Are You “Off Balance”?

Ginny's 7 core habits

Ginny’s 7 core habits

“We seem more interested in how we want to live than we are in discovering the best way to live. Likewise, we are much more interested in developing self-expression than we are in developing selves that are worth expressing. Personal preference has triumphed over the pursuit of excellence. We want what we want, and we feel entitled to what we want.”

-Matthew Kelly, Off Balance

I read this book with my mentor while I was working as a Director for Discovery Education. I was overwhelmed with how to “balance” everything. My family, my career, exercise, grad school, etc . This book was a gold mine of information.

In his book, Kelly begins by explaining that “work-life balance” is a myth. It’s impossible to balance the amount of time spent on your personal life if you are working full-time. Instead, he talks about striving for personal and professional SATISFACTION.

This week I’m basing the presentation portion of the iMoveU bootcamps on this book. Here is my Haiku Deck.

Here are a few points he makes:

  1. Satisfaction is different from pleasure. Satisfaction can be sustained beyond the activity producing it. Pleasure is immediate and short-lived. We have become addicted to pleasure, and the cost is genuine satisfaction
  2. Time Management vs. Energy Management: People, places, food and things can give you energy or take energy away. It’s important to manage our daily energy flow.
  3. Systems drive behaviors. We often times approach our work strategically, but our personal lives randomly. Identify your desired outcomes, identify the right behaviors that will lead to these outcomes, and create a system so that it flows.
  4. What are your CORE Habits? Write them down, look at them every day, and add new ones to the list as needed.

This book is worth every penny. It’s evident through his writing that Matthew Kelly is a compassionate individual. If you are interested in learning more, there is a free work-life balance assessment you can take HERE.

 

Give Yourself The Gift of Time

DSCN1538“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can NEVER get it back.”

– Harvey Mackay (Found in the book The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson)

 

In my first week of iMoveU bootcamps, the presentation portion focused on “The Gift of Time”.

Here is the presentation deck

As you scroll through the Haiku Deck, you will see my notes that give context to the information on each slide.

The mission of iMoveU is to empower heart centered change in motion.

Essentially, that means I want to empower (NOT enable) you to make positive changes in your life to improve your physical, nutritional, motional and spiritual wellness. Changes that come from YOUR heart. Don’t base your changes on societal norms, peer pressure, your ego or money. Those types of changes, at least for me, have led me in the wrong direction.

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes find it hard to listen to what’s in my heart. All of the “white noise” of the world makes it difficult to listen to our intuition. All of the noise is YELLING at us through TV, radio and social media, telling us we have to look, behave and think a certain way.

Over the past 2 months, I’ve tried to tune out the noise. I’ve given myself the Gift of Time to discover what’s in my heart. I’ve spent time reading, thinking, writing, and listening to that inner voice. I’m striving to live my best life. I still have a long way to go. Some days are better than others. My ego still likes to pop in and say hello and remind me of all the reasons why I will fail at what I’m doing. I try to ignore it, but sometimes it gets the best of me. In those moments, I rely on my family and friends to lift me up and remind me that I’m on the right path.

Here’s the thing about living your best life. What works for YOU may not work for others. What works for others may not work for YOU. The goal is to figure out what’s in YOUR heart.

Turn off the noise. Get to know yourself. What gives you energy? What brings you joy? How can you do more of those things each day? Stop going through the motions.

Give yourself The Gift of Time and see what kind of positive changes you can make in your life.

If you need help, ask for help. Find an accountability partner. If you want to be brave, if you want to get better, if you want to be HAPPY, don’t go it alone.

How Do You FEEL?

DSC07132I’m not a morning person. I don’t love getting up at 5 a.m. It doesn’t feel great to wake up that early, especially if I haven’t gotten my 7-8 hours of sleep (yes, I am a sleep diva).

What I do love, however, is how I FEEL after I’ve gotten up, exercised, and spent time reading/reflecting/writing/praying , all before 6:30 am. When my kids wake up, I’ve already taken time for myself. I love how I feel and know that whatever comes my way that day, I started off on the right foot.

I also love sleeping in. What I don’t love, however, is how I FEEL when I start my day waking up at 6:30 with the kids, who are demanding to be fed along with the dog who needs to eat and be let out. Once 6:3o am hits, chaos starts. And on the days where I haven’t taken time for myself first, I quickly become crabby, overwhelmed, and I tend to have less patience for the madness that ensues.

Physical health is not something to take for granted. There may come a day where I’m no longer able to run or exercise. Today is not that day. There are people who would give anything to spend a day in my shoes and have the physical ability to exercise. I choose not to waste my mornings sleeping in an extra hour. I choose to get up early, 3-4 days a week, and take time to better myself. Because I love how it FEELS.

Whatever your goals are, don’t think about what you have to do, think about how you will FEEL when you achieve them. 

Here are a few helpful tips that have worked for me:

  1. Spend some time experimenting with your mornings. Find a routine that works for you. Ask yourself “What is the best way to start my day”? Try a variety of exercises until you find one that works. I’ve spend the last 6-7 years trying every type of exercise under the sun (hot yoga, barre, spin class, running clubs, exercise DVD’s, etc.). I like to change it up, so my current routine includes a mix of yoga, barre, TRX, pilates, and running. I can’t wait to wake up early because I’ve found exercises that I LOVE to do.
  2. Give yourself a “reward” for waking up early. I love music, so my reward is listening to my favorite new songs. When I find new songs that I love, I only allow myself to listen to them when I’m exercising. If it comes on while I’m driving or listening to music, I turn it off. That way it becomes a treat to listen to it during my runs.
  3. Give your exercise a purpose. Some of my best thinking comes when I’m in motion. It helps me think through things clearly and rationally. On my long runs, I will focus my thoughts on something specific. As soon as my run is over, I’ll write down all of the ideas. One of my best friends spends the first mile of her run praying for her friends and family before she turns on her music. Talk about purpose!
  4. Use apps to take free or very discounted classes. I use Mindbody to search for local studios. You can refine the search based on the type of exercise (yoga, barre, spin, etc). Many studios offer the first class for free or for a very low price, and they also offer a one week or one month unlimited membership for a steal. This allows you to try a new place every week or month for next to nothing.
  5. Set yourself up for success. Set out your workout gear the night before, and place your alarm across the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Half of the battle is just getting out of that warm, cozy bed. Once you are up, you might as well get your sweat on 🙂

I sometimes exercise in the afternoon or evenings. It depends on my day and when I can fit it in. But here’s the thing- the longer I wait to exercise, the less likely I am to do it. Kids get sick. Projects come up. Laundry doesn’t fold itself. Things get in the way. And once 9 pm hits, I’m ready to lay in bed.

Stop saying “I’m not a morning person”. Don’t waste that precious time getting a few extra minutes of sleep. Wake up early, and focus on how you will FEEL once you’ve taken the first hour of your day for yourself. If you are anything like me, you’ll find that you are a better parent, spouse, co-worker and friend on those days.