Life Balance

Planning for You ;)

LIVE: So for those who know me, I tend to keep a very busy schedule. Mostly because I’m a planner and I like to plan out my day, hours, tasks. Yep, I’m one of those people 😉 haha. But for reals, sometimes I can plan myself silly with things to do! Anyone else ever feel like that? Between church, the gym, work, cleaning, errands, social events, hobbies… life can definitely be FULL – and I think that’s the fun of it all :) At the same time though, sometimes the days/weeks go by so fast and you wonder what happened? How am I (??) years old all of a sudden right 😉 Am I doing the things I want to be doing each day, week, month? Sometimes you push through and life can be hard, but I think ultimately we are here experiencing life to be HAPPY and to have fun :) Learning lessons, growing, and taking small, sometimes big, steps along our paths of life.

LEARN: So a lesson that my husband has recently taught me is that within that daily/weekly planning, that I need to take time for me. Selfish? Maybe, but maybe not. Yes, I love to work out and all of that, and I enjoy keep busy and being productive. But, I’m learning that I haven’t spent as much time doing the hobbies that I love like, for example, drawing! Think about it, what are your hobbies?! What do you like to do for fun if you didn’t have any commitments, if money wasn’t a concern, if you had all the time in the world what would you do with it!? Well, I can think of a lot of things I would do, but in some of those minutes during the week what my husband has taught me is that I need to take a few minutes for ‘fun me time’ doing something that makes me happy. Take this with a grain of salt, there are a lot of things that make me happy each day but developing my hobbies and personal interests is something that I’m learning more about as life is very busy! What are the things you want to share with others, with children, with your bestest of friends? I always admire those who are talented in various areas (cooking, music, sports, arts, etc.) – they are experiencing all that life has to offer! And, well, that’s what I’m learning is that while I can go about my day-to-day tasks I want to make sure I’m taking advantage of all that I’ve been given, and that I continuously develop my talents, skills and keep growing and pushing myself.

Mickey Mouse Sketch :)

BECOME: So, have you all decided what you are going to do to take a few minutes to have ‘fun’ each week for you?! I just started working on this but I took on a challenge to spend “x” minutes each week doing a ‘hobby’ that I enjoy. So, one of the things I decided I want to do is to start sketching Disney characters. Here is my first go at it – more to come! I would love to get into water coloring with this! I guess when I’m reflecting on this small lesson, I’m thinking to myself that while this may sound so silly, finding joy in the little things is where great happiness can be found in our lives. “By small and simple things are great things come to pass.” I believe it! So, whatever it is in your life, in your daily/weekly/monthly plans, remember that just taking small steps to improvement is really what counts! You may not recognize what you’re doing each day/week/month, but in the long run you will see it :) So, remember to take time for yourself, keep up with your daily commitments and schedules and stay positive! But remember that this life is a happy life, and we have so many avenues we can channel that happiness and self-improvement through :)

New Year – New Possibilities

LIVE: Ok, so I’ve been slacking on this blog post thing 😉 Not intentionally, life has just been crazy busy! But things have been good! Crazy to believe the first month of 2016 is nearly over, where does time go? I’m sure many of you have made some new years resolutions, I’m all about that :) Not because we make goals once a year we hope to keep and beat ourselves up if we don’t ha, but because it’s a great way to evaluate and reflect on what we want for ourselves, our families, in the days and months ahead. And yes, for making goals too :)

LEARN: What have I accomplished this last year in 2015? What am I willing to work for in 2016? 2015 was a life-changing year for me for sure. I got engaged to my best friend, married, traveled (a lot!), moving to a new area, found new passions, was challenged and tested in new ways, and was also able to reach some of my health and fitness goals. It’s crazy to think how each of our decisions lead us one thing to another… Ok, maybe it’s not THAT crazy haha. But I feel so grateful that through each struggle, through each hard time, through each decision I’ve made I’m here today. I’m sincerely thrilled for this new year, for 2016. To be able to mentally, physically, and spiritually prepare for new adventures, challenges, and experiences. To continue to grow, to develop increased faith and courage, and to be a little bit better each day.

BECOME: This year, 2016, I want to be more loving towards those around me, to help others, have success, continue to focus on my health and well-being, to develop friendships, to become spiritually stronger in the gospel, to be more Christlike really. Listening to General Conference talks in the car recently there was one that I really enjoyed, centering our lives on Christ. Amidst all the craziness and things I can do in this life, I know that blessings, success, and increased happiness will come the more I focus outward than inward, the more I strive to think about Him throughout my everyday actions. Less talking, and more doing! New year, new opportunities to BECOME a better version of ourselves. Here we go! :)

 

Life Balance = ______.

LIVE: Many of my family and friends know that I am constantly striving for that perfect balance in my life in all aspects – spiritual, physical, mental. I want to be super-woman, do it all, be it all! haha. I want to have a successful career, a great family, be a great wife, be spiritually growing in the gospel, live an active lifestyle, travel (a lot!), help others, be a friend to all, and still get some sleep now and then ha ;), and the list goes on and on! We all have the same amount of hours in a day, how do we find that balance with day to day activities? What IS life balance, is there such a thing? ha.

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LEARN: Many times, I have to check myself and realize that I can only run so fast! In talking with some of my family and friends about this I’ve learned that if my priorities are the gospel and my family, then everything else will fall into place! I have to set priorities, is it more important that I get the dishes done one night? Or that I talk with my family I haven’t spoken to in a few days? Now, many times for me I feel like things have to get done, right then – right there, and maybe they do depending on the scenario, BUT what I’ve been learning is to not sweat the small stuff. Do your best, get your priorities in order, and you will live a balanced and fulfilled life. Sounds pretty easy huh? haha 😉 jk.

I felt as this is a topic I am so intrigued by, I would share some insight. Excerpts from this message are from a BYU – I commencement address by Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints back in July. He says, “Leading a balanced life is difficult for many. There is not an exact pattern for everyone, and even our own blueprint may change during different phases of our life. However, seeking balance—giving adequate time and effort to each of those things that really matter—is vital to our success in mortal probation. There are certain fundamental responsibilities we cannot neglect without serious consequence.”

He later shares four essential aspects to focus on in our lives.

1. Love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. He says, “Love for Him is the supreme motivation to keep ‘in the right way.’ Every other aspect of our life is enhanced when we truly love our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, as we will love ourselves and others more completely. Answers to our most challenging problems are found only when we love and have faith in Them.”

2. Care for family. “For many, properly caring for our family is the first area of compromise when other demands arise, as the results of neglect are not always immediately apparent,” he said. “Nurturing the husband-wife relationship and building a spiritual home requires men and women of vision and commitment.”

3. Service to the Lord. “Our time spent in Church and community service may vary during different periods of our life depending on specific callings we may receive and our family circumstances. However, our desire and our availability to serve should never waver.”

4. Life’s temporal work. “Although temporal work is temporary, it is still important as a support to the other, more long-lasting aspects of life and provides valuable service to others.”

Check here for the link to the talk: Four Priorities to Balance in a Busy Life

Another resource I found online is from WebMD. Here are some of the points made that I really liked –

1. Build downtime into your schedule. “When you plan your week, make it a point to schedule time with your family and friends, and activities that help you recharge.” I like the example shared of the actor and TV producer who would wake up three hours before leaving for work to exercise and spend time with his wife and baby. That’s awesome! My mom often did that with my sister and I growing up, I think that’s a valid point. Wake up early and get started with your day!

2. Drop activities that SAP your time and energy. “Take stock of activities that don’t enhance your career or personal life, and minimize the time you spend on them.” Examples such as spending an excessive amount of time on social media websites or browsing the internet, we should be more conscientious as to what we are doing and how we spend our time.

3. Rethink your errands. “Consider whether you can outsource any of your time-consuming household chores or errands. Could you order your groceries online and have them delivered? Hire a kid down the street to mow your lawn? Have your dry cleaning picked up and dropped off at your home or office? Order your stamps online so you don’t have to go to the post office? Even if you’re on a tight budget, you may discover that the time you’ll save will make it worth it.”

4. Get moving. “It’s hard to make time for exercise when you have a jam-packed schedule, but it may ultimately help you get more done by boosting your energy level and ability to concentrate.” I know this to be true! Some days are super hectic and when I don’t make an honest effort to get my workout in, I can tell. Exercise, exercise, exercise! :)

5. Remember that a little relaxation goes along way. “Don’t assume that you need to make big changes to bring more balance to your life. .. Set realistic goals, like leaving the office earlier 1 night per week. .. Slowly build more activities into your schedule that are important to you.”

Check here for the link: 5 Tips

If I could add anything to this it would be that finding life balance takes energy, good nutrition, and being aware of what we are consuming. My parents have always provided my sister and I with nutritional products that helped us live well and be the best version of ourselves. It’s hard to find life balance, and DO things, if we are not feeling physically, mentally, spiritually well! Whether it’s exercising and consuming the right foods and nutritional products for physical and mental health, or praying a little bit more for our spiritual well-being, whatever it may be – we need to take ACTION. Nothing in our lives will change if we are not willing to change a little bit ourselves.

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BECOME: Pondering this topic, learning constantly, I am going to strive to live a little better each day. To make changes and improvements in my life, because that is how I know I will grow and move forward. I need to remember whats REALLY important in my life and in the decisions I make. I’m so grateful for the opportunity we have to learn throughout the course of our lives, to learn from others and to share those moments with family and friends, to educate ourselves, and to just do the very best we can. I know life balance is something that I will always be working on as the seasons in our life change, but to know where my priorities lie should always be constant :)

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I need to remember that I can go-go-go but that I also need to take a breather now and then for myself, I need to re-sharpen the saw! I remember a story shared by a co-worker about “Sharpening the Saw.” I’m going to do my best to re-phrase it, may miss parts of the story and this will be very brief – but this is what I got out of it! :)  … So one gentleman was sawing a piece of wood and the blade of the saw just kept getting duller and duller. He had a lot of work that needed to be done, he was working long hours, and he felt like his progress was getting slower and slower for some reason the faster he tried to saw. One co-worker suggested he sharpen his saw, that if he took a break to do this he would cut the wood faster and more efficiently. .. Sometimes, I think we do just need to take that step back and see that we need to take a quick break for ourselves – and by doing so, we will accomplish so much more! :)

So now I ask, what does life balance mean to you? What do you do to help you find that overall balance in your life, what are your priorities?