2021…What do I want this year ahead to look like for me? How do I even begin to figure this out? If you read my last blog post you probably know where I am headed with this, Word-of-the-Year. This is a simple practice that many people have done for years. I just recently started practicing this concept, but have really learned to embrace it and find great value in it. Last year, I chose the word Renewal. (You can read my latest post about how that went here.👉 https://herheartstirs.com/2020-word-of-the-year-how-did-i-do-2021s-pick/) This year I have decided on the word Balance. Because 2020 was about setting up new habits and rhythms for myself, balance just feels like a great compliment to what I already put in place last year. I can now take these newer parts of my life and look at how to best incorporate them with all the other demands on my time. It is time for balance in 2021!
To help me get started with focusing on balance, I decided a great exercise for me would be to sit down and really think about, “What are the demands on my time?” and “What truly are my priorities within each of those demands?“. Brainstorming, using pen and paper, allowed me to hone in on what matters most and what can be set aside. I thought it would be helpful to share some of my ideas with you, in case you too want to think about the balance in your life OR you may want to use this exercise in a way that could help you brainstorm whatever Word-of-the-Year you have chosen. Tweak it and make it your own, either way, I highly recommend taking the time to do it!
BELOW are the categories of where my time Goes and priorities listed below each one of them.
(Note*** I am not sharing every priority as some are a bit more personal, but there are plenty that I did share to give you some ideas.)
Home, Kids, Work, Health, Faith, Romance, Rest, Friendships, Family, Give
Two big closets cleaned out, Dining room window replaced, get photographs organized, Rummage Sale this summer, Decorate and organize Nate’s room.
More time adventuring with the kids, visiting Nate and soon Lyla at college often, play board games, dinners out to brand new restaurants together, and experiences cooking new foods with the kids.
Blog and Newsletter 2x per month, increase SEO scores for the blog, keep the website up to date each week, mark specified work time for the blog, and Beautycounter on my calendar each week so that they are a priority.
Cook healthier dinners, move my body a minimum of 30 minutes a day, Intermittent fasting 16/8, break my fast 5 days a week with an Isagenix shake.
Bible study Wednesdays, daily prayer, AM Bible study, share my faith through my blog and social media, weekly church
Date night 1X a week, evening talk time together, weekend walks together, get dressed up to see him (don’t just stay in sweats with no makeup every day because of Covid)
Read a minimum of 2 books a month, Silk and Sonder Journal time, Sunday back rubs with Scott, travel, watch Dateline with Scott, lunch with friends, dinner with friends.
Send “Checking In” texts, host a game night with another couple, visit an out of town friend multiple times a year, Zoom nights with friends, think about priority friendships (This was especially helpful to really consider which friendships I/We want to invest the most effort and time into. I actually made a list of those people and shared it with Scott to see if we were on the same page.)
Encourage certain family members with their struggles, make an effort to text and call more often, invite family over for game nights, dinner, etc., visit family more often.
Join a committee for a charity organization, donate to church and charities that are important to us, share Jesus with others through my blog and my time, support family members/others in need.
Shortly after writing out my ideas on how I would find time for balance in 2021, I shared my brainstorm with a mentor of mine. She gave me a helpful management tool to use in the days ahead that would complement this. It is something that is known as PDCA, (P-PLAN, D-DO, C-CHECK, A-ADJUST) Basically, I have done the PLAN part and have begun the Do as well. As I continue along though, I need to CHECK often on how I am doing (Monthly for me) and then ADJUST as needed. I love this tool! I think it is important to remember that not only is it okay to adjust, but it is absolutely necessary. We have often heard the quote “The best-laid plans go astray.” and that is to be expected. We are dealing with life here and there are so many moving pieces that all we can do is try our best to plan for it and then adjust without guilt.
I hope this post has got you thinking about your own life. Maybe it is time to start working on your own balance, or maybe it is picking a Word-of-the-Year for the first time, or maybe it is using my brainstorm exercise in a way that helps you think about things in your life that maybe need to be prioritized. No matter what, I hope you find time for some planning for your year ahead and know that I will be working hard to find time for balance in 2021.
P.S.- Here is a website that gives simple steps on how to pick your Word-of-the-Year if you feel like you could use some help with this. 👉 https://www.elizabethrider.com/word-of-the-year/