I am someone who goes all-in. I have never had a lower gear and spend my time either stalled or pedal to the metal. There are definitely positives to going all-in. I stay committed, am inspired to drive results, and accomplish my goals. The negative is that when you go all-in you can’t go anywhere else. Sometimes, being all-in is right where you are supposed to be. Everything is aligned and it feels right. It is when it stops feeling right, when you start feeling unbalanced, that it’s time to pause and check the foundation.
As I travel on this journey of growth, I’m finding that often the answers are found in the foundation of who I am. What do I value, what is important to me, what is worth my time and energy. We all are constantly seeking alignment of what we value and where we invest our time. When that alignment is off, you find yourself tripping on the cracks forming in the shifting foundation.
Cracks can form at any time in our lives. Our hope is that we catch them before we trip and fall. As someone who goes all in, I have to regularly assess where I’m spending my time and the value those actions bring to my life. I recently had to check my own foundation when this blog was causing me stress instead of bringing me joy. Watered Daily started as an experiment on myself. I wanted to see what would happen if I made time for myself daily, what if I “watered” myself daily. I hoped that by sharing my own journey of growth, I could inspire others to begin their own.
Instead of enjoying the journey, I was struggling to embrace my new role at home and I started to go all-in on this blog. I had intended for it to be hobby that brought me joy but it had quickly become a full-time job. I was spending all my time on trainings, diving back into marketing, and pumping out new content. Learning new skills is a form of growth but this growth caused me anxiety. I was off balance and losing my focus on what brought me to Watered Daily in the first place. I wasn’t making time for myself in the ways I wanted, I was distracted when it was family time, and I had limited time for writing. My alignment was off and I could feel the cracks starting to form.
For many of us, COVID-19 has changed how we see the world and our lives in general. For me, I used to go all-in, pedal to the metal until the inevitable crash and burn. While I can’t change that I’m an all-in kind of person, I can protect myself from burnout by becoming more aware of when things start to feel unbalanced, check the foundation, and if needed, shift back to more stable ground.
BUILD A STRONG FOUNDATION
Knowing what you value is key for understanding where to focus your energy and how to make changes when you feel unbalanced. For many of us, what we wanted when we were single vs. married vs. married with kids is different. When I was single, a job with 70% travel, taking me all around the would, would have been a dream. As a mom of twin boys, being at home is important to me. What was once a dream job would now be a deal breaker. Be aware of those changes and make decisions that align with who you are today and the direction you want to go. The more you know yourself, the easier it is to see when situations in your life don’t align and when adjustments are needed.
REPRIORITIZE AND TAKE ACTION
When I was feeling unbalanced, I was missing workouts, distracted during family time, putting our household needs (grocery shopping, laundry, etc.) on the back-burner, and limiting time for self-care. Like I said, I go all in. But let’s be honest, it’s not just me. Too many of us go all in.
I needed to reprioritize and take action. I started by making a list of the things I value and need daily. Next, I looked at my daily activities and removed anything that was not necessary or out of alignment. I then created a new schedule that prioritized my needs and allowed for consistency in my days. To help me feel balanced, I focus on how to organize busy days and my nighttime routine for calm nights and efficient mornings. Your days won’t always be perfect, and some busier than others, but when you prioritize what is important, you will find that balance is easier to find.
MANAGE YOUR TIME & SET BOUNDARIES
You can check the foundation but if don’t set boundaries, you will again find yourself unbalanced and those cracks will find their way back into your life. Whether it’s your time at at work, with friends, or family demands, your time is valuable and managing it in a way that works for you is necessary to create that needed balance.
If you are often saying “I have to” (I have to send that email at 9PM, I have to go to that social event) think of whether those statements are based in reality (do you really have to?) or whether it’s self imposed through how you think others will perceive your actions or personally mandated deadlines. Separating what is required of you and what you may think is desired of you, can make all the difference.
Sometimes it’s simply prioritizing your day while other times it’s saying no more often. If saying no makes you uncomfortable, try setting clear boundaries with your time. If someone is asking for your assistance, agree to a designated date but also agree on the length of time so that you can make sure to plan accordingly.
MAKE TIME FOR YOU
We will always have times in our lives when we feel unbalanced. Sometimes it’s work, other times it’s kids, and many times, it feels like we are juggling it all. When you can’t make immediate changes then immediately make time for yourself. Whether it’s meditation, a simple workout, or yoga from your desk while on your lunch break, find time for you. If you are only giving your time to others, no matter what changes you make, you will still feel unbalanced. Value and prioritize taking that time to relax, recharge, and regain your footing.
Life is all about balance but more importantly, it’s about finding the right balance for you. Regularly monitor what you value in your life and whether your actions align. If you are feeling unbalanced, check the foundation. Instead of going all in on one area of your life, go all on committing to alignment. When you find that alignment, you can safely put the pedal to the metal, feel the wind in your hair, and enjoy the ride.