-to-day that would help minimize the onset of another state of destructive avoidance.
Here is what I’ve come up with - and if you’re anything like me, hopefully this helps you gain some balance as well:
1) Cut down on current projects. There is only so much you can do. We are all given the same 24 hours, and you’ll need to use them wisely. So to cut down, make your full/ultimate to-do list. Now select a maximum of 3 items on that to-do list, and put away the rest. This (and only this) new short-list is what you’ll focus on.
2) Schedule it in. It doesn’t have to be set in stone (if you can’t do it Wednesday, make up for it on Thursday). But scheduling a few hours for each of your short-list items a week will help tremendously in ensuring you’ll meet your goals.
3) Create target dates. Take a look at your short-list items and how much time per week you’ve set aside to work on it and estimate when you think you’ll be able to complete it by. Mark it up in your calendar with bright colours and maybe some stickers (to make it fun and noticeable) so you know when you’ve hit a deadline. You can even create mini-targets dates or “count down” to your goals in your calendar to help encourage steadfastness.
4) Meditate in the morning. Even if only for 5 minutes. This will help focus your mind on what you have planned for the day, and work as a preventative measure against “monkey mind” - those moments throughout your day when you get a new idea or thought that could derail the focus you’ll need on your short-list.
5) Learn to say “No.” If achieving your goals is what’s most important to you, there will be times when distraction will come from friends, family, or coworkers/bosses. Hold steady to your priorities and cut down on unnecessary tasks by asking yourself “will this add to my happiness and feeling of success?”. Remember that your time and your plans (which are essentially promises you make to yourself) are sacred to you, and understand that no explanation is really needed… all you need to do is practice the art of saying a simple “No."
For more ideas on how to find balance in your life, check out these resources: