I work in a demanding job that I love. I have three amazing kids, a husband, parents, extended family, and friends. I have hobbies…. one of them being this blog (when I find time for it). And I try super hard to take care of myself through fitness and self care.
When I hear people say that “you can’t have it all,” I say “f*** that!” I want to have it all. I want a happy, healthy family. I want a crazy amazing career that enables me to change lives. I want a well-travelled life. I want to surround myself with people who enrich my life. I want an ever-growing and happy me. These things are all important. So every day, I do my best to do it all so I can have it all.
Sometimes people ask me how I find the time. I’ve started thinking about this, and while I don’t really believe I do much more than your average motivated person, I pulled together a list of things that I believe make it possible to do it all.
1. I surround myself with good energy
I find motivation, ideas, comfort, and laughs from the amazing and smart people I surround myself with. Somebody’s mom once told them you are who you hang out with. It was not my mom… Maybe it was yours? Anyway, this is so important. You exchange energy with the people around you, whether it’s good or not. Want to do bad-ass things? Surround yourself with people who have bad-ass energy. Find people who motivate you, who get you, who challenge you, who want your success, and who know how to trigger you.
And while you’re thinking of who these people might be, make sure some of them are not clones of you. I’ve found that many of my most valued relationships are with people who are completely different from me in culture, background, career choice, gender, and age. These are the people who open up my world.
2. I focus my energy on things that give me energy and showcase what I’m good at
I get energy from things that are intellectual, creative, musical, emotional, and competitive. This is who I am, there’s no escaping it. When I think about how I spend my time, I try to stick to things that have those characteristics. In other words, I get more done by doing things I truly love and enjoy. And ***gasp*** I abandon things when I don’t really enjoy them anymore or find something else I want to do more. This seems like counterproductive logic to any parent who is trying to teach their kids hard work and discipline. But here’s the thing. There are only so many hours in a day. You can only do so many things IN YOUR LIFE.
When I first started writing this blog, another mom asked me how I find the time. I joked (rather truthfully) that I did it in place of cleaning and working out. And to be honest, at the time there was nothing I hated doing more than cleaning and working out. As months went on, I started writing less and less, but instead I was doing other amazing things that I learned to love. In that time, we took our first family Europe trip (something that still needs to be written about), and I’ve focused intensely on fitness, health and self care. I try to work out every day and I’m enjoying the hell out of it for the first time in my life.
So yes, you can do it all and have it all. But sometimes it’s not all at the same time. Focus on things that are growing and energizing you in that moment. Save the rest for later, or never! (Anyone who knows me knows that cleaning falls in this last category).
There’s a really important point to make here: Do not compare yourself to others, ever. What motivates me and gives me energy is completely different from what motivates you. Sometimes it looks like someone is an impossible superhero, but really they’re just doing THEIR thing. What’s your thing? Do it!
3. I prioritize “me time”
Yes, this one is hard. But I reluctantly and forcefully have learned to make time for me. It’s hard. No joke.. sometimes with three kids you don’t even get to poop alone. But I’ve learned over the past several years that nobody, I mean nobody at all, is going to grant me “me time.” I need it. And not just once a month. I need it often and it’s my responsibility to schedule it in. Me time may be writing. It may be a Zumba class. It may be lunch with a friend or a phone call. It may be a professional or educational endeavor. Whatever it is, figure it out and take it.
4. I have amazing mentors and coaches
This year I was lucky enough to receive the gift of an amazing professional coach who gets me. Through this engagement I have learned things about myself, my motivations, my weaknesses and how to overcome them, my passions, and how to direct my focus to accomplish big things. It’s amazing.
While this coach is one who totally gets me, I’ve learned over the years that I get equal value from coaches and mentors who think like me and those who are totally different. In fact, some of my most helpful mentor relationships were with people who I struggled to understand prior to the mentorship.
If you don’t work with a coach or a mentor, find one soon. It could be someone in your professional network, a personal connection, someone who shares your hobby, or even that person at work who always drives you crazy. I’ve gained so much by introducing other people’s perspectives into my life through coaching and mentoring. I promise you will too.
5. I (do my best to be) honest with myself and others about my intentions
It’s time to be 100% honest here. Do you like that? I struggle with this area and work on it daily. I’m (learning to be) honest with myself and others about my intentions. To me, this is about being super clear about what you want.. your goals, your ambitions, and even things you don’t want, and sharing those openly with those around you.
I have a track record of letting the fear of failure (and what people will think) get in the way of being open about my intentions, whether it is a career ambition, a personal venture, or even something as simple as a fitness goal. There are so many problems with this. For starters, the network of amazing people around you can’t help or cheer for you unless they know what you’re really going after. It’s okay to be humble, but my advice and personal goal is to be honest and clear when you want something. If it seems intimidating to blast your goals to the world, start small with a friend, a coach or mentor, or maybe even a small accountability group with people who share your goals.
Well that’s all I’ve got for today. What about you? What are your secrets to doing it all and having it all?