Many of us strive to find balance with our work, family, relationships, wellness, etc. We all want to feel like we’re on top of everything in our lives, but there’s so much stuff to do that it rarely feels that way.
In our society, there’s this pressure to spend time with your family, hang out with friends, be with your partner, eat well, exercise often, travel the globe, side-hustle, and post consistently on Instagram (only sort of kidding on that last one).
With so many responsibilities, how can we possibly juggle our time, energy, and attention between them all?
I don’t believe we’ll ever be 100% balanced, but there are ways to make balance more attainable. The important thing is figuring out what makes you feel balanced and how you can let go of things you don’t need in your life.
I want to share how I attempt to find balance between work, relationships, and self-care in my life, especially because I have quite a few things to juggle right now. Though I may be busy, I don’t like to use ‘busy’ as an excuse for not showing up in my life.
In this post, I’m sharing how you can balance a busy schedule to have more time for what matters. Keep reading for 6 tips to find balance with a busy schedule!
When people ask what I’ve been up to lately or how life is going, sometimes I feel overwhelmed by my own answer. My life has become considerably busier over the past few months.
As many of you know, I transitioned away from my full-time job in July 2017 to pursue self-employment (here’s my one-year update on that!).
For the first six months of self-employment, I focused solely on coaching and writing. My whole schedule revolved around The Blissful Mind.
Fast forward to March of 2018 and things started to look a little different. I started a part-time job in the evenings (it’s remote, which is a blessing), and I was also roped into coaching my former high school’s dance team.
Now, my schedule is quite different from what it once was. I spend my mornings and afternoons working on The Blissful Mind, 4-6 hours a week with the dance team, and 15 hours a week in the evenings doing my part-time job. On top of all that, I’m fitting in time to be with my boyfriend, for family dinners, and for practicing self-care.
It’s easy to feel totally unbalanced when you have to juggle so many things at once. The balancing act isn’t easy, and it doesn’t always work out as planned. However, there are a few key things that help me find balance with a busy schedule.
6 Ways To Find Balance When You’re Busy
1. Be realistic with your time
There’s only so much you can do in a day. If you’re trying to cram in too much into your schedule for the sake of “balance”, it’s only going to overwhelm you. You’ll also feel guilty when you can’t do it all. Instead, look at your weekly schedule and see what’s actually reasonable for you in terms of time and energy.
The feeling that we “should” do something is the worst. It only makes us feel trapped into doing things that don’t always serve us. If you don’t want to go to that party, you don’t have to go just because you were invited. You also don’t have to feel guilty about not being social if it’s not what you need at that moment in time. Take the pressure off yourself and focus on activities with people (or no people) that give you energetic alignment.
A self-awareness exercise I like to do with my coaching clients is the wellness wheel. With the wellness wheel, you rank your level of satisfaction in different areas of your life (health, relationships, work, family, etc.) on a scale of 1-10. People are often surprised when they see their results because they realize they were overlooking certain areas of their lives. Try the wellness wheel exercise yourself so you can figure out exactly how to bring more balance into your life.
You have to make choices that bring you closer to what’s important and that means making sacrifices with your time. You might have to give up an extra hour of sleep to make it to the gym or say no to drinks with friends so you can spend time with your family. Balance is all about making those choices that suck at first but pay off in the long run.
Balance is all about choosing quality over quantity. Often we look at balance in terms of how much time we dedicate to things, but actually it’s about how much effort we put into them. After all, spending hours with friends doesn’t mean much if you’re staring at your phone the whole time. When you’re with the ones you love, make sure you’re staying present and actively listening and engaging with them. That way, you’ll get more out of the time you spend with them even it’s only a few minutes.
There’s no way to fit everything in if you don’t MAKE time for what matters. Plan, plan, plan, and stick to it. For example, I plan out my day with what workout I’ll do in the morning, what my priorities are for the day, and what time I plan to work on each project. I know planning feels like the opposite of balance, but it helps you create space for what you want to do and who you want to spend time with (even if that’s yourself). That being said, don’t be afraid to be spontaneous sometimes. Spontaneity is good for balance ;)
I hope this post has given you some actionable tips to help you feel more balanced, even with a busy schedule. Remember that being busy isn’t a badge of honor, and it’s important that you stay present and aware with what’s going on in your life. Once you’ve mastered this, balance won’t feel so far off after all.
When I started The Blissful Mind in 2014, I had no idea that it would become such a huge part of my life. Blogging was just a hobby that gave me a creative outlet to share my ideas with the internet.
I couldn’t have predicted that blogging about wellness would inspire me to attend graduate school for wellness coaching, or that blogging would allow me to do three things I love: write, create, and help people.
But in 2017, I was faced with the decision to either find a new job or choose the self-employment route. Even though it was terrifying, I took the leap. A year ago, I chose to create a business out of The Blissful Mind, and somehow I’m still going.
Through coaching, blogging, and creating eProducts, I’ve been able to make this self-employment thing work. I’ve also taken on part-time jobs and hustled my way through the tough times.
So many people dream of being self-employed, and sometimes I forget what a blessing it is to be in this situation. It’s hard work, I tell you. It makes you question everything you ever knew about yourself, your abilities, and your sanity. But it also gives you so much in return.
“One of the huge mistakes people make is that they try to force an interest on themselves. You don’t choose your passions; your passions choose you.” – Jeff Bezos
I want to share what I’ve learned over the past year in case you’re thinking about taking the leap too. There are so many things I could share, but I’ve whittled it down a list of the top 12 lessons I’ve learned during my first year of self-employment. Keep reading to find out what they are!
12 Lessons Learned From Being Self-Employed
1. Everyday feels like a rollercoaster.
Some days you’ll feel so motivated because everything is going smoothly. Other days, every little thing will go wrong, and you’ll wonder if you should apply for a 9-5 job again. Know that this is completely normal and all entrepreneurs go through these ups and downs. It happens with any job, really.
If you feel like you’re in a rut or question whether you should keep going or not, remember to give yourself space and take a break.
2. You have to ask for help.
I struggle with asking for help because I’m a perfectionist. I’m sure you can relate. The thing is that you can’t do everything in your business. You might have a lot of talents, but there will only be a few things that you’re really good at. Take the risk and hire an assistant to do the things you aren’t amazing at or hire a coach to help you through your struggles. That way, you can spend more time doing things from your zone of genius.
3. Planning quarterly is a game-changer.
I had no idea how the the first year of being self-employed would look. Though I had lots of ideas, I didn’t have a concrete plan. I tried to do everything at once and failed miserably.
I attempted to plan out a whole year ahead of time, but I realized I couldn’t stick to something that far in advance. What eventually worked for me was planning things quarter-by-quarter. I focused on 3-4 top goals or projects to complete during that time, and my workload became more manageable. You’d be surprised what you can get done in a solid three months.
4. Self-discipline is vital.
A lot of people dream of being self-employed because they want the freedom to do things on their own terms. That was one of the most exciting things to me. Like, you can go to the mall in the middle of the day on Tuesday because you create your own schedule?
Yes, you can do that and the freedom is GLORIOUS. But you’ll start to realize that if you don’t practice self-discipline, you won’t get your work done. There’s no one to tell you what to do anymore (which is amazing, obviously), but you have to act like a boss and follow through with your plans.
One of my biggest fears going into self-employment was the fact that I’d have to do my own taxes. I’m still not 100% sure if I’m doing everything correctly with my business income, but I do know that filing my own taxes went a lot smoother than I expected. I used TurboTax Home & Business, and it guided me through the whole process. That being said, one of my next goals is to hire an accountant to help me stay on top of everything money-related.
6. People won’t understand what you do.
I’m grateful that my family and friends support my choice to be self-employed. I’m not sure they totally understand what I do, but then again, do we know what any of our friends really do in their jobs?
Despite this support, there are still those people who ask me when I’m going back to a real job. It feels like a kick to the stomach, but most often it just comes down to lack of understanding. You have the choice to help them understand what you do, or you can brush their comments aside and keep moving forward.
7. Connect with others because it gets lonely.
I’m an introvert by nature which makes self-employment perfect for me. However, it can get lonely when you spend 99% of your time by yourself. Social media is great, but it doesn’t give you the same feeling as being in someone’s presence. One of the things I haven’t been great at is keeping up with friends because I’ve been so focused on my business. I’m lucky that I’ve made some great self-employed friends through social media, but I also know that in-person connections are the greatest of all.
8. There’s no shame in getting a part-time job.
Self-employment means your monthly income will often vary. Some months I made $3k and others I made $400. Because I wasn’t a fan of having anxiety around money every month, I found a part-time job that would give me a predictable paycheck.
At first, I felt guilty about getting another job because it meant my business wasn’t sustainable. But in the long run, it gave me peace of mind and took some of the pressure off of my own work.
9. Staying organized is key.
I’m a pretty organized person, but running a business takes another level of organization skills. There are so many things to keep track of, which is why it’s so important to have the right tools for the job. Here are some of the tools that have kept me and my business organized:
QuickBooks for bookkeeping (keep on top of this, it’s important)
Dubsado for client onboarding and payment processing
Acuity Scheduling for scheduling meetings and calls (saves back and forth emails trying to find a time that works for people)
Asana and/or Trello for planning out projects and breaking goals into manageable steps
When you first start out, you’ll realize there are so many things you can do now that you have the time to pursue them. I actually felt overwhelmed by the amount of time I had to work on my business at first. I no longer had just the evenings and weekends to work on it, so I crammed my day full of tasks.
If I could re-do those first few months of self-employment, I would write a list of all the ideas I had for my business, then rank the list by the ideas that a) would make me money b) I would enjoy doing and c) would be relatively easy. If you can find an idea that combines all three components, go with that one first.
11. Self-care fuels your work.
There’s so much to do in your business, so it’s easy to forget to stop working. You might even feel guilty about not working because there’s always something that could be done next. It’s amazing to not hate your job and want to work on it all the time, but self-care is a vital component to your best work. It might feel like you’ll lose money or your business will crumble if you prioritize self-care over work. More often than not, the opposite will happen because you’ll approach work from a well-rested and calm state of being.
When you’re working on your business all day, every day, it’s easy to forget that there are other things in life to enjoy as well. It’s a blessing to enjoy your work, but you have to detach in order to make progress. Make time to explore other hobbies. Meet up with friends. Take time away from your business social media accounts. Give yourself regular chunks of time to completely switch off from your business.
Cheers to self-employment!
I hope this post has given you some insight into what it’s like to be self-employed. It’s not an easy path to take, but it’s been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life.
Question: Would you ever take the leap into self-employment?
Thank you to Skillshare for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.
Do you ever feel like you’re rushing through your day without taking a moment to slow down and appreciate the moment? It happens to us all, especially when we’re stressed out.
Practicing mindfulness is one of the best ways to become more present in your life. Though living in the moment isn’t always easy, there are plenty of ways you can cultivate mindfulness on a daily basis. The important thing is to find a practice or technique that works best for you.
One way to explore different mindfulness techniques is by taking classes on Skillshare. Skillshare is an online learning community for creators and entrepreneurially-minded individuals, with more than 20,000 classes in design, business, photography, and so many other topics.
Skillshare is also a great resource if you’re trying to embrace mindful living. From meditation to workplace mindfulness, Skillshare has a variety of classes to help you become more present in your daily life.
Today I’m sharing seven of my favorite classes on Skillshare that have challenged me to practice mindfulness in different ways. If you’re curious about mindfulness or simply want to enhance your current practice, check out the classes below!
If you’re interested in trying out Skillshare, The Blissful Mind readers can get 2 months of Skillshare for free using this link!
If you’re looking for ways to add more mindfulness into your daily life, Shannan’s class is a great place to start. Within this class, you’ll try meditations, breathing exercises, and other mindfulness tools that will help you connect with yourself more. You’ll learn the basics of being mindful so you can reduce stress and feel calmer in your daily life. This is a great class for anyone who’s looking for practical mindfulness tips.
In this challenge, Laura will guide you through 5-minute meditations for 10 days. Whether you’re an experienced meditator or have never tried meditation before, these short meditations are the perfect way to create a little more peace in your day. I like how short and simple these videos are because they make meditation feel more attainable for those of are often *too busy* to meditate.
In this class, Stacey shares how we can cultivate mindfulness in the workplace to be more focused and productive. Stacey provides simple practices you can use during the workday to reduce stress such as mindful breathing, protecting your time, and self-care. I love Stacey’s approach to stress management, and there are so many practical mindfulness tips within this Skillshare class.
This class combines two of my favorite things: mindfulness and flowers. Madineyah Isaacs is a life coach and florist who created this class as a way to be present while also creating something beautiful. During this class, you’ll go through a simple mindfulness experience to connect with your five senses. From there, you’ll learn how to make a stunning floral arrangement while being in a calm and peaceful state of mind.
In this class, Dr. Patricia Thompson teaches you how to be more mindful of your emotions. You’ll learn the basics of emotional intelligence and mindfulness, as well as how you can manage your emotions in a mindful way. Plus, you’ll receive tips and techniques to boost your mood, improve your relationships, and feel more connected to yourself.
This class will teach you how to create your own nature journal to cultivate mindfulness. Connecting with nature is a simple way to be more mindful because you become much more aware of your surroundings. Through this class, you’ll learn how to be present in nature, what to include in your nature journal, and how you can create a consistent nature journaling practice.
In this guided meditation challenge, you’ll get to experience three different approaches to meditation. Alisa includes creative visualizations in her meditations that take you on a journey to achieve deeper states of relaxation. If you have trouble sitting still and quieting your mind, these meditations will inspire you to get outside of your own head and use your imagination in new ways.
How do you practice mindfulness?
Interested in taking one (or all) of these mindfulness classes? Get 2 free months of Skillshare using this link!
As someone who tries to take on more than I should, I know what it’s like to juggle many responsibilities. Keeping up with jobs, blogging, relationships, and self-care often feels like a never-ending rat race.
Though balance is something I strive for in my life, it can be hard to feel balanced when my schedule is jam-packed. And if I’m being totally honest, sometimes it’s because I’m simply not using my time in the best ways (don’t judge me).
Balance obviously means something different to everyone, yet most of us are seeking it in some way or another. When you’re burned out and stressed out, balance seems like the ultimate remedy.
If you’ve been craving balance in your life but just can’t seem to make it happen, here are five reasons your life might be feeling off-balance (and what you can do about it!).
5 Reasons Balance Is A Struggle
At times when I’ve said to myself, ‘I wish I had more balance in my life,’ I’ve noticed it means I’ve been slacking on a few key things. Check out this list and see if you can relate to any of them:
1. You haven’t defined what balance truly means to you.
If you’ve been wishing your life felt more balanced without defining what that looks like, it’s going to be difficult to achieve it. After all, balance feels different for all of us depending on our responsibilities, relationships, hobbies, and jobs.
To kick things off, why not start by journaling your thoughts and feelings around balance. Visualize what it would look like if you actually achieved it. This will give you a much better idea of what you should be striving for.
Even though discipline sounds like the opposite of balance, it’s one of the best tools to help you feel on top of things. Without self-discipline, we often waste time, procrastinate, and fail to follow through with things. This only makes us feel overwhelmed, guilty, and totally unbalanced.
Think about ways you might be lacking in self-discipline. How can you make tweaks in your life that will help you follow through with things you usually let slide?
Consistency is an important aspect of balance, even though it may not seem like much fun. Think about if you only ate salads for one week as part of a healthy eating plan, and the next week your diet was 100% McDonald’s burgers. Lack of consistency in our actions is one of the reasons our lives often feel out of whack.
Which areas of your life are you lacking consistency? Try to create consistency around the way you take care of yourself, especially with food, exercise, sleep, and relaxation. These areas have the biggest impact on your overall life balance.
When you forget to plan out the details of your schedule, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by everything you have to do. Planning is a way to ensure that you can take care of business AND take care of yourself. Though balance may seem like a go-with-the-flow kind of thing, sometimes planning is the only way to make it happen.
Create a basic outline of how your week will look by including appointments, projects to work on, social/relationship time, and self-care. If you plan these things out in your schedule, it’s easier to stay on top of them during the week.
With everything you might be juggling (work, relationships, home life, etc.), the most important thing is to make time for is yourself. If you aren’t taking ample time to do what fills your soul away from your responsibilities, balance will always seem out of reach.
It’s easy to create excuses about not having time for self-care, but even five minutes is better than nothing. If you practice self-discipline, stay consistent, and plan ahead, you’ll find that you can work self-care into your schedule.
I hope these tips helped you identify areas of your life where you can make some positive changes. Start by defining balance in your own terms, then work on self-discipline, consistency, and planning. That way, you’ll have more time for yourself and what’s important.
I’d love to know what balance means to you and how you deal when life feels unbalanced. Leave a comment below!
Do you crave stability in your life? Wish you had a little more structure in your schedule? When you stick to a similar schedule and routine each week, you can actually make time for the things that matter to you. Structure helps you stay focused and get things done.
During weeks when my workload feels hectic, having daily and weekly routines means I don’t have to play catch-up or wing everything. There’s nothing wrong with winging it, but I feel more at peace when I’m prepared with a plan.
Lack of structure can make us feel unmotivated and distracted and often leads to you doing everything at the last minute. Of course, flexibility is important, but structure is necessary for creating a sense of stability and balance in your life.
Today, I’m sharing 5 ways you can build structure into your weekly and daily schedule so you can feel less stressed and more prepared!
Habits are sacred because they give deliberate structure to our lives. Structure gives us a sense of security. And that sense of security is the ground of meaning. – Robert Fulghum
5 Ways to Create More Structure In Life
If you’re looking to add more structure into your schedule too, here are a few ideas to make it happen:
1. Create batch/theme days
Batching is the process of grouping similar tasks together to streamline your workload. When you work on similar tasks together, it’s easier to get in the zone and stay focused. For example, I use Tuesdays to write my blog content because I know I can write uninterrupted for most of the day. If you take a closer look at your weekly schedule, you’ll notice that you do similar tasks each week. See if there’s a way you can theme or batch your days so you always have a game plan for the week.
If you find yourself totally unprepared for Mondays, try planning your week ahead of time. I use Sundays to prepare for the week so my life feels a little more organized. This is the perfect time to see what’s on your calendar and make sure you have your ducks in a row.
I check my calendar and emails to see what blog posts I need to write, which projects are due, and any scheduled appointments. Here’s a list of 20 productive things you can do on a Sunday to prepare for the week ahead.
I don’t think that scheduling is uncreative. I think that structure is required for creativity. – Twyla Tharp
3. Plan your day the night before
Even if you’ve already planned out your week, it’s important to plan out some of the details of your day as well. This will help you stay on track and figure out exactly what you need to accomplish by the end of the day. I recommend choosing your top three priorities for the day and scheduling them in time blocks. Here’s a tutorial explaining how I do this.
Routines create consistency in our schedules, help with time management, and encourage us to build healthy habits. My morning routine keeps me sane, especially when I’m overwhelmed with my to-do list. Even if the rest of my day is terrible, I can feel good knowing I did a few things in the morning to take care of myself. If you want to start your own morning routine, there’s a simple framework you can follow in this post.
Of course, I have to remind you of the importance of scheduling self-care into your schedule. Once you’ve planned out your week with appointments and to-dos, it’s vital that you plan some downtime to recoup. Take a look at your schedule and pencil in your favorite self-care activities or time to do absolutely nothing.
We all know that sleep can affect your health, mood, and productivity levels, yet prioritizing sleep can be a huge struggle. I wanted to see if changing my sleep habits would make a difference in these areas of my life.
One of my goals was to shut down electronics by 10pm and then read until 10:30pm before going to sleep. I also wanted to clear my head before bed by writing down any ideas and thoughts that usually distract me late at night.
As part of Better Sleep Council’s campaign, I also encouraged you to join the challenge and share how you were planning to be #BetterInBed this month.
Today, I’m recapping what I learned from the sleep challenge to see if I made progress on my goals. I’ll also share what I learned from making sleep a priority during a pretty hectic month.
Recap of The Better Sleep Month
This month turned out to be an interesting time to attempt a sleep challenge. My schedule didn’t exactly have any rhyme or reason to it, which threw off my plans to get 8 hours of sleep each night.
Originally, my sleep plans were to: 1) turn off and put away electronics by 10pm, 2) write down my ideas, thoughts, and to-dos to work on later instead immediately, and 3) read until 10:30 and then turn the lights off. Here’s how those plans turned out:
Sleep Habit #1:
Turn off and put away electronics by 10pm
I’ll be honest, this didn’t happen once.
As a little backstory, I have a contract job where I usually work from 6-9 in the evenings. Luckily I can do everything from the comfort of my pajamas, and it allows me to get to bed by 10pm.
However, a different obstacle popped up this month. I recently started coaching a high school dance team (random, I know), and this month the team had tryouts. On the days that the team has something going on, I didn’t get home until about 7. That meant I have to bump my work hours later and usually I ended up working 7:30-10:30.
There’s the explanation no one asked for, but you can see why putting electronics away by 10 was never gonna happen for me. Womp womp.
Sleep Habit #2:
Write down ideas, thoughts, and to-dos in a notebook to work on later
Unlike the previous challenge, this one actually went pretty well. Instead of staying up later than I needed to due to distractions, I stuck to a simple routine before bed. If I had any ideas or nagging thoughts pop into my head, I wrote them down or added them to tomorrow’s to-do list. Instead of keeping these thoughts in my head or feeling the need to start working on them, I let them go. Overall, this helped me to get more sleep and fall asleep more easily.
Sleep Habit #3:
Read until 10:30 then turn the lights off
I’ve already mentioned that getting to bed around this time was a struggle, but I did manage to read every night before bed. No matter how late it was, I made sure to read a few pages before going to sleep. Reading helps me to unwind and relax my brain, and it also helped to shut my head off and get to sleep more easily. I actually finished Wild by Cheryl Strayed this month, and I’d definitely recommend it.
Unplanned Sleep Habit:
I didn’t have plans to make this happen, but somehow I reduced the urge to snooze my alarm this month. Usually I set my alarm for 6:45 and end up snoozing until 7:30 (don’t judge), but lately I’ve been able to get up at 6:45 with no trouble.
Part of this is because I’m actually motivated to get out of bed in the morning. With the weather warming up, I get excited about starting my day with a morning walk. Somehow this simple ritual reduces my urge to snooze.
Not snoozing means I’m not groggy and unproductive in the mornings, and it actually improves my mood. I may be getting fewer hours of sleep, but I find I’m more tired at the end of the day which makes it easier to fall asleep.
After taking this sleep challenge, I’ve created the habit of getting up earlier and letting myself switch off before bed. Even though I’ve had less sleep than I usually would, I’ve been more motivated and focused to get things done. Maybe it’s because I now have more hours in the morning or because I’m not staying up late getting distracted. Either way, this challenge encouraged me to change my habits and manage my time better so I can make sleep more of a priority moving forward.
How will you get more sleep?
Even when your schedule is hectic, it’s still possible to create healthy sleep habits. I’d love to know what your sleep habits are and what helps you get to sleep at night. Leave a comment below and let me know!
Have you been waiting for the perfect moment to get started on something? I know you have that grand idea or project in the back of your mind that you’ve been putting off for the past few days, weeks, months, or maybe even years (!). Sorry to break it to ya, but there is no such thing as the perfect moment.
So many of us wait around until the perfect moment to take action. We hold ourselves back from taking action on the things we think about over and over again. The thing is, we’re only wasting time if we’re thinking about doing things instead of actually doing them.
You only have so much time and energy to spare, and I definitely don’t want you wasting it all on thinking instead of doing. As someone who loves to stay in my comfort zone, I get that it’s ridiculously scary to take risks. But you deserve to do the things you want to do, my friend.
Today, let’s talk about taking action before you’re ready. I’m going to share how I took the leap into self-employment before I was ready, as well as how you can learn how to stop holding yourself back and take imperfect action. I hope this post gives you a kick in the butt to start what you’ve been putting off!
Why we’ll never really be ready
I know how easy it is to get caught up in your own thoughts instead of taking action on them. It’s easy to replay the same thoughts about whether you should do something or not because you’re unsure of how it’s going to work out.
With any of the major decisions I’ve made in my life, I’ve never really felt ready to do any of them. I mean, when do we ever feel fully ready to do anything? If you do feel ready, you probably waited too long to get started.
I think it’s b.s. to convince ourselves that we should feel ready before we do anything. This only holds us back from taking action. Instead, we need to be okay with the concept of taking imperfect action and figuring out the details afterwards.
Struggling to take action on your goals? Here’s how to get started even if you don’t feel ready! Click To Tweet
Taking leaps before I was ready
People always ask me how I knew I was ready to take my blog and coaching full-time. The answer is that I wasn’t. My original plan was to leave my full-time job in September 2017 after I finished graduate school. Of course, things didn’t exactly go to plan. My job of four years said that if I wanted to leave (they knew I was planning to), I would have to do it by the end of June for “budgetary reasons”.
I went into panic mode about what I was going to do. I did not feel ready to take that leap in the slightest. At that point, my options were to make self-employment work or try to find another job. I definitely didn’t want another 9-5 job, so…
I came up with a new action plan: I’d give myself two months to make self-employment work. I didn’t know what I was going to do in those two months, but I decided this would be my trial period.
Over those two months, I started offering coaching services. I didn’t feel ready to do that either because I was still in the midst of my graduate school program for coaching. Regardless, I shared with the world that I would be coaching starting in July. Somehow the stars aligned, and I booked my first client.
Since that point, I’ve been figuring out the details along the way. This past year has had its ups and downs, but I’m still making it work.
If I hadn’t had that push to take action when I wasn’t ready, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. The truth is that things often fall into place if you give them the chance.
Of course, the ‘starting before you’re ready’ principle isn’t only for the big decisions in your life. Start before you’re ready on that project you’ve been putting off, those habits you’ve been wanting to start, and those difficult conversations you’ve been meaning to have.
If you’re holding yourself back from taking action, here are a few things you can work on right now (write these down!):
1. Don’t hold yourself back by planning every little detail
If you like to plan out every little detail of what you’re doing, start by taking action – then plan the rest. Planning the big action itself often leads to procrastination because you have time to talk yourself out of it. Instead, take the action you’ve been putting off, and plan from the point after you’ve made the first step.
2. Give yourself permission to take imperfect action
Many of us hold ourselves back because we need to do everything the *right* way. If you’re always waiting for the perfect time, place, or situation, you are only procrastinating on taking action. Rather than letting perfectionism control your actions, give yourself permission to take imperfect action in your life. Imperfect action takes reign over no action at all.
“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” John Steinbeck
3. Create a timeline and see what happens
Giving yourself a timeline can push you to take action while having a fallback plan. I gave myself permission to test out self-employment for two months. If it didn’t seem to be working after that time, I would look for another job. Save up the money you need for two months, find a new living situation for two months, date someone for two months…whatever you’ve been hesitating on, give it a trial run and see what happens.
Are you ready to take imperfect action?
Give yourself permission to take imperfect action on whatever you’ve been holding off on. Take the risk and see what happens. If you’re still struggling to take action, let’s work together so I can help overcome whatever’s holding you back.
Sleep is something we all complain that we need more of. I’m guilty of using the “I’m tired” line whenever someone asks me how I am. To be honest, we’re all tired and most of us are tired of being tired all the time.
We all know how important sleep is for our health. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night has its benefits, including helping you maintain a healthy weight, feel energized, and concentrate more easily.
The trouble is that even when you know the importance of sleep, it’s a struggle to actually make it happen. When you have a busy schedule, sleep often gets pushed to the bottom of the priorities list.
How many times have you woken up in the morning and thought, “I can’t wait to get home and go to bed early tonight”? But when the evening comes around, you stay up late once again to finish work, watch another episode of New Girl, and literally do anything else except lay your head down to sleep.
It’s easy to forget that sleep is a critical element of a successful self-care practice, and it’s one element of self-care that I don’t prioritize enough.
Today, I want to share why I’m prioritizing sleep this month, as well as how you can get more sleep this month too. After all, it feels so good to tell people you actually got a full 8 hours of sleep last night, doesn’t it?
Why I’m Prioritizing Sleep This Month
When it comes to getting enough sleep, my biggest downfall is turning my mind off at night. I always have ideas pop into my head as soon as I want to start unwinding for bed. Instead of writing these ideas down somewhere, my instinct is to get started on them right away. Even though my goal was to turn the lights off at 10:30, it ends up being midnight before I get to bed.
I always notice that not getting enough sleep affects my mood, ability to be productive, and appetite. If I’m overly tired, I won’t have the motivation to do anything. I also tend to binge on junk food which only makes me feel worse.
The consequences of not getting enough sleep obviously affect us on a daily level, but the long-term effects of sleep deprivation on our overall health are ones I want to avoid at all costs.
There are so many reasons we don’t get enough sleep at night, which is why I’ve teamed up with the Better Sleep Council (BSC) to see if I can be #BetterInBed this month. I LOVE this campaign name – so smart and funny.
The Better Sleep Council is a nonprofit organization devoted to informing the public about the critical relationship between sleep, good health and quality of life.
Since May is Better Sleep Month, I’m challenging myself to get better at turning my mind off at night so that I can get a full 8 hours of sleep. Here’s my plan:
Turn off and put away electronics (laptop & phone) by 10pm
Write down all of my ideas, thoughts, and to-dos in a notebook by my bed to work on later (instead of right that second)
Read until 10:30 then turn the lights off
5 Simple Ways To Get More Sleep This Month
If you’ve been trying to get to bed earlier for years, take the Better in Bed challenge with me! Think of small tweaks you could make to your current habits to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep.
Of course, there are so many ways that you can get better in bed. Here are just a few ideas:
A study found that engaging in simple, daily yoga classes improved sleep for participants who struggled with insomnia. Even just squeezing in a few stretches before bed can make a difference. Here are some yoga poses to help you relax.
Follow A Night Routine
By following a similar routine each night, you give mind and body plenty of time to unwind and relax. If you need ideas for a night routine, check out this post.
Invest In Comfy Pajamas
You don’t want to feel restricted while you’re sleeping, so make sure you’re wearing non-synthetic and breathable materials. These will give you more room to move around with ease while you’re sleeping.
Avoid Bright Lights In The Evening
Bright lights suppress melatonin production and make falling asleep more difficult. Try turning on a lamp or dimming the lights before you’re ready to go to bed.
Do you struggle to figure out what your priorities are? Or do you have a clear idea of your top priorities in life but you can’t seem to manage them all?
The truth is that our ability to make an impact with our lives often depends on what we decide to prioritize. Once you’re clear on your priorities, you’ll be able to make better and quicker decisions that guide your life choices.
Our priorities are the areas of our lives that are meaningful and important to us. They’re usually activities, practices, or relationships that we want to put genuine effort and time into.
If you’re not clear on your priorities, you’ll have trouble managing your time and making progress on your goals. You’ll also overwhelm yourself with too many responsibilities.
The thing is that many of us are unclear on our priorities, which often means we struggle to split our time between different things.
I know from experience that it’s difficult to decide which aspects of our lives are top priorities. After all, how do we distinguish between what’s truly important and what’s only semi-important?
If you’re struggling to define your top priorities in life, I’ve created a simple exercise to help you get clear on what’s important. Plus, I’ll show you the quick and easy diagram I use to define my priorities so you can try the exercise for yourself too!
Why You Need Clearly Defined Priorities
As someone who gets shiny object syndrome, I know how difficult it can be to figure out your priorities in life. When you overthink things and change your mind a lot, you tend to fall into the mindset of wanting to do all the things.
I’m definitely guilty of trying to convince myself that I can prioritize more than I should at any given time. When I’ve done that in the past, I’ve only created more stress in my life than any one person needs.
Priorities can obviously shift, and they should shift over time. But I’ve learned that in order to make progress and not get burned out, it’s important to stick with a small number of priorities at a time. Otherwise, they’re not really priorities, are they?
A simple exercise to figure out your top priorities in life Click To Tweet
I honestly believe that the key to work-life balance is to get really clear on your priorities and stick with them as closely as possible. The key is to cultivate self-discipline and consistency – two of the most boring yet important characteristics you can have.
Since we’re talking about creating more work-life balance, let’s figure out HOW you can define your top priorities right now.
The Top Priorities Exercise
When I was struggling to get clear on where I should spend my time, here’s what I did:
1. Draw 3 Circles
I drew three circles on a piece of paper to form a Venn diagram (definitely reminds me of being back in school).
2. Choose Your Life Areas
From there, I forced myself to choose only three areas of my life to fill in these circles. I asked myself, ‘If I only focused on improving three areas of my life for the next three months, which ones would I choose?’
Here’s how it turned out:
As you can see, business, self-care, and personal growth are the three areas I chose. These are areas of my life that I want to prioritize above anything else. Of course this is a super simple exercise, but it helps you get clear on what’s important because you’re forced to choose only choose three priorities.
You can also take this method one step further and draw separate Venn diagrams for each of your priorities. That way, you can get clear on exactly what those priorities look like.
For example, self-care is one of my top priorities. If I had to choose three areas that summed up what self-care means to me, I’d include exercise, mindfulness, and sleep. To narrow it down even further, I would plan to spend my time:
Now, I could have come up with a list of five priorities, but the rule of three helps me narrow it down to the most important things.
Of course, my priorities will look different to yours depending on what’s going on in your life. When trying this exercise for yourself, remember to ask yourself what you’d like to focus on based on your personal needs and interests.
Examples of priorities
If you’re wondering what else could be considered a priority, here’s a list of some potential priorities you might have:
It’s up to you to figure out what will make the biggest impact in your life (and for the lives of those around you, too).
What are your top three priorities in life?
I hope this post has shown you the importance of setting priorities and how you can define yours today. Now that you know your top priorities, you’ll know exactly how you should be spending your time. As Scott Caan said, “Good things happen when you get your priorities straight.”
Don’t forget to grab a copy of priorities worksheet here!