Are you overcommitted?
You know those balls we’re balancing in the air at all times – the ones that represent what we must do and what we really want to do? The ones we imagine ourselves managing so efficiently while we live our retirement dream? Well, mine are not behaving very well at the moment; they seem to be crashing down on my head and falling to the ground in a heap. What happened to the nice, balanced life I had planned for retirement?
“Planning” is probably the operative word here. Part of my original plan was to “say yes” to pretty much everything during the first year of retirement. Perhaps that was not a good idea. I said yes when my nice part-time job asked me to do more. Lots more. I said yes to being the co-captain of the tennis team. I said yes when the opportunity for a second tennis team came up. I said yes when the neighborhood Christmas party needed a co-chair. I said yes to dance lessons and an early-morning exercise class. Not to mention all the regular stuff. You get the picture. You’ve probably been there.
Now I’m in search of the balanced life and the quiet mind.
I’ve been researching how to find both, so I’m sharing my new plan – complete with some tips for how to make this all different.
Tip #1 – Take a good look at your life as it is now. If you feel exhausted or lonely or depressed or completely depleted, you’re probably living a life that’s out of balance. Decide to make a change today. It’s a conscious decision.
Tip #2 – Figure out what your priorities really are. What are the things you value? Spend some quiet time in thinking about that. Your family? Your spouse? Your work? Your health? Your spirituality? Your home? Your free time? Your money? Then ask yourself if what you value and how you spend your time equal out. If they’re out of alignment, make another conscious decision to get them back in order.
Tip #3 – Set some goals. They don’t have to be big fancy plans. Just know how you want your life to be. Consider what you want spiritually and physically and financially. Look carefully at your relationships with the people you love. Remember that your goal is balance.
Tip #4 – Expect good things to happen. There’s lots of research that says that optimism is good for us and that it can be learned. Wake up in the morning with the intention that this will be a good day and then make the most of it.
Tip #5 – With that said, expect the unexpected! It’s always something. It’s a broken air conditioner or a computer with a virus or pine needles clogging the gutters. Remember that flexibility is the key to happiness. Just keep your head down and fix the darn thing.
Tip #6 – Get organized. It’s easier to keep all those balls in the air when they’re written down in a planner – or at least listed on a To-Do list of what needs to be done this week. Then you get the pleasure of crossing them out and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with it.
Tip #7– Take care of yourself physically. Nurture yourself. Get enough rest; take a walk; laugh every day; eat right; hug your partner; or snuggle with your pet. Set aside some time every day just to be quiet.
Tip #8 – Understand that the word “no” is a complete sentence. I stole this one from the Huffington Post, and I love it. We all have competing priorities and lots of people asking us to do lots of things with the same 24 hours a day. How liberating it would be to simply say, “No.” No excuses. No explanation. Just no! I’m going to try it.
I’ll let you know how it goes.