Isn’t balance an interesting word… because it assumes that you have it all together… and if you don’t, something is wrong? I sometimes cringe when I hear the word, honestly. I don’t want to be reminded how “out of balance” my life can be sometimes. Do you ever feel that way too? Sometimes seeing something in writing – in black and white – helps me. In fact, I recently did a brain dump onto paper to see what my roles in life look like. Mom, wife, daughter, chef, housekeeper, taxi driver, counselor, cheerleader, blogger, writer, makeup business owner, vlogger, college prep organizer, college mom, high school mom, dog mom, head of household when my husband is gone, snow removal gal, car maintenance woman, bill payer, retirement planner, college loan organizer… it goes on and on and on! Let me guess… you wear a million different hats, too?
It’s hard not to get frustrated when your life feels out of balance – right? Because if you’re a female, I’m guessing you are trying to do it all. You’re trying to have it all. You’re trying to keep everything moving, going, growing in your life. And something always has to give. I’m always leaving something undone, on the table, unfinished. You too?
Every day is a new balancing act for me. I’m finally (in my 50s) trying to give myself the grace to know that I can let go of my desire for perfection, because honestly, that holds me back from acting on things that need attention in my life.
My husband wisely told me many years ago “don’t let better get in the way of good enough.”
I think of his words weekly as I try to decide how to be more efficient with the tasks I need to accomplish. Here are some of my observations about balance:
- It changes daily for me as my priorities change.
- Sometimes I need to just focus on the most important thing of the day.
- Letting go of all of the extra things that aren’t urgent helps me to focus my energy.
This has also brought me to some realizations about having balance. Things are never completely or perfectly equal as the word might suggest. AND THAT’S OKAY! Learning to be fine with days or weeks (and sometimes months) that are uneven or weighted in one direction or another has been a process for me. I used to feel like I was always behind, always struggling to catch up. I’m trying to change the way I think because I believe the mind is so powerful and the way we think can affect how we move forward with intention and grace.
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So here are my best tips to share with you…
- Set your top priorities for the day. It’s okay if it’s just ONE major priority. If you constantly set too many for a day and aren’t able to complete them, you might be hard on yourself which stifles future progress and grace. If you frequently get upset with yourself because you aren’t accomplishing more, you might start a trend of negative self-talk. (Ask me how I know!)
- Be flexible! Life happens and some days you just need to keep your head above water. That’s okay. Being flexible when events upset your tasks at hand allows you to pivot easier and to re-prioritize as necessary. Not everyone is flexible – I know that. But if you are able to change your mindset when something unforeseen happens, it allows you to keep moving and not get stuck. Being flexible can lead to being more resilient and that is such a helpful trait to find in life!
- Find a system that works for you. Keep a calendar, a planner… or a pad of paper or a notebook to write down your goals and things you need to accomplish. As a mom of 3, I love the More Times Mom calendar because the boxes are BIG so I can keep track of travel dates, due dates, appointments and such so easily! I also love this Day Planner because it lies flat, has plenty of space for me to organize my days and weeks and also gives me a great monthly view at a glance. I also recently found this Planning System Pad and it allows me to tear off just 1 or 2 sheets to take with me when I travel, as well!
Whatever system you use to find more balance in your life, I think it’s important to remember to shower GRACE upon yourself… accept that just like scales when you weigh something in a grocery store, the scales rarely stay still. They are always moving… always shifting weight… always adjusting depending upon what you put on the tray. Life is the same way. When our tray fills up, our scales of balance change and we either have to shift our focus to the tray that is heavier… or take things off our tray so that life becomes easier, better adjusted and perhaps lighter.
I’d love to know how you find balance in your life? What are your tips? What advice would you share with others… or with your younger self? Drop me a comment below and share your ideas here!