My life just one year ago was full of negative feelings: self-doubt, blame, shame, and fear. Because of those fear -based feelings, my life revolved around pleasing other people. If this sounds familiar to you, let me share with you what changed for me and why. While I was a voracious reader of all things self-help, I had trouble implementing the suggested changes. I didn’t believe in myself enough to make positive changes, although intellectually I wanted to evolve. The result is that I continued living my life in a reactive, people pleasing mode mode. I had little insight as to what would make me happy or bring me joy. While I desperately wanted things to change, I couldn’t make it happen.
A typical day for me would start with me waking up with barely enough time to get ready for work, much less exercise or have breakfast. I would spend my workday reactively meeting the demands of my job with few thoughts as to how I could proactively manage my workload. I would spend my evenings sipping wine and commiserating with my husband or friends over the stress of my day. The weekends would bounce between extremes of ‘fun’ and getting ready for the week. Most Saturdays I would be at a winery or social event and Sundays would be filled with laundry, meal planning, grocery shopping, etc. There was certainly no balance or direction to the way I was living.
A couple of things changed for me over the course of the last year. First, I read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. The premise of this book is to start your day by doing things for yourself rather than devoting your entire day to the work/career experience. The book has you perform SAVERS which stands for Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, Scribe each morning for an hour. Most of these are activities that many people want to implement in their lives but feel they lack the time to do it. The idea is to get up an hour earlier and start your day with SAVERS. A couple of things changed for me when I implemented SAVERS in my life. First, my life went from an extremely reactive place to a more proactive dynamic. I was starting my day doing something for me, which was both new and exciting. Second, the landscape of my day changed as I was seeing the day from a more proactive and positive place. I had fewer negative thoughts and feelings and it was much easier to put the challenges I was facing in perspective.
A second thing that occurred was attending The Life Coach School certification workshop. I was always drawn to life coaching, as the idea of helping others live their best lives was exciting to me. This experience alone helped me go from living my life unconsciously with little insight of my priorities, vision, and what brought me joy to the awareness I needed to change my life. I’m not suggesting that everyone need to attend the Life Coach School to change their lives, I’m saying the mere act of doing something important to me, allowed me to change. Following through on a dream sent a message to myself that I’m important and have value-something I desperately needed.
Today many of my days are spent getting up at 4 or 5 AM doing my SAVERS and planning for my future. I still work hard at my job but have much more reasonable expectations of others and myself. My weekends are spent with some healthy down time that includes running, reading, and spending time with my family. While not every day is perfect, there are more good days than bad ones. My wish for you is that you create the life of your dreams, whatever that looks like. Take the time to pay attention and ask yourself what’s important you, what gives you joy, what do you want for your future? Take a small step today in balancing your life, I promise you won’t regret it.