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Finding Balance Part 1: Home Life

Is motivation lacking? Are you suffering from a case of the too much to do and no drive to do it? In this series I will go through some tips that I've found helpful in my own life to work towards a successful, healthy and balanced life. Today I will start with tips for your home life and in the following weeks I will cover work, food/kitchen, fitness, finances, vacation and making big life changes or decisions.

1. Set up a System. Organize everything from physical belongings to your schedule in a simple and intuitive way. If you need help figuring out what system works best for you for belongings, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing is a great read! As for your schedule, make sure you spend some time considering your priorities and let your schedule reflect those priorities. I find making detailed lists and rearranging them in the order to be complete and by category. I use the app AnyList, which allows me to share my lists with my husband and assign stores, price and quantity to each item. I got it primarily for grocery shopping, but you can also add recipes, schedule meals and create a variety of other types of lists. Too often people spend their time on the things demanding their time rather than what they most desire to spend their time on.

2. Everything in it's place. Have a specific place for everything and do your best to keep it there. The less stuff you have, the easier this will be. Make sure like things have one location in your house rather being scattered all over the place (for example if you keep your pens in a specific drawer, you'll know where to go when you need a pen rather than searching all around the house and wasting time and energy searching for something that needs a more specific home.

3. Say no. With all the options for entertainment, hobbies, social sport teams and family events (not to mention all the extracurricular options for your kids to participate in), narrowing down what's most important to you can be very challenging. Write a list of all the commitments that are on the table and organize it by what's most important to you in order. Draw the cut off line BEFORE your schedule is completely full rather than trying to squeeze in everything and adding undue stress in your life. The more you practice saying no, and living a less compacted life, the more free and alive you'll feel.

4. Under book your schedule. Plan weekly time to do nothing and don't let it slip away to the next most exciting opportunity that comes your way. This time can be spent finishing laundry, dishes or whatever other household chores you didn't get to. Don't let this entire time be consumed by chores, but rather aim to use it to reflect, relax and rejuvenate your mind and body. If you find it's being consumed by chores every week, you might consider dropping something else off your weekly schedule.

5. Just do it. Once everything is organized and ready to follow, it should make your mind more clear and your purpose and direction more sure. The next thing to do is to start. Sometimes all the organization and direction in the world won't get you past that feeling of being overwhelmed or fear of failure. I think Nike was onto something with their slogan and often the hardest thing is getting started. Likely more challenging it is to get started and complete a goal, the more rewarding your success will be! If you have trouble getting less desirable or more challenging tasks or goals out of the way, try pairing them with a personalized reward. For example if you don't feel like doing your laundry today, make a reward of watching your favorite show once it's done. Better yet, save your favorite show to only be watched while you do your laundry to make it more enjoyable. For a more far fetched and intimidating goal, set mini celebrations along the way to keep you motivated and on the right track.

Everyone has different methods that work best for them so ultimately it's up to you to discover what will bring you a feeling of fulfillment and accomplishment. Clearly define what true success looks like in your life and follow that clear path until you've found it. If not now, then when?

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