Does it ever feel like your life is spiraling out of control, the things you would like to spend the least amount of time on taking up every spare moment you have (what woman, and mother, really has a spare moment, though?) and also crowding out the really important things in your life? My life certainly felt this way more often than not. It still does at times. Which is why I’m pretty sure yours does too.
As a Francophile, I can say with all certainty that this is not a French lifestyle. While French women still struggle with finding balance – equilibrium – in their lives, they have the idea and the practice of living a balanced life down much better than most of their American sisters do. After all, this idea of a balanced life, the idea of finding your equilibrium personally and professionally, is what the French lifestyle is all about. Would you like a peak at how to capture this French lifestyle of balance for yourself? Then read on!
Begin the Process by Setting Your Priorities
Do you really want to have balance in your life – have that ideal French lifestyle? Well, if you do, there is one enormous thing that you can do to get you there. It is a hard step though. It is the step of setting your priorities. Now, this might sound easy, but it actually is not if you truly go through the process of setting your priorities, cutting everything out of the list that you can do without.
What really is most important to you? Your beliefs and your spiritual life? The people who care about you (aka, your family)? Your health, both physically and creatively? Your job? Pick your top 4 priorities, and 1 extra one that you can focus on if you have time. Quickly, just name the 5 most important areas of your life. Mine are: 1). My beliefs/spiritual life 2). My family 3). My health 4). My writing and creative health 5). Fun.
Careful Balancing Comes Next
Once you have picked your top 5 priorities – they might look completely different than mine, and that’s perfectly okay – it is time for the next step: balancing your priorities. This, too, is challenging. Unlike picking your priorities, which is an enormous but one-time challenge, balancing the distribution of your time to each of your priorities is an ongoing challenge. Just remember, focus on each priority in its order of importance. And attempt to not let any priority swallow another (therein lies the challenge).
If you would like to read more about keeping romance alive while you’re busy, slowing down to treasure the little and simple things, and how important it is to include taking care of yourself in your priorities, you can check my archives.
Don’t Worry if You Get Off Track
Really. Don’t worry. That is life! And, that is also the French lifestyle. Just, when you do get off track, you have to pause and take the time it takes to get back on track. Reassess and eliminate extraneous things. Learn to say no. It is so easy to say yes to things that just crowd our life with out delivering enough benefits to compensate for the time they take from us. And what you say no to might be completely different from what I say no to, and that is okay! For example, when life gets too crazy one thing I say no to is elaborate cooking (when my husband is gone on a work trip, I just make one or two delicious meals and then eat leftovers for the rest of the week, and when he is home and I am super busy, he either cooks for me or we do an easy salad meal…or we eat late).
Carefully pick what you say yes to.
So, get started balancing your life today! I promise, you can do it. All you have to do is start. Take that first step. And reap a lifetime of benefits!