[dropcap]B[/dropcap]efore 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?