Live Deliberately

Living each day with deep intention.


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Drop the Ball

To all of my superwomen (and men alike), you do not need permission to drop the ball once in a while. I don’t mean letting things go by the wayside day-in and day-out, nor do I mean letting a deadline at work pass you by. I am referring to good ol’ constructive, kick-back and unwind and cut yourself some slack once in a while. 

I dropped the ball tonight, and I’m not feeling an ounce of guilt about it. I needed to drop the ball – no, I needed to PUNT the ball. I yearned for a break. So, Summer didn’t get her “school-mandated 15-30 minutes of reading” tonight, and I refused to touch the kitchen after dinner. (Thank you, Adam, for picking up the ball and running with it!).  

Warriors, life’s too short to be on top of the world all of the time. Let go of the unrealistic expectations of doing it all, and by all means, enlist support where you can. 
So, I dare you… drop the ball. ūüíē Let the dishes pile for one night, leave the laundry in the basket, and focus on you – and whatever it is your soul needs right now whether it’s a book, movie, or family-time. 

Much love. 


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Finding Your Balance

 

I asked a friend to share a topic for me to blog about. I’m getting a little bit of writer’s block. Balance, was her response. Balancing family and personal life, specifically, but what I’m about to share is going to serve you in seeking balance in any areas of your life.

Ooooh, I love talking about balance. We all fall off the balance beam from time to time. It’s remembering to get back up that’s so important.

Maintaining balance is a struggle in our generation. With everything at our fingertips, we should be able to do it all… Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night, get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, eat healthy and nutrient rich meals, give 110% at the job, maintain a strong and healthy relationship with the significant other, provide a clean and healthy home for the family, help the kids navigate life, academia,¬†and social networks, provide nutritious¬†meals, keep up with friends and extended family, etc… And while some of us have help, it’s still a lot to keep up with while trying to maintain you¬†sanity.¬†

But what if we don’t have to struggle to maintain the balance? What if there was¬†a tool or guide that will help us to maintain the balance so that we can continue to¬†replenish our spirit?

Maintaining balance is simple, once you lay the ground-work. There are easily four pillars to finding and maintaining the balance in your everyday life.

  1. Identify Personal Values. Most of us are not living from our values. We are simply¬†going about life addressing things that demand our attention NOW and not prioritizing where our¬†time is spent. Sit down right now and identify your top 5 values. You may have to start with a list of 10¬†and narrow them down to the top 5¬†(i.e. time for family, personal happiness, health and fitness, accountability at work, personal freedom). Your top 5¬†values could¬†change many times during your lifetime. That’s perfectly normal. Live from your values.
  2. Simplify Your Life. Now sit back and take a look at how and where you spend your time. Are you spending¬†time on things that do not align¬†within your top 5¬†values? If so, refocus and prioritize what’s important right now. Are you participating in evening networking events when you could be at home with family, or at the gym with a fitness partner. Rearrange your schedule to focus on what’s important to you right now. It doesn’t mean you won’t make it to that networking event, or catch up on that TV show. Once you’ve staged your top 5¬†values as priorities, you’ll find that you’re you have time left to tackle some of the other things – like a good Archer binge watching session.
  3. Set Boundaries. Once you’ve identified your top 5 values, make them untouchable. That’s right… it’s time for a little accountability here. These are your values. These are values that you’ve identified as crucial to your happiness and balance. It is your personal responsibility to make time for them – for the sake of balance and harmony. Do not apologize or sacrifice, and for the love of all things sane, DO NOT FEEL GUILTY about focusing on what’s important to you. If you say you’re going to make a 7:30 PM yoga sesh, enlist the support of your partner to rally the troops, get dinner in the mouths of your littles or set an alarm to remind you when you need to get your butt out the door.
  4. Schedule Time for Self. Don’t forget to care for your basic needs. Do you need to take a minute when you first get home before tackling dinner or laundry? Find a place where you can go for some peace before tackling the evening. Hell, grab a glass of wine to accompany you. Shut your bedroom door and take your time getting our of musty work-day clothes. Take a small walk around the neighborhood or yard and get some fresh air. You can’t run on empty all day. Take time to re-energize.

If you feel like your balance is off, it might be because you’ve made time for yourself a last priority.

Remember, Self Care is Not Selfish. 

 


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Buy Stock in Yourself

In my previous blog Just Say No, I briefly discuss the need for saying “no” to people and events when you are near burn-out. Practicing this habit is crucial for your sanity, but also controversial. In a world where everyone thinks that the universe literally revolves around them, it’s increasingly difficult for people to understand that you just cannot, physically and emotionally, commit yourself to everyone and everything, all the time. What’s worse, the majority has learned to manipulate and guilt you into believing that you should feel badly about putting yourself and your needs above others and their needs. Only you know what’s best for yourself. Follow your gut… if you are about to lose your proverbial shit, just say no… or better yet, set a foundation that prevents any unreasonable expectations of you.

Start by identify tolerations. What are you putting up with? Is there someone or something you are dealing with, tip-toeing around, or try to appease? Stop. Relieve yourself from the burden of having to please everyone, all of the time. You get to decide what you are willing to tolerate. Make good choices from the beginning.

Once you have done that, set standards for who or what you allow mild tolerations. Be courageous in your pursuit to set a standard for yourself, your life, and how you are treated by yourself and others. And yes, I said yourselfDon’t forget to set standards for how you treat yourself. Don’t beat yourself up or have unkind thoughts or feelings. 

Be brave and allow yourself to be real with others. Speak your truth and set boundaries. Never make excuses for why you cannot accommodate someone or be somewhere. Be open and communicate your needs. You are equally important. Set boundaries to protect the foundation you are about to set for yourself and your life. If it doesn’t feel right, if it’s not in line with what you believe, or if you are simply too exhausted to commit, just say no. Remember, this is your life. No one else can live it for you. Choose to live it how you wish – and don’t feel guilty for setting boundaries!

When you’ve reached the point of saying no to someone or an event due to exhaustion or burn out, it’s clearly time to address personal needs. What actions can you take to recharge? More sleep? Quiet time? Time with someone who lifts you up? Time for play? A vacation? Do it. All of it. If your personal needs are not met, the toxicity will leech into every aspect of your life, both personally and professionally.

And finally, once you’ve had time to care for self, take action toward personal growth. What did you learn? What worked for you? Did you catch the burnout before it became toxic in other areas of your life? If not, how can you recognize it sooner?

You are important. It’s not selfish to make time for self-care.

Lots of love.


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Just say no. 

With so many demands and expectations placed on us, it’s necessary to carve out time for self and solitude. There is always something that needs to be done, people who demand your attention, and responsibilities you can’t avoid. It’s so important to do take time for self in order to recharge your batteries and avoid burnout. 

I have a mounting “to do” list of chores and people that demand my time but as a working single mom and a boyfriend who lives 30 minutes away, my time is almost entirely accounted for Sunday afternoon through Friday night. Sometimes we have to make tough decisions that require us to say no to people or events when we know it will induce burnout. And yes, people will get their feelings hurt or you might miss something but every day brings a different set of priorities, of which no one else will understand until they walk a day or week in your shoes. You should and must take time to care for self, do only what makes you happy, and recharge. 

Inevitably… You will feel guilty, but don’t beat yourself up too much. You can’t be your best self when your best self is tired and run ragged. 

When you are reaching your breaking point, just say no.