7-Week Challenge: Define Your Own Balance

7-Week Challenge: Define Your Own Balance

 

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This is it.

I can hardly believe we are already at the end of our 7 week series, challenging you to go a little deeper this summer!

If you are new to the show, let me tell you that we typically have guests sharing their wisdom and best tips to help you grow in all 8 areas of life.  The 8 areas are your faith, marriage, parenting, career, health, home, finances, and lastly friends/fun. Mixed into all that, you get me talking about balance, time management or something that God just laid on my heart to share with all of you.  But since it’s summer time, we decided to do something different. We wanted to go a little deeper and give you some good work to do.

How has this challenge been for you?  Did you complete all 7 weeks? Before you answer that, let me give you permission to say… not yet.  All the content is waiting for you in the free bonus content and in your podcast player. Whenever you feel the urge to go a little deeper, remember that it is there.  You don’t have to do all the weeks, but you just might want to.

Believe me, as I am looking over my long and deep to do list, I say this to myself, as much as I am saying it to you.  You don’t have to do everything in front of you. You have a choice. Choose what you want to pick up and what you want to let go of.  

And that, my friends is what this final week is about. Your choice.

Before we dive in, let me remind you where you can get your bonus content all together from all 7 weeks, packaged together nice and neat for you.  You can grab it for free by going to YourLifeRocks.com, our Facebook page, or head on over to Instagram. To find me there, look up Your.Life.Rocks.  Remember, the dots are important.

Now when we talk about balance being possible, I have to tell you, I believe that this is the case with every part of my soul.  There are so many people that will tell you that it’s not. That it’s impossible. Can I tell you a secret? I love it when people say that.  Why? Okay, so I didn’t always love it. It used to make me mad. But now, I see it as an invitation. An invitation to ask them to define what they mean by balance.  And when they explain it, well they are right.

Usually when people think that balance is not possible, it’s because they have defined it in a way that is like a time clock or a score card where everything has to be even.  Who says that’s what balance has to mean?

Why am I so adamant about this?  

Okay, let me lay it all out for you.  Being a working mom is hard. Like really hard.  You are leaving your kids in daycare, with family, or if your kids are older like mine, you are leaving them to fend for themselves.  All while you go to work and give it your all. Then you get to come home and be a homemaker, a wife, mom, housekeeper, chef, and try your hardest to do it all with small talk and ask questions to your family about their day and make connections with them.  You wake up wanting to work out, grow in your faith, spend time with your friends, pursue a hobby, or just be. But time is limited. You only have so many hours before work, after work and on the weekends.

It’s a lot.  And let’s not even get into the emotions, the self-talk, the judgement, all the things that happen between our ears as we process and over analyze and beat ourselves up.  

As working moms we are doing the very best we can to hold it all together.  Then to have someone say that, balance is not possible. Something has to give.  You know what will give? Your honest to goodness effort to try. And it is a slippery slope when you start to lower the bar. It will keep getting lower and lower and lower until one day, you will look up and wonder… who is this person? This is not me.  

It’s not about being perfect or proving something to someone.  It’s not about being in denial or being a martyr. It’s about being the best version of you for those around you.  It’s about leaning on God’s strength when you don’t have strength of your own.

It’s about choosing each and every day that, that day is worth it to give it your all and believing that yes, you can do this life.  The life that God called you to. The life that God blessed you with.

Truth is, I don’t want to live in a world where working in my giftings is not compatible with loving my family and serving them.  It really does not seem right.

Who says what balance is supposed to be?  Let me tell you a secret, you get to decide.  You can define what balance looks like for you.  What it means and what it is. You can set your own bar and live toward that possibility.  

Let me tell you how I define balance.  I define it by making choices that intentionally  align my actions with the goals I have set for every area of my life.  I came up with this definition for myself out of what I was experiencing when my life was way out of balance.  I was focused solely on goals for one area of my life. I might have made goals for other areas, but I didn’t work toward them.  My actions were not reflecting my intentions or my goals.

 

So this week’s challenge.

  1. Grab your notebook and begin to write out what a balanced life would look like for you. Not a perfect life, but a balanced life. Feel free to borrow my definition and give yourself to adjust it ’till it feels right.  But whether you use my definition or your own, really journal it, explore it, and day dream a little.

  2. Once you feel like you have exhausted the daydream, ready it back to yourself and see if you can summarize it to one sentence.  Example: To me, life balance means that I am living with intention to reach goals in each area of my life.

  3. Write this down, save it in your phone, put it where you are going to see it and check in with yourself on it.

Here is the thing, everything that we have talked about in this challenge over the last 7 weeks is all good.  But what makes it great is when you actually do it. When you apply it to your life.

It’s a process.  It’s not a one and done kind of thing.  It will take time to go through it all and truly its about growth.  Think of balance as a verb. Its something that you do, not a place to arrive to.  Imagine standing on a beam or a curb in the parking lot with one foot. Balance is not when you are steady.  When you are steady, you are standing on one foot. When you wobble and try not to fall, you are intentionally balancing yourself.

It takes effort, but it’s worth it to live fully as the amazing woman that God has called you to be.

Because when you go after balance in your life, when you define it for yourself and start to live into it, there is no better feeling in the world.

If you have listened to the show before, then you have likely heard me talk about the three pillars to balance.  Regardless of how you define balance, there are three things that make it a reality.

  1. Giving your life God.  Like fully, not holding anything back. Truly living for him.

  2. Being in Community

  3. Following systems that help ease the burden and keep you focused.

All of these things are a part of the Life Balance system and our new Life Balance app.  In the app you will experience a 20-week program that will walk you through focusing on God’s will for your life, building habits, learning to build on your habits to reach your goals in each area of life, and focusing on identifying the true things that will help you grow and for the things you learn to actually stick.  Plus, it has the tools to keep everything together for you.

In addition to the courses I just talked about, it has all the podcasts, plus a link straight to our community and two of my favorite tools:

1. Your morning routine creator – to help you start the day with intention.

2. Sunday prep checklist – this houses everything you need to do to prep for the best week ahead. Plus, get motivational messages, reminders, and tips to build a life that rocks.

For the courses in the app, the whole Life Balance program is available easily at your fingertips with an assigned progression that will guide you through learning and applying these fundamentals in a way that is not overwhelming.  If you can listen to this podcast, then you can do this program.

The goal is to help you create more days where you feel on top of the world.  You know those days. The ones that you feel like everything is going your way, you have joy.  You are productive, and just feel light. You know those kind of days? You can have more of them.  And the best part, that goodness will flow over into your family, friends, and everyone you work with.  

Your Life Rocks because You Rock and the Life Balance app will be your guide.

The app is launching this month!  Search for the Life Balance app in the app store or go to Your Life Rocks.com for more details.

Next week we are back to the regular podcast, but with a slightly new format that I think you will be excited about.  For the rest of this month, we will be joined by guests to help you become a better communicator. Communication is key for your career, your marriage, and really, every interaction that you have. It’s going to be a great series.

Until then, keep building a life that rocks!

 

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7-Week Challenge: Changing Your Perspective on Your Work

7-Week Challenge: Changing Your Perspective on Your Work

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Let me ask you a question.

Have you ever lacked motivation to do your work?  Maybe it’s a project at your job, or cleaning the kitchen… we all have those times when we just don’t want to.  When we would rather be doing anything else. It’s totally normal, but highly annoying.

This is what we are focused on for week 6 of our challenge:  Finding the motivation when you just don’t have it in you. If you are new to the show, I’m so glad you found us!  We are doing a summer series all about helping you dive in deeper and use this season to grow, learn, and listen to what God has for you.

I have developed bonus content around each week of this series for you.  I totally realize that many of you are listening to this while you are driving, working, or some other activity where you can’t really take notes.  So, in the bonus content you have the activities that we go through on the show, plus more content to help you get the most from the weekly challenge.

You can get your free bonus content by visiting our website, Yourliferocks.com, our Facebook page or over on Instagram at Your.Life.Rocks

Last week in the bonus content, there was additional tips and words to use with your boss and with your spouse when you need to create boundaries around your time to give you more white space in your calendar.

GRAB ALL THE BONUS CONTENT FOR THIS CHALLENGE BY CLICKING THE BUTTON BELOW.  IT’S ALL FREE AS A GIFT TO YOU TO HELP YOU BUILD A LIFE THAT ROCKS!

 

Let’s dive into this week’s challenge.  

Work can be a challenge, even if you have your dream job.  Truth is, there is always going to be things we don’t like to do and people we don’t like to interact with.  Sometimes we can think that we are in the wrong job or doing the wrong thing because we have struggles in our work. Every job has it’s things that are not awesome. I really like my job and I am doing things that I enjoy and still there are days that make me crazy.  And while we are going to be talking about your job/career in this episode, what we are talking about really can be applied to everything.

There are all kinds of things that we “do” that we might not love to do.  Things that are not enjoyable. Life isn’t always enjoyable but that isn’t a reason to not do it.  I know you know this. This is why being an adult is hard. But does that mean we have to suffer through it?  Um, I don’t think so.

Suffering has more to do with our perspective than our situation.

When we focus on what we don’t like or don’t want to do, it gets heavier.  It feels bigger and harder to do. That makes us want to avoid it. And procrastination sets in. But what if that wasn’t the case?  What if you could lean into the discomfort, push through and come out the other side with a smile on your face?  That would be pretty rad, right? By the way, I decided to bring the word “rad” back.

So how do you do it?

How to embrace the hard work you just don’t want to do?

How do you handle the people you just don’t want to handle?

Well, welcome to this week’s challenge.  It’s changing your perspective by committing your work to the Lord.  And we started talking about the challenging things, but this is for the good stuff too.  The stuff that you are great at.

It’s easy to give the hard stuff to God… when you can remember to do it.  But we don’t always think to commit the work we love to God. When we do, our work becomes worship. And when we commit our work to God, he takes the burden and makes the work light.  

It’s my prayer that as you go  through the steps of this challenge that God would reveal himself to you in new ways.  That your mind and thoughts toward your job become renewed. That you see with fresh eyes and give you fresh energy toward what you do.

So here are the steps of the challenge for you:

  1. Review the tasks of your position. List them out.  Now, to fully committing your work and your job to the Lord, I recommend printing out your job description for your job for this exercise.  You might need to make adjustments in the margin because I don’t think that I have ever seen a job description that accurately resembles the actual job.

If you work for yourself or you don’t have a job description… write a short one for yourself.  

As a side note that has nothing to do with this challenge, reviewing your job description from time to time can be a very powerful tool. It helps you focus on the things that matter and can make you more effective. It also helps with negotiating a pay raise or other perks when you start to realize all that you do that provides value for your company.

  1. Look for opportunities that you can use to glorify God. Go through your job description and task and identify those things that use your gifts.  Sometimes we glorify the Lord by our work and results in things that are not our strengths or the things that we suffer through.  Let’s be honest. These are the things that we could never do in our own strength. These are the things we really need God for.

  2. Think through the people that you interact with.  How can you be the light for them? Maybe you work with other Christians, how can you support them in their walk?  How can you utilze them in yours? It’s not an accident that you work along side them, so what purpose is there for it?  For those that are not of the same faith, how can you be the reflection of Christ to them?

  3. Once you have asked yourself these questions, thought about it, prayed about it, journal about it… it’s time to take action.

I’m going to get really practical here. This will help you with so much on the job… just this one thing but it’s also a big part of the challenge.  

You may already be doing this, and if you are, you will just make a slight adjustment.

On your work calendar, block off the first 15 minutes of your day with a reoccurring meeting with yourself.  This meeting is to set up your day. It’s a time to review your calendar to see what meetings and appointments you have, what projects you are working on, etc.  I recommend making a little reminder list in the calendar event to remind you what your intentions are for the first 15 minutes. Make one of those intentions to commit your day to the Lord.  It’s a great reminder to pray over the meetings and iterations of your day. To praise God for the blessing of the position you are in… regardless of the position and to ask for what you need in your weaknesses.  Mark the things that you think will be tough that way you can remind yourself to change your perspective and commit the task to God. Do the work for him and not for your boss or your company. Do it for Him.

Just as much as you are asking him to come along side you in your day, you are giving your day to him.  It takes away any expectations for how the day will go. After all, he can use all things for our good. Sometimes that means teaching us lessons or showing us new things about ourselves or others that can be hard to walk through.  But when we have the perspective to see what God wants to do with the situation, well, it changes everything.

I’m excited to see how you will complete this challenge.  Hop on over to our Facebook group or comment on Instagram. Please let me know what you do for work and how you are honoring God by committing your work to him.

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7-Week Challenge: Find Peace in Your Days

7-Week Challenge: Find Peace in Your Days

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This week is week five of the challenge and we are talking about peace.

Can we first talk about peace?  

Peace in our lives sounds great, but it isn’t always a driving force in our lives.  There are a lot of things we would like to have that take a bigger priority. But let’s use a few words other than peace but mean the same thing and you tell me if you could use a little more peace in your life.

If you have ever said any of the following statements, this is for you:

“I wish life didn’t feel so crazy.”

“Things feel so chaotic.”

“I wish I could more of the things I want but life is just so busy.”

“I’m so busy things are coming out of my earballs“, (yes, you heard that one right… this is a made up phrase that a friend said once when she was talking about her crazy day).

Or if you have ever felt so overwhelmed with things to do that you don’t know what to do first.

What is the opposite of all of that? Peace.

Sometimes we don’t really know what we want, but we do know what we don’t want, right?

If you are like me, you want more days when you feel like you are on top of the world.  Those days that there seems to be a rhythm to the day and you have the energy to burn. I think we all want more of those days, right? Sometimes those days just magically happen.  But did you know if you were intentional about it, you could have more of those days?  Yep, it’s true. That’s what the Life Balance system that we offer is all about.

But this week’s challenge is really taking the concept and taking you to the core of what Life Balance is.  It’s really all about inner peace that radiates to outward peace.

Now, for this week’s challenge, I am going to give you practical things you can do to help you get more of those good days and it’s going to seem really simple.  And really it is. This is the easiest weekly challenge you will have out of all 7 weeks. Except maybe week one… it was a good one, you’ll have to go back to it if you missed it.  But if you want peace to be a lasting thing in your life, the only way to get it is through Jesus. Laying everything down and giving it over to him is the only way for lasting peace in your life.   I don’t want to lead you astray, so there you go. Now you have the truth. Feeling like you need more peace? You need more Jesus.

But this is the trap.  We over schedule ourselves, keep your minds full and our hands busy that we don’t ever stop… be still… be quiet and seek the peace that is given to us.  We rush from one thing to the next. We worry. We talk about our worry. We work, we serve, we give, we make dinner, we love on others, and we pretend to rest.  

Yes, I said “pretend” to rest.  Often we are so, go go go that when we do take downtime, what do we do?  We play a game on our phone, we read a book, we watch tv, we meet up with a friend… all great things.  But it is all more doing. More busy stuff. More to-dos.

Let me ask you a question.  When was the last time that you just breathed?  When was the last time that you allowed the quiet to be there?  When you let the silence be without filling it with music, podcasts, audiobooks, the tv, or the sound of your own voice?  When was the last time that you just lay there, sat there or stood still and did nothing?

If we want to experience peace in our lives, we need the empty space for it to be in our lives. Peace needs space. The less space you make in your life, the less peace you will find. The more space you create, the more peace you will find.

Now before you go off the deep end and just lay in bed and resign from your life, let me remind you that this is about balance.  If you have a pen or pencil around you right now, grab it. If you don’t (or if you are driving) do this the next time you pick up a pen or pencil.  Hold it between two fingers right at the edge and wiggle it side to side. It will begin to swing back and forth. It’s like a pendulum. You can over schedule your life and have no empty space in it…that is like the pen when it swings all the way to one side.  Or you can stay in bed all day, that is all the way over to the other side. You won’t be able to sustain either for very long. You want to find something in the middle that allows for just a small swing. You might have more days where you are a little more still and quiet and days where you are a little busier.  But the swing should not be that big. Balance.

 

Need help achieving that peace you need? Grab the bonus content right here! It’s free as a gift from me, a fellow mom like you. Just click on the button below to get the bonus content.

So how do you find the right balance in finding peace?  Well, Three things for you. These three will be highlighted in the bonus content along with some other goodies.

  1. Look at your weekly schedule and create margins in your day.  I telecommute for work. That means I work from home but I spend a great deal of my time in video conference meetings.  It might sound great to some, but let me tell you the reality of it. Back to back meetings. When you are in an office setting, you have time to move around, go to the bathroom, between meetings (at least you should, hopefully, you do)  And if you don’t, well, you are just late to a meeting because you were coming from another meeting, right? Well when you telecommute, you just log out and log back in. It creates no time to refresh my mind, move my body, or just to recenter.  The pendulum swings too far in one direction. As we talked about last week, you own your life. Create a schedule that has white space and margins. You may need to talk to your boss to make it happen. In the bonus content for the challenge, I will help you out by giving you some ideas on how you can do this… even with your work schedule.  I mean it will only work if your boss is on board so, I’ll help you with that.

  2. Create situations where you are not doing/can’t do anything.  This is why I take baths. It forces me to not do anything and I’ll choose to not listen to music or anything either.  If there is music playing, if the tv is on….it doesn’t count.

  3. Go on prayer walks.  Not fitness walks that you call a prayer walk.  Just time to wander and pray and listen. Sometimes when life gets crazy, I can’t sit still.  But if I stay in the house I will find something to do. Changing your environment is a powerful way to change your energy and mental state.  

Those are just three examples, but really your challenge is just this.  

This is the real challenge.

Find time to do nothing this week.  Nothing. Just be. Breath and listen.  Invite God into your moment but don’t feel like you have to do the talking.  Let him talk to you and just be.

Want to make a lasting difference?

Study this process for yourself.  Is it easy to do nothing? Hard? Does it make you anxious?  Go a little deeper and see what comes up for you in this process.  If you find it hard, make it a point to do it more often. It’s like a muscle you have to work.  So press into it.

Finding peace in your day might not be easy, but it will be worth it.  Check back next week as we dive into challenge week six!

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