Another timely blog post hit my inbox today. I spent last night working on some goals and trying, yet again, to figure out how to balance everything in my life. We’d had another busy weekend, starting with Jazzercise and a birthday party Friday night, tax appointment Saturday morning, after which I ran errands and then came home to gather the tax information I forgot. After getting that all emailed to our accountant, I napped for an hour (could have slept for three), then showered to get ready for church because I sang Saturday evening (and literally had rolled out of bed, put my hair up and minimal make-up on before going to my appointment in the sweats I wore to bed). I had hoped to work on planning some healthy meals that night, but we watched Big Hero 6 as a family. #priorities Sunday morning I had a life insurance physical, and after a little catching up around the house, we headed to Lincoln for a follow-up to our marriage retreat. Once Upon a Time started up last night, so Faith was anxious to watch it together, which we did.
Before bed I read some more from Living Well, Spending Less and completed the goal worksheet that the Ruth gives out free when you subscribe to her blog, which I stumbled upon by accident the other day while following an article about essential oils. (I am going somewhere with this. Bear with me.) So I worked through the goal sheets and finished up a chapter of her book that I was working on, and realized that I’m trying to focus on too much. Duh. Well, I suppose I knew that. But ultimately it all has to get done, so I didn’t know what else to do! But Ruth made me see that I need to narrow in on the most important goals or tasks. When there’s time, I can work on the other stuff. But the priorities have to come first, otherwise I’m just spinning my wheels and, well, half-assing everything.
Today this post came in my inbox, and again I found myself wondering how the timing of these “messages” is always so spot-on. Laura shares her thoughts on balance, and how it’s a myth. She goes onto explain that instead we need to seek “seasons”. Seasons are like chunks of time where we focus on what is important for that period. I could relate to her feeling of continually getting behind on work in order to focus on the seasons of life that are taking my time and focus now.
It all just came together for me and though I keep trying to be ok with what I’m not getting accomplished, it’s still very frustrating and I feel a little defeated. Often. But I’m being proactive and have been first, writing down everything I want to accomplish, short and long term. Ruth stresses writing everything down. Done.
Then the hard part. I had to choose five things that are most important to me right now. Leaving things out from my larger list didn’t feel very good. I don’t want to not focus on eating well and exercise. I don’t want to give up working on the house. But I can’t do it all, and I had to choose priorities. This is the narrowed-down list:
1) Church involvement/faith practice (family devotions, daily prayer together, etc.)
2) Family time
3) Strengthen marriage (using what we’re learning from our retreat and working on becoming more of a team, less “him and me”)
4) Pay off debt
5) Building businesses (My Blissful Space, Young Living)
From there I made more specific, manageable goals that I can work on in the next month, and I vowed to set aside 30 minutes first thing every morning to work on my goals and important tasks. Typically my morning consists of showering and going through email, sometimes while having breakfast or coffee. Eventually the email needs gone through, but it does eat time and isn’t productive towards my goals. So starting tomorrow my morning will instead start with drinking a full glass of water, applying essential oils, planning my day over coffee, and cleaning the bathroom and starting laundry. By actually looking over my planner and thinking out my day, I won’t miss anything and can set my day up for success and productivity.
I also have some evening habits I’d like to develop. There are so many books I’m working on reading or have stacked up that need read, so I’m going to devote at least 15 minutes a night before bed winding down with a book. Before that, though, I want to daily walk the dog, get the dishes all cleaned up, dishwasher loaded and running, and shine the sink, again apply oils, and do daily dialogue with Brad and devotions as a family. Ruth starts her day with devotions and I see the positives in that, but we read devotions with Faith before bed and that works for our schedules. I get as much (or more) out of her children’s devotional as she probably does.
Hopefully by starting and ending my day productively and with purpose, while still allowing time to take care of myself, the rest of the time that falls in between will be productive and focused on my important goals.