Giving up a life of chaos for a life of balance!
Firstly, what does balance mean? I believe it means being able to give each area of your life the attention it needs without it being to the detriment of other areas of your life!
If I was to delve into the depths of this topic (which I LOVE to do in my seminars), this one single article would be enough to call a novel! So for the sake of keeping it short enough for you to have the time to read it during the very few minutes I know you have right now, I’m going to skip the explanations and jump straight to the “how to” stuff. We will discuss the rest at a later point, and certainly at one of my seminars.
Before I begin, there is one belief that must be deleted from your mind, and replaced with the TRUTH before you will get value from the “how to” in balancing your life. Here’s what that is… the idea of “time management”. There is no such thing as “time management”. You cannot manage time!
So then, I’m sure you’re asking, “how do I achieve a life that feels balanced if I can’t manage time??” And the answer is simple. Understand WHAT it is you actually need to manage… and it is NOT your time… it’s your priorities!
4 Simple Steps to creating balance in your life instantly…
1. Decide what your 3 priorities are going to be… I believe “if you have more than 3 priorities, you don’t have any!”
2. Write a list of ALL of your “to do’s”, all of the chores, responsibilities, every thing you currently do with your days right now.
For example: prepare meals, kids sport, business meetings, work, school drop offs/pick ups, mothers group meeting, facebook time, watch TV, wash/clean, read. A list of every single thing. Mentally go through each of your days from wake up to bed time, and without judgement on yourself, write down everything you do.
3. Clean up!! Now go through that big list of all the things you do, and CROSS OFF anything that does not fall under one of the 3 priorities you decided on. Anything that does not tick one of those priorities, DOES NOT GET DONE. You have to decide there are no negotiations on this.
“Success in any area of your life, is more about learning what NOT to do, than it is learning what TO do!”
4. EXPECT!! Expect to feel calm, balanced, and like you have a perfect life, because the truth is, “you CAN have it ALL”.
All of a sudden, you will have space. The universe will then fill that space with what it is you are attempting to attract… your goals, your dreams, your desires, or even just a way out of your current chaotic, getting-nowhere world!!
You see, the main reason why most people get overwhelmed and can’t find balance in their life, is because they are not prepared to GIVE SOMETHING UP! They try to maintain the existing “to do” list, and find more time for it all. But that is complete INSANITY because you CANNOT find, or create, more time. One day perhaps, when you get your own universe, you can make up the rules. But while you’re guest here on this one, that’s just how it is. You get 24 hours, end of story!
Balance is not a skill… it’s a discipline! For every ‘reward’ in life, there is a price to pay. Freedom isn’t free!! So if you want the ‘freedom’ of feeling like your life is balanced, then expect to pay the price. You only get one choice, and by default, you make the other… you either want balance, or you want to keep everyone else happy.
It’s like if you want to lose weight. You can either lose weight or you can eat pies. You don’t get to do both. When you choose one, you choose the other by default… lose weight and DON’T eat pies, or eat pies and DON’T lose weight. If you want to lose weight, disciplining your diet will be the price you pay.
The same DISCIPLINE is applied when it comes to balancing your life. If you want balance, then THINGS HAVE TO GO! If you want to keep everything in your schedule and have more than 3 ‘priorities’, then you WILL NOT have balance, and noone will feel like they are a priority to you, because frankly, they’re not!
I decided my 3 priorities were:
- My family – meaning, my IMMEDIATE family. As in, Greg, and our 3 girls – cooking, cleaning, school, sports etc – all the responsibilities relating to family come under this category
- My business – meetings, phone calls, conference calls, attending events etc
- MYSELF – anything that renews my spirit or that gives me peace. That makes me feel good! Eg. reading, going to gym, socializing
Cleaning up my “to do” list:
For anything that didn’t tick the box of either “family, business, or me”, I gave myself permission to LET IT GO, temporarily. Here are a few examples:
My “family” meant my immediate family – My husband and our 3 girls. Not my extended family such as my mum, dad, nan, brother etc. It doesn’t mean I don’t love them or don’t enjoy time with them. And it also doesn’t mean I won’t ever have time with them. It just means that for this certain period of time (whatever that may be for you while you get balance back in your life and free yourself from the burden of exhaustion), they are not my priority.
This simply means, if there is a circumstance where I am having to choose between doing something with them (such as a dinner, or visiting, or some event), and doing something towards one of my 3 priorities, the decision has already been made in advance. I don’t even need to spend any time, energy or head space thinking about it. It doesn’t mean this will be permanent, but for the 90 day game plan I set myself, that was the deal!
It’s not that I didn’t have anything to do with other family members during this time, it just means I limited my time with them. For example, I would do 15 minute phone calls rather than a 3 hour visit to their home. I still gave them my ATTENTION but I stopped giving them my TIME.
Another example of cleaning up my list was that my “friends” did not come under one of my 3 priorities at this particular stage… at the time, my entire ‘mothers group’ were catching up with each other every Friday morning with all of our kids, and we had been doing this for 4 years straight. But that had to go!
Again, it didn’t mean I didn’t love them, or was intending to neglect my friendships. I just decided that my 3 priorities were MORE important to me than catching up with my mothers group. So instead, I would catch up with them on facebook each night. Or spend 10 minutes a couple times a week during my “ME time” sending them messages or having chats on the phone.
Again, I still gave them my ATTENTION, but I stopped giving them my TIME. This freed up an ENTIRE half a day for me to do more important things with. Things that would impact positively on one of my 3 priorities.
My Expectations – once I had ‘paid the price’, I expected full ‘value for money’ on the “product” I had paid for. Just like when I pay for a dress, or shoes, or food, or anything, I expect the value in return that would relate to the price I paid. Just the same, I had an expectation that the price I paid (sacrifices I made) would return to me in FULL what I was looking for – a life of balance. And it did.
I believe that when we ‘plant seeds’ (or pay a price), we must water them with expectations in order to reap the ‘harvest of the seed’. No seed grows to its full potential just because it was planted – it must also be watered. Our expectations are the ‘water’ on our seeds of sacrifice.
So here’s the bottom line… here’s what my real life result was, and what yours too will be as soon as you apply the discipline to your life. I am showing you this to give you the inspiration to BEGIN! Once I cleaned up my list, and was left with a list that only consisted of my 3 priorities, here’s what my week looked like:
1 hour a week one-on-one with each daughter – imagine how that would change your relationships with them!
3 hours one-on-one with my husband – imagine how many marriages that would save!
25 hours of “quality family time” – all 5 of us together – imagine the sense of love and value that would give your children!
32 hours to work on my business – uninterrupted – imagine how much faster you could accomplish your goals!
6 hours of personal development per week – imagine who you’d be by the end of that kind of week!
2 sleep ins!! (and same with my husband) – Oh. My. Gosh – HEAVEN!!!!!!! Lol
10 hours a week of “ME” time – getting a massage, socializing, reading, listening to audios, whatever I wanted!!
I am not here to say I’m a hero, in any way, shape, or form. And does my life get out of balance from time to time? AB-SO-LOOOOOTELY!!!! And yours might too. But here’s the thing…
It is such a powerful feeling to know that at any minute, we can change that. And the moment any of us re-apply these disciplines, life falls back into balance!
So you’re only ever one decision away from that balanced life you want! The decision to apply the discipline of only having 3 priorities, and giving yourself permission to say NO to anything else.
The best thing about a life in balance is the feeling… it’s SO worth the price you have to pay. You will feel like you have time for it ALL – which is such a freeing feeling!! There is nothing like living life with a sense of grace and ease!!
Go FREE yourself!! Stay amazing!!!