Recently on instagram, I asked you what you wanted me to write about on the blog. One of the reoccurring answers was ‘how do you live a balanced life and do it all?’ When I read that, I was nodding my head in agreement and thinking ‘Yes! That’s an awesome topic to write about!’…Then when I began to think about it I found myself scratching my head thinking gosh, how do I do this?! After much deliberation and reflection, here’s my answer to that question.
Give up procrastination and perfectionism
Often procrastination and perfectionism go hand in hand. If you like things ‘just right’ all the time then often there isn’t the ‘just right’ time to get things done, which means you put it off. This was something throughout university that I was always doing. I wasted so much time on social media and eating junk from the cupboards to avoid what I really needed to be doing. It caused additional stress when it came to crunch time.
I learnt a considerable amount about overcoming procrastination (you can down load my free productivity commitment poster here) and overcoming perfectionism during this time; however I would say it’s only really been since having a baby that I have put these lessons into practice. I’ve (mostly) mastered the ability to be content with what my husband refers to as ‘70% on time on target’, rather than a ‘bulls eye’ every time that’s always late. I get SO much more stuff done now and to be honest, no one really cares or noticed that extra 30% effort.
Plan, plan, plan and be realistic
Plan, plan, plan – whilst I feel like an English teacher sprouting off how to write an essay, this is key to getting stuff done. It helps me manage a lot of things without feeling overwhelmed by them. I spend Sunday evening planning my week and then each morning during the week I will have 10 minutes readjusting that plan according to how the day before went, or to fit in new things that have come up. I use my free daily planner printable, which you can get when you subscribe here. This process also helps avoid procrastination on the big jobs.
Likewise, setting time frames for each task helps me to make sure I’m not wasting substantial time on something that isn’t a priority. It’s important however not to overestimate what you can get done in a day – I always do this and never feel on top of things as a result. Now I have a new rule – whatever I think I can get done I halve it. Then anything additional is a bonus!
Opt for smarter ways to achieve your goals
Often achieving your goals can mean making sacrifices that impact on the amount of time you have for yourself. So look for ways you can save time as you work towards reaching your goals. For example, universities like Monash Online offer postgraduate online programs that allow you to study in your own time and from wherever is convenient. That’s also a lot of time you can save by not having to commute to campus! Or perhaps you could work on your fitness goals by choosing to use fitness apps to direct your workouts at home instead of spending time travelling to and from the gym. Another great time saver when it comes to your nutrition goals is batch cooking and freezing meals to have later in the week.
Be ok with failure, don’t get bogged down in it
You can’t be productive or balanced if you allow yourself to wallow in your failures. This is a huge time waster and you need to accept that things go wrong in life! If I get down about something that I think I’ve failed at, there are three things that help me get past this:
- Spend some time reading my bible and reminding myself of how God sees me, 2. Write a letter to myself in light of that, and
- Have a sleep.
Take time out for you
This is what I find hardest but I also don’t function without. Taking time out to rest, do some exercise or even have a holiday are all-essential to my wellbeing and productivity. When I don’t stop, I crash and crash hard. It’s very hard for me to take my ‘just get on with it and ignore the failures’ advice at this point.
Accept help when it’s offered
I have an amazingly supportive family. When my husband is home in the evenings and weekends, he will help me with Finn so I can do some things and he also helps me clean the house. When he is away with the army, I have my family that are also a huge help. Whether you have family, friends or use paid services – if you need help, don’t be too proud to accept an offer.
Fuel yourself with good food
I can’t tell you the difference it makes eating good food. I don’t get sick very often at all. If you need some new ideas and inspiration for healthy foods check out my healthy dinner recipes or healthy snack recipes.
Don’t compare yourself
This can really get you bogged down and leave you questioning your efforts. Don’t care what others think of you. Just do what you love and enjoy it. You don’t need to be anyone else but YOU!
HOT TIP: don’t compare yourself to anyone else on social media, especially not me! Remember whilst I try to show the good times and the difficulties and stay realistic on my blog you are still only seeing a small, select portion of my life. If you’ve found yourself comparing yourself to people on social media, it might help to read this post about what to do when social media leaves you feeling inadequate.
Rely on God for strength
It can be hard to trust God and look to him for strength, but honestly, His strength is what allows me to do what I do. I ask him for help and wisdom and he provides that whether in bible verses, or advice from good friends and supportive health practitioners.
Love what you do
It’s far easier to be motivated and get things done when you are doing what you love. I LOVE encouraging and empowering others to be the happiest and healthiest versions of themselves and it’s such a privilege that so many of you have subscribed to my newsletter or followed me on instagram, facebook, twitter and pinterest. THANK YOU!
How do you aim to live a balanced but full life? Let me know in the comments below!
This post in collaboration with Monash Online but is all my own thoughts and opinions, which have not been influenced in any way. Thank you for supporting those that make Eat Pray Workout possible.