Finding Balance in 2018

Before you say it, I am well aware of my tardiness in putting finger to keyboard on this one but sometimes a little pondering does us good.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve enjoyed reflecting on 2017 and it has led me to consider what I would like to change in 2018. I’ve started putting a few things into practice which has helped me work out what is realistic and what is likely to result in a big fat fail!

There seems to be an ‘anti new year’s resolutions’ trend knocking around of late. Well I’m going to lay my cards on the table right now – I’m a huge fan! I can dress them up as something other than ‘resolutions’ if you like, but basically that’s what they are. I’m grateful for this life that I’ve been given and I’m absolutely going to give it my best shot!

Fail to plan, plan to fail.

Planning is in my blood. On occasion I try to pretend that winging it (another trend, I’m easily swayed) is going to be my new style but in reality, I know that my life works best when I’m writing things down, planning ahead and ticking off tasks.

I am very easily distracted, so when I veer of this planning path, things usually go belly up. By about September of last year, I knew things were heading that way; I was permanently tired, at least 10 minutes late for every single appointment/rendez-vous and ‘dropping balls’ was becoming a speciality of mine.

Over the last few months, the word ‘balance’ has cropped up time and again and I just knew that this should be my Word for 2018. Last year it was Release and the year before it was Trust. Having a word really helped me to consider how best to shape my year and I kept coming back to it time and again.

I’ve been contemplating what having more ‘balance’ might look like for me.

balance in life

Finding Balance at Home

The last two years have been difficult for our family and it’s only really now, as things are settling, that I can look objectively at the consequences of that period of time.

We’ve learnt a lot of really positive things and made some key changes but we have also let some important things slide. The husband and I have always been huge advocates of making sure we spend enough time together, that we prioritise our marriage. I mean, what’s going to happen when the kids leave home (probably only 6 years away 🤞🏻) if we’ve forgotten how to talk to each other?! So yes, we’ve let this slip down the priority list and I would like to put it back at the top, where it belongs.

We’ve also been really slack at making sure that everyone plays their part in the running of our home. When the children were younger we used to ensure they each had age-appropriate jobs. Although in reality it was easier to do it ourselves, we had a goal in mind – to teach them how to be well-rounded adults.

When you have a child with depression, who you’re trying to nurture by releasing as much pressure as possible, it’s very difficult to navigate family life. It has inevitably led to everyone slacking and the chores landing back in our court. Time for a change!

I love spending time in my home and interiors is a passion of mine. Last year we wanted to make some improvements and I can confidently say that we absolutely smashed that goal 100%. But I can also say that we bit off a little more than we could chew. So yes, balance in this area is definitely needed.

hello sign from red candy

Three practical ways I will find balance in my home life:

  • Having one admin evening per month
  • Taking it in turns to organise one proper date night per month
  • Only taking on one home project at a time

Finding Balance at Work

Having three jobs in three different places, means that balance is essential if I’m to survive. I work at our own business on Mondays, volunteer at our church on Tuesdays and in 2017, I took on some freelance work acting as social media manager for a local company.

I’ve already confessed to being easily distracted so in order to succeed, I absolutely need to plan my work life and make sure that it’s not encroaching on home life too much.This year our eldest daughter will be learning to drive, which is an amazing answer to prayer for us (she has finally come off the medication that was stopping her from getting a license). She also has a goal of starting full time work in May, so as she is likely to be spreading her wings in 2018, this should give me a little extra space to flourish too.

Although I wouldn’t necessarily call my little corner of the internet a ‘job’, I’m including it in this section and you’ll soon see why. When I started this blog back in September 2016, I wasn’t interested in making any money from blogging or collaborating with brands. My aim was to rediscover writing for the fun of it and to explore who I am, now that my children are all pretty self sufficient.

Whilst that hasn’t changed, I have started working with a few brands and would like to continue exploring these opportunities in 2018. I am well aware that finding balance will be crucial here because I want to stay true to myself and remain authentic. I also don’t have a great deal of time to spend on my blog so it needs to be spent wisely.

setting goals for 2018

Four practical ways I will find balance in my work life: 

  • Planning blog posts and work goals every month
  • Reading and responding to emails only on the days I am working
  • Taking time to consider before saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to opportunities
  • Unsubscribing from at least one email list every day in January

Finding Balance in My Personal Life

This has become a pretty epic post so if you’re still here, well done! Thank you for sticking with me.

I mentioned earlier that towards the end of last year, I was finding myself late for everything. I had taken up this rather annoying habit of needing to tidy my whole house before leaving to go anywhere. I think it was a result of feeling stressed – if I can just return home to a tidy house then all will be well with the world, right? 

Just for the record, a tidy home doesn’t equal a tidy mind. It just causes me to be late for work!

So as you can see, balance in my personal life is needed. With three jobs I don’t have a lot of free time and a good chunk of the time I do have at home, needs to be carved out for work. BUT I also know that exercise, friendship and self-care are important if I’m to keep stress at bay and not only survive but thrive!

Another huge part of my life that I need to keep central, is my faith. I started hosting a bible study in our home every Tuesday evening last year and it has been so key to personal growth as well as bringing me closer to God. I’ve loved it and will continue meeting with the same ladies in 2018. My goal every year is to end it a little closer to God than the last. Most years I’m not entirely sure I achieve that as I let things slip and my priorities shift a little, but in 2017 I can honestly say that I did and I feel so much better for it.

red magazine and coffee

Five practical ways I will find balance in my personal life: 

  • Carving out time to meet with one friend every week
  • Leaving the house with time to spare
  • Reading during the day and not feeling guilty about it
  • Doing 20 minutes of yoga three times a week
  • Resurrecting the hand-written diary

As you can see, my resolutions aren’t huge, they are just things that I know help me to manage my life better. By writing them down, I am hoping this post will provide some accountability and also act as a reminder for when I inevitably veer off the path in a few month’s time.

Do you have any new year’s resolutions? What about a word for the year?

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19 Comments

  1. January 19, 2018 / 6:49 pm

    A great post. I am also struggling to find balance and I’m finding taking a bit of a step back from everything and doing less for a while has been helpful. I hope 2018 is a good one for you.
    Nat.x

    • Emma
      January 19, 2018 / 7:21 pm

      Great post, top tips too! 2017 has been a turmoil of a year for us and 2018 looks like another year of major changes. Remembering to take a moment to consider what is facing us to ensure that the apple cart is not upturned and look at how we approach what we do all helps to keep us balanced.

      • Suzanne W
        Author
        January 28, 2018 / 12:08 am

        Yes I think it’s so important to look ahead and make plans to work it through as best as possible, especially when things are so hectic. xx

    • Suzanne W
      Author
      January 28, 2018 / 12:07 am

      Sounds like a very good move Nat. It’s so necessary sometimes isn’t it? x

  2. January 19, 2018 / 8:00 pm

    I think your resolutions seem perfect, knowing that you need some balance and doing the simple things to make it happen seems wonderful to me. Good luck Suzanne. Mich x

    • Suzanne W
      Author
      January 28, 2018 / 12:10 am

      Thanks Mich. I will undoubtedly fail at some of it (and already have lol!) but we can only do our best can’t we? x

  3. January 19, 2018 / 10:21 pm

    I really loved reading this, even though I don’t make resolutions, set goals or have a word of the year! Funnily enough, I do most of the things in your personal life list, except for me it’s running rather than yoga. I haven’t quite managed meeting a friend once a week, but I’m managing about once a month, which bearing in mind this time last year I never met anyone ever, is a big improvement! I always feel good after meeting a friend, so hopefully I can do it a bit more often over the coming year.
    Good luck with your goals! It sounds like they will give you a really good balance if you can achieve them.

    • Suzanne W
      Author
      January 28, 2018 / 12:17 am

      I think it’s good to just reflect on what does you good and make sure that you make it a priority as often as is reasonable. I know that meeting up with people does me good. I know how much you love running. I’m still going to the gym twice a week so yoga 3 times is as much as I think I can do. xx

  4. January 20, 2018 / 11:49 am

    Suzanne,

    I’m very impressed that you’re already managing to fit so much in. I’ll be even more impressed if you manage to do everything you’ve planned for 2018!
    You’re right that some relationships and activities have to be made top priorities, but the implication of that is that other relationships and activities, even some that mean a lot to us, have to be firmly relegated to the middle or the bottom of the priority list.
    When you’re busy, it always helps if you can get plenty of sleep. (I realise that some people have problems in doing this.) I sleep well at night, but I enjoy an occasional daytime nap.
    That’s good news about daughter #1.

    • Suzanne W
      Author
      January 28, 2018 / 12:19 am

      I think I *might* be expecting too much of myself but they are only loose ideas and I won’t beat myself up if they don’t completely go according to plan. I’ve already been late a few times this week but I’m being mindful of it! Yes to more sleep, definitely something I need to rectify. xx

  5. January 20, 2018 / 4:08 pm

    These are fantastic priorities for the start of the year. My husband and I are having monthly date nights too – we’ve even booked the babysitter up until June! And I’m a huge fan of reading during the day – I often read when my kids are playing happily!

    • Suzanne
      Author
      January 22, 2018 / 9:00 am

      I also think it’s good for younger kids to see their parents choosing to read over scrolling through phones or anything else – it teaches them that reading is a worthwhile pursuit and is good for relaxation 🙂

  6. January 22, 2018 / 1:11 pm

    Fab post Suzanne, I don’t do resolutions as such, but at the same time I definitely agree that planning generally helps with life 🙂 My word for the year is balance too, and I can definitely resonate with some of your goals like making more time for friends and relationships – and trying to do yoga most days in the week! xx

  7. January 24, 2018 / 10:49 pm

    I absolutely love this and love your outlook on life itself hunny. You always inspire me and keep me grounded. I love that first quote that is the exact motto of my life hahaha it’s true balance for sure cupcakes and gym balance anyways I just need to work on mind balance now. Love this post. Thank you. #wrc

  8. January 26, 2018 / 12:41 pm

    Balance is such a good word and one that is really anchoring for me. I love how you’ve highlighted the ways you’ll live it out in the different areas of your life . I think its so important to start the year with intention, whether that’s with a set plan and with goals or even if it’s being more mindful in the choices and decisions we make.
    Great post! xx

  9. January 28, 2018 / 9:44 am

    A friend of mine once said that ‘balance is a unicorn’ (ie: it doesn’t exist!) and I agree with her a little bit whilst also realising that balance looks different for each of us. I love that you’ve broken it down into three key areas of your life and that you have tangible and realistic mini-goals within each section. I hope you’re daughter manages ok now that she’s off her medication – it’s brilliant news that she’s been able to get herself to that point. I hope that this year is everything you want it to be x

  10. January 28, 2018 / 2:47 pm

    Super list…and they definitely sound perfect for your year ahead. I make sure that in my diary every week I have two gym sessions as well as coffee with a friend/lunch with Dave. This is something that I try not to move and always make time for. The rest of the time I work hard at home and schedule all my tasks into my calendar. Dave and I also have started going out more and spending time away from phones and TV together – and it’s been fab. I feel MUCH better at the moment about my life and wellbeing. Good luck with yours xx

  11. January 29, 2018 / 4:31 pm

    Such a great post, it really is important to define what that balance is for you. I think it sounds like you have it down to a tee, like you I am all for the planning and quite simply cannot cope without a to do list and dare I say a wish list which I cross off x

  12. Lauranne
    January 30, 2018 / 3:41 pm

    I need you to bring balance into my life, let me know how you get on. With a mother to care for, a relationship to nurture, a rabbit to love, a course to complete, a job to do, and volunteering commitments I am really struggling to find time for me. Think I might join you in aiming for a more balanced life this year – good luck!

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