New Year resolutions have never worked for me. So this year I am focusing on Balance, in business, mental health, creativity, self-care, and self-love.
Another year, another list of resolutions
T’is the time when every well-intentioned adult, myself included, is making New Year resolutions, in search of happiness, peace or balance: join the gym, eat healthy food, declutter, get more sleep, grow the business, save money, and more.
I don’t know about you, but this is how it works out for me in real life: January 1 goes according to plan. Before the end of January, someone gets sick, I forget to say ‘No’, or I take on too big a project. By Valentine’s Day, takeaway pizza is back on the menu. Come early March, I’m wondering if I should cancel the gym membership.
Year after year, why do I plan all these ‘challenges’ to my usual lifestyle? Only to end up disappointed in myself, right back where I started.
What is my actual goal?
What I really, really want is to feel healthier, less anxious and more energised. I’d like to feel in control of my endless to-do list. I certainly want more leisure time rather than being chained to my laptop. Simply put, I want to feel content at the end of the day. In balance.
Looking back at this year, I learned a few things:
- Too many resolutions make feel me anxious as I battle all my Shoulds and Musts.
- I create massive to-do lists for too many projects, which stresses me out.
- I end up overwhelmed, and start procrastinating.
The Big Idea
I found out last year that I had a benign brain tumour. It is now gone but this meant I’ve had to rest, a lot, which is very unlike me! Needless to say, 2017 made me re-evaluate what is important to me.
Now, as much as I may like the idea of it, I know that a permanent state of bliss is somewhat unrealistic. So, I am tackling this year with a wily plan, based on what I have learned about myself so far.
*Cue amazed expression, & start drumroll*
My Big Idea is to keep everything in balance at least 5 days a week, my sleep, my mental wellness, my finances, my exercise and eating habits, my personal and work commitments.
Every idea, opportunity, decision, project, amount of available time will be assessed against this yardstick. Does it fit in with my plan to move from overwhelm to balance?
Balance in business
And I intend to use a similar approach in my business life as well as my personal life.
The biggest investment I make in my business is my time, and I plan to work smarter this year.
One of my favourite marketing coaches, James Schramko, has a rule of three: if I’m going to take action in my business, like creating content or running an event, there should be three levels of benefits.
When I create a blog, can I reuse it as a chapter in a book or a slideshow for a webinar. When I run an event, can I create income through ticket sales, but also offer attendees access to my courses, and record the event to use the content online.
Adopting this way of thinking has made me think about longer-term benefits before I make a business decision. It has encouraged me to be creative rather than reactive.
Keeping it simple, keeping my balance
This year I’m creating a very simple plan for both family and business. Not a Vision Board, or an in-depth 60-page manuscript. Just a simple Mind Map of important milestones I aim to achieve in different areas:
- Family & friends
- Personal growth
- Creativity & recreation
I’ll be planning these over a 90-day period, with monthly reviews and adjustments as needed. No perfectionism and no beating myself up. Because, as Henry Thoreau wisely said, “the price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it”. And I am no longer willing to exchange any amount of my life for things that do not get me closer to my one resolution: swap overwhelm for balance.