At the beginning of the year, I chose three words to guide me through 2013. One of those words is:
In the post, I wrote:
I tend to be a very “all or nothing” type of person. While this trait has served me well, it can get a bit exhausting. I’m not trying to achieve a perfect state of balance; I recognize that life (and work) require give and take. However, by selecting this word, I’d like to be aware of how much time and effort I put into what I do to ensure that I’m using my time effectively, whether that means spending more time with family and friends or working toward my career and blog goals.
Like many others, I am constantly pursuing that elusive ideal of balance, and lately this topic has been top of mind, for me.
You see, I have a lot of goals. Right now, my priorities include:
- Excelling at my full-time job in public relations
- Successfully running this blog and Get Gutsy e-newsletter
- Pursuing the awesome freelance opportunities that have come my way
- Reaching my running goals, including running a sub-30 minute 5K
All of these goals are BIG and SCARY. They each require a lot of care, attention and hard work.
However, I’m quickly learning that in the pursuit of balance, I cannot focus on every single one of my goals at the same time. It’s simply not possible.
For example, I am most creative early in the morning, perfect for pursuing my writing. I’m also a stronger runner right when I wake up, making early mornings an ideal time to train for my next race.
In the past, I’ve struggled trying to decide which goal is most important to me and which I should dedicate my time to.
But then I realized something important: Achieving balance means being flexible and adapting to whatever challenges life throws your way. (Like this idea? Tweet it!)
To better pursue this balance to reach all of my goals, I’m doing two things:
1. I’m creating a schedule that is inclusive of all I hope to accomplish in a given period of time. At the beginning of each week, I look at my calendar and decide how I want to spend each morning before work, whether it’s running or writing. Some weeks I’ll spend three early mornings writing and two running, whereas other weeks, I may decide that training is more important and flip my time commitment accordingly.
2. I’m getting comfortable with doing certain tasks at uncomfortable times. For example, if a freelance assignment is a priority one day, I complete that in the morning and go for a run after work, even though it’s not my ideal time for a workout. Similarly, while I’m not a huge fan of staying up late working on a creative assignment (because my brain is usually fried at that point in the day), I am able to push through and get things done when I know it needs to be made a priority.
Some days, all my well-laid plans go right out the window. It’s important to recognize that life will never be perfectly balanced.
Although we may put all the correct pieces in place to achieve balance, things out of our control often get in the way; life is messy, and that’s OKAY. In fact, that’s part of its beauty.
While I think it’s in my DNA to always strive to find that perfect balance, I’m working on learning to embrace life’s unpredictability and messiness. It’s a learning process, that’s for sure, but it’s an important one- and one that I know will serve me well as I continue to move forward in my business and goals.
How are you pursuing balance in your life? Share in the comments below!