When Your Plan to ‘Have it All’ Backfires: How to Balance Your Commitments

The quest for work-life balance and ‘having it all’ can be a disillusion for many as they work long hours trying to give equal attention to each area of their lives. Not only is this disappointing, it leaves people literally exhausted and feeling over-extended. People are shuttling children to and from activities, cleaning house, buying groceries, making meals, writing reports and blog posts while making meals, and balancing the budget. They have become so task-oriented that they are no longer pursuing and living a life of significance and meaning. What was once a mission to achieve meaningful goals and leave a legacy has now left individuals disinterested and forgetting why they were on their mission altogether.

When everything around you seems to be falling apart, it is time to step back and take a look at what is going on around you and re-evaluate. There are no easy solutions or one-size fits all solutions. You are a work in progress and what works for you may not work for others. You can adjust your plan as you go. What’s most important is that you honour who you are and what you want in your life. Remember balancing your commitments does not mean that you need to give equal attention to everything. Most of the time is comes down to dedicating some quality time versus worrying about the quantity of time you have.

Decide what ‘having it all’ means to you. What do you want to be, do, and have in your life? What are you willing to sacrifice or put aside for the time being as you focus on a different priority?

Know what your “WHY” is. What motivates you to go after your dreams and goals? What is behind your actions? What are you hoping to achieve?

“If you know the why, you can live any how.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

Make tough decisions around your priorities. Even though you do not want to out on a social engagement, you know family movie night is important to you. Sometimes you must miss out on good to achieve the great things that you want in your life. When you are clear on what is important to you; it is easy to make the right decision for you. Make a list of your top 5 priorities. They say you can tell a person’s priorities by what they worry about. What do you worry about? What do you focus on most? Tough decisions are easy when you know your priorities – everything seems to fall into place.
Learn to stand up and speak up for what you want and need. People are not mind-readers; they do not know what you want and need. You need to get in the habit of asking – asking questions to gain more information or asking for help. The most successful people in this world did not do it alone. They have had help along the way.

Delegate where possible. You may say, “But no one does it as good as me!” Although this may be true, are you using your time most effectively? Can you block off smaller increments of time over the week to do household chores instead of spending your whole Saturday cleaning the house and running errands? Can you hire someone to clean house or order your groceries online and then pick them up or have them delivered? Can you ask the kids to help with things that you usually do? Remember you are teaching them great life skills!

“If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.”
― John C. Maxwell

You want to be focusing where your strengths lie. If it takes you two hours to hem one pair of pants, wouldn’t it be easier to get a tailor to do the job? No matter what you are doing, you are making these choices based on time, money, resources, and your beliefs about “how things should be.” Is it really how things should be? What if you came up with a “new normal” of the way you believe things should be? Would you be happier or more satisfied?

Make self-care a priority. Eat healthy meals and get regular exercise. The body you have is the only one you got so look after it. Your body does amazing things and gives you the support needed to function but it needs its rest too. Sleep does wonders for us. When you get enough sleep, you deal with life stressors much easier than if you were exhausted. You think more clearly and are not apt to jump to conclusions as easy.

Tap into your support system. When you get caught up in the hustle and bustle of work, life, and family, it can be easy to take what is important to you for granted. Communication is key. Share your goals and dreams with those most important to you. Let them know how important they are to you. Make time to support them with their goals too. They will be more apt to help you as well.

Choose to have an attitude of gratitude. The whirlwind of daily activities and financial strain can leave people feeling helpless and that their world has gotten out of control. They become resentful when things get in between what they want and what is currently happening. Remember that everything around you is based on choices you have made. What can you be grateful for?
There are some external forces influencing some of the outcomes but overall you are responsible for the results you have received. Instead of being resentful, be grateful and trust that you are exactly where you need to be now. Look for the lesson. Do you need to evaluate spending habits? Do you need to get rid of clutter? Do you need to ask for or give forgiveness? Maybe the flat tire you had kept you at home to avoid a major accident on the highway. The missed opportunity made room for a new opportunity that you otherwise would not have been available for.

Set clear boundaries of what you can take on and what you will not take on. There are people in our lives who can make their emergencies ours if we let them. You have one life to live – make sure you are doing what you want and need to do for yourself. Help people along the way but don’t just drop everything for fear of people getting upset with you or you feel obligated to. Choose a time that works best for you and does not take you away from your own priorities. Priorities change depending on the given situation; you core values of what you believe in do not.
Live with intention. Make a plan but be okay with adjusting as you need to. Be kind to yourself. Block off dedicated time to work on what you need to get done. Block off free time in your calendar for self-care and separate time for family or date nights.
You can have it all. You first need to define what “having it all means”. Be clear on your priorities and make your decisions based on your priorities. You will not be disappointed. Make plans and take intentional actions to achieve what you want and need. You can have it. And if it backfires, take a step back and re-evaluate again! Stay committed to what you want and need to make an impact and live a life of significance!
DEBRA KASOWSKI, BScN CEC is an award-winning best-selling author, transformational speaker, blogger, and Certified Executive Coach. She has a heart of a teacher and is certified in Appreciative Inquiry and Emotional Intelligence. Her writing has been published in a variety of print and online magazines. Debra Kasowski International helps executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations boost their productivity, performance, and profits. It all starts with people and passion. Sign up the Success Secrets Newsletter and get your free mp3 download today! www.debrakasowski.com

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