If you are here, it means you are looking for ways to add a little more balance to your life.
Working 40, 50, or even 60+ hours a week is tough when raising a family.
If you are lucky, you have a partner you can depend on to help, but there are many of us out there who can only depend on ourselves to make sure clothes get washed, dinner gets cooked, and the kids take a shower.
First off, I want to put this out there. If you are married, it doesn’t mean that your partner pulls an equal weight. A married woman’s struggles are no less than the struggles of a single mom.
Now that we’re past that……Let’s move on…
Achieving a balance between a full-time career and being a mom is a constant struggle. There is no one size fits all answer to this riddle.
Everyone’s situation is different, so you must find the answer that works the best for you.
I hope that by the time you reach the end of this post you will have a firm direction and a solid grasp of what you need to do in order to obtain more balance in your life.
Live Intentionally and With The End Goal In Mind
Before we begin, you need to establish two things:
- Acknowledge where you are in your current situation
- Envision the life you want to live
Acknowledge Your Current Situation
First off, you wouldn’t want to add balance to your life if your life was already ideal. You are here because you want to improve some aspect of your life and either spend more time at home with your family or have more time for yourself.
Take stock of where you are right now and answer the following questions:
- What takes up the most hours of your day?
- Where are you at on the financial scale? Do you make enough to pay your bills? Are you living paycheck to paycheck? Do you have any money in your savings for a rainy day?
- How is your relationship with your partner? Are you on the same level? Are you happy where you currently are?
- How much time to devote to yourself? Do you feel healthy physically?
- On the scale of 1-10 (1 being the worst and 10 being the best), how would you rate your mental health? Are you depressed?
Take your time to answer these questions. These are not one sentence answers. Life is complex. Your end goal is to gain balance. You need to discover what aspects of your current situation are weighing you down.
I have a few worksheets that may be helpful to you if you are struggling with where to start. Click Here>>>
Envision The End Goal
How do you want to live? What is “your” perfect lifestyle?
I have worked in the cafeteria of a hospital for more than 15 years. Starting at the bottom as a dishwasher, I worked my way up to a manager. Just like you, I had no work-life balance. Working 60+ hours a week and commuting two hours a day (one hour to work and one hour back home) didn’t leave much time for my family. I was (and still am) the breadwinner for our family of four. If not for the fact that I was the breadwinner, I would’ve left my job a long time ago. Because I needed to work, I missed out on time with my kids and my husband that I will never be able to get back.
Why am I telling you this?
Because I don’t want you to just pass this post by and not make a decision to change your life for the better.
Achieving a work-life balance is hard. You are going to struggle and fail more times than you can count. But if you are persistent, you will reach your goal. You will gain the life you want to live. You will take back control of your life and find your happiness.
Set Goals For Obtaining A Balanced Life
Now that you have realized your starting point (your current situation) and envisioned how you want your life to be (you end goal), it is time to define your goals.
Click here (or the picture below) to learn how to set and achieve attainable goals.
I also have a goal planning worksheet available for you to use. Click here>>
Don’t worry….I will still be here when you get back.
Before you continue, I would like to ask you to share this article. A lot of hard work goes into each of my posts. Helping others grow by sharing my passion and my experiences is my way of living a fulfilling life.
Steps To Setting Goals Recap
- Identify your smart goals. Shoot high, but be realistic.
- Brainstorm ways to reach your goals.
- Make a plan.
- Take the first step.
- Revise your plan.
- Take another step and continue to revise as you go.
An example of a smart goal you can include in your goal setting is:
I want to quit my corporate career and work for myself as an entrepreneur within the next 5 years.
The goal is specific (quit my corporate career), measurable (5 years), realistic (it is possible) and attainable (if other people have done it, so can I).
Setting milestones along your journey and breaking down your goals into manageable steps is important for reaching your success.
It is easier for me to make small steps rather than taking a large leap (I have short legs!)
After you have established your goals and defined the steps you will need to take to achieve them, it is time to set up a way to track your progress.
Tools For A Balanced Life
Everyone has their own method of organization and prioritization. There are more organization and priority tools out there than you could count.
The tool that worked the best for me is my bullet journal.
The bullet journal method was written by Ryder Carroll (see a FREE Preview of his book below). It is a systematic planning tool meant to make living intentional.
“Intentional living leads to intentional results.”
You can learn how to create your own bullet journal, how to use a bullet journal, and how the bullet journal method will add focus to your life by clicking on any of the links below.
- Bullet Journal Series: Journaling Through the Year (My Self Development Plan)
- Bullet Journal Series: How To Create A Bullet Journal
- Bullet Journal Series: Bullet Journal Spreads You Need To Include In Your Bullet Journal
- Bullet Journal Series: 5 Habits of Successful Journaling
Add Focus To Your Day By Developing A Daily Routine
Your daily routine provides structure and discipline to your daily life.
Having a daily routine will help you to be proactive rather than reactive.
There are a lot of things we do daily without putting any thought into it: for example, brushing your teeth and getting dressed. You do these things out of habit and not doing them feels weird.
An effective daily routine reduces the amount of stress you are under.
How many times have you woke up and thought to yourself, “What am I going to do today?” Then as the day progresses, you realize you forgot to do something that was very important.
Having a routine and planning ahead not only increases your productivity but also takes the “guess work” out of your day.
Your daily routine will help you to focus on your goals and increase your productivity. With focus and clarity of mind, you will actively build momentum and achieve your goal sooner.
6 things you should include in your daily routine.
- Bible study and prayer bring you closer to God and help you keep what is most important first and foremost.
- Exercise trains the body and keeps you healthy. Vary your routine and mix stretches with muscle building. You could go for a run, do an exercise video, or go to the gym.
- Schedule downtime where you can watch tv or read or book. Have you heard the phrase, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” The world is an interesting place. Don’t separate yourself from it completely.
- Journal daily. Journaling helps to reflect on all that you have experienced throughout the day. Write down your thoughts and empty your mind before bed so you will have a better night’s sleep.
- Time for preparation. The best way to keep your routine is to prepare ahead of time. Take away your excuses before they become excuses. Set the alarm clock so that you have to get up to turn it off. Pick out your clothes ahead of time. Have the exercise video and the tv remote ready with quick access. Set the coffee pot on automatic.
- Meditation is good for the mind and the body. It can relieve your stress and allow you to start your day with a quiet mind.
PLAN WITH PURPOSE AND YOU WILL PLAN TO SUCCEED.
Here is an example of a daily routine:
4 AM – 4:10 AM Wake up, brush teeth & hair, grab morning gear (bible, bullet journal and laptop) and head downstairs
4:10 AM – 4:45 AM Coffee and Bible Study, write morning reflection in bible journal
4:45 AM – 5:15 AM Exercise
5:15 AM – 6:00 AM Work on blog
6:00 AM – 6:15 AM Wake up kids, get dressed for work
6:15 AM – 6:30 AM Breakfast with kids
6:30 AM – 6:40 AM Make school lunches, wash dishes
6:40 AM Say goodbye to kids as they get on the bus
6:40 AM – 6:50 AM Finish getting ready for work, warm up the car
6:50 AM – 7:00 AM Grab gear for work (lab coat, purse, keys, glasses, etc.), fix a cup of tea, go to work
7:00 AM – 8:00 AM Commute to work
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM Work
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM Commute to home
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Dinner with kids, wash dishes, straighten up the living room, Swiffer vacuum kitchen floor
7:00 PM – 7:30 PM Showers and pick out clothes for the following day
7:30 PM – 8:30 PM Kids finish homework while I work on my blog, check email, facebook, twitter, etc.
8:30 PM – 9:00 PM Laptops off (including kids) and have thirty minutes of “mom” time before bed
9:00 PM Put kids to bed
9:00 PM – 9:30 PM preparations for the next morning, review bullet journal list and fill out trackers
9:30 PM Turn on Ancient Aliens or Destination Unknown, set the timer on the TV, and fall asleep
This is my typical weekday. Planning ahead and taking the “guess work” out of my day makes me more productive and it will you too.
How much effort you put into your preparation will help to determine the outcome.
A few weeks ago I was listening to a motivational speaker, and he said something to the effect of the following:
The difference between a successful person and an unsuccessful person is the amount of preparation and effort they put into reaching their goals. They didn’t become successful on a whim. It took countless hours, hard work, and dedication.
Life isn’t going to give what you want merely because you want it. If you plan to be successful and strive incessantly to reach your goals, one day you will achieve them.
In ten years from now, you won’t be the same as you are today. Make a plan, set goals, create a routine and keep your focus where it should be.
I was just like you once, looking for balance in my life, struggling to find time to spend with my family as well as hold down a full-time career.
More than a year ago, I entered a deep state of depression. I would say it was caused by my job. However, there were more contributing factors than just work. It took a long time for me to pull out of it (I’m stubborn and didn’t seek any help).
Determined to never live like that again, i made up my mind to quit my job and pour my heart and soul into one thing: creating a lifestyle that allows me to spend more time focusing on the things I love (my family, traveling, writing the next bestseller, gardening, homesteading and the list goes on).
Hence, the creation of my blog, https://CynthiaBrandel.com
However, blogging is a lot harder than it looks, and truthfully, I’m still trying to figure it out. Since I started down this path, I’ve had many difficulties. I’ve made over $1,000 in one month and less than $100 the next. I’ve had nights where I popped the cork on my favorite bottle of cabernet and nights when I wanted to pull my hair out. I’ve made many mistakes but learned so much along the way.
It takes dedicated readers like you as well as affiliate income to keep me afloat.
Yes, affiliate income is what pays my bills and keeps food on the table.
If you don’t know what affiliate income is click here>>>>
If you are like me and you want to try your hand at blogging, I would suggest checking out WordPress.
WordPress is easy to set up and easy to use. I wouldn’t use anything else.
As a side note, this post is checked Grammarly. If you type anything on the computer, I suggest you use Grammarly to make sure your grammar is up to par. They have a free version and a paid version. I have used both.
Although the free version is great and has caught a lot of my mistakes (let’s face it—I’m not an English guru!), I prefer the premium version. The premium version includes a plagiarism checker and more advanced options.
As a published author (yes I’ve published a few books….you can check out my latest series by clicking here>>>), Grammarly has been a blessing.
If you have any questions for me or if you are looking for a particular worksheet, you can reach me here
Looking For More To Read?
- Stepping Back To Move Forward
- Finding Your Drive When You Are All Out Of Gas
- Book Review: Braving The Elements by K. F. Breene
- Book Review: Into The Darkness by K. F. Breene
- Which Point Of View Is Best When Writing A Story