Each year when the warm weather starts to return, I find myself searching through my closet. I alternate between spring and winter clothing, and after a few weeks of this my closet and drawers desperately need to be reorganized. Actually, I find this to be true after each season has come and gone.
Since I’m a person who naturally can’t stand chaos and disorganization, I find myself cleaning stuff out and rearranging quite often. I believe a lot of that is just part of being a life balance coach. It is a plus though. Each time I clean something out, reclaim space, and eliminate what I no longer need, I also regain my time. By cleaning out the old, I don’t have to root, sort, and hunt for things I can find quickly!
But, there is something so much more important that needs a good cleaning several times per year that often gets neglected. It’s more important than any closet, dresser, or basement. It’s your life.
I created the 30 Day Challenge, a six page packet to aid individuals in reaching their goals by planning action steps and a plan based on what they want each life area to look like. They follow these specific steps week by week for the next 30 days to become what they dream in each area. But, as I worked through one of mine in the life area of community, I realized something completely different.
I stared at the calendar page with a “deer in the headlights” look on my face. By utilizing this calendar technique just to chart my activities for a couple of months, I realized how much time I was spending in one area of my life, but was too out of balance in the rest. Me, a life balance coach, who practices what she preaches in the coaching world, had become so far out of balance! How’d that happen? It happens to everyone, and I mean everyone, as time progresses.
We volunteer for one or two activities, and pretty soon we’ve volunteered for five or six without realizing it. We promise someone we will help out temporarily, which quickly becomes permanent. We try to help others by running errands, adding activities, and becoming involved in projects. For me, I realized how quickly I added activities that began to compete with my time with God, my time with my kids, and my time focusing on what God calls me to do. Personally, when I get frustrated, it means that I am out of balance. Balance equals peace where imbalance leads to stress. To destress, I need to rebalance my priorities and my time based on my priorities.
I know I control my time, and I was ready to reclaim it. I was ready to reorganize, and soon, I realized I also had to eliminate. Yes, the hard part was shaving some obligations and activities off my to-do list. But, I also as a coach understood that if I chose not to eliminate some things, I would have no hope of rebalancing properly. Who would I have to blame for my overcommitted schedule? No one but me. But, wait! I’m a leader! How can I possibly say, “enough?” Easy. Pick up the phone and be honest. Send an email.
Do whatever it takes to rebalance, reshift, and focus your time. I honestly knew that I was becoming diluted. And when I’m diluted, no one is getting quality anything. God is not getting quality time from me, my kids aren’t getting quality dinners and are eating too much fast food, and I am not able to focus the gifts and talents He provided me with to do His will.
That is enough to make me say, “enough!” It doesn’t mean that I have to sit at home and do nothing. Not at all. I am still very much involved in several activities at church and in the community. But, I have cut them back by 50%.
So, how’s it going after spring cleaning my busy life? It’s fantastic as always! My oldest daughter commented tonight about how each evening this week has been fun and relaxed like our weekends. Even though we have school and work keeping us busy, our evenings have been full of good food (and yes, I’m even spending the time in the kitchen to cook it!), the type of laughter that makes our faces hurt, and the peace that comes from a balanced life.
If you are not balancing your life, controlling your time, and maintaining your priorities on a regular basis, you will experience stress, illness, fatigue, burnout, and compassion fatigue. The world will not restore what it takes out of you. The only restoration source for your internal well is Christ. Do whatever it takes to realign, rebalance, and keep your focus