I am in the very beginning stages of growing my small business. Every single day there is a mountain of work to do such as write blog posts, post on social media sites, design a website, design other features for my website like a “members only” page, create a group coaching program to go along with my individual coaching, network to get my name out there, create workshops, continue writing books (I’ve already submitted 3 to publishers, just waiting to hear back), learn how to use zoom and vimeo, plan and run detox programs. And when I am not doing all of that, I am planning my aerobic classes that I teach, helping with the kids’ school garden, teaching cooking classes to kids and adults and planning content for that. There is never a shortage of things I need to do to grow my business to make a good profit, however, I also have a life and family I need to care for as well. And shouldn’t those relationships both with myself and my family take priority? Some day’s I’m a workaholic and can’t put those tasks down to focus on my self care or them. But most days, I create a plan so I don’t fall into the trap of working too much. Here’s how I keep my sanity and take care of all I need to do.
Schedule it in a calendar
Simple enough. I have an amazing day planner called “Law of Attraction Planner” which I purchased on Amazon. I use it in conjunction with my phone’s calendar. I use pens called “Pilot Frixion”. They are erasable pens. I love them. If I were to put my planner in the microwave for a minute or just leave it out in the hot sun for a few hours, my day planner would be empty. The pens erase when heat is applied. This allows me to use the planner over and over again each year. I just blow dry the page I want erased and voila!
Prioritizing Sleep First
My day starts at 4:00am. In order to get my 7-9 hours of sleep, I am in bed by 8:30-9:00pm. This takes priority in my life over anything else really. I am only at my best when I’ve gotten my sleep. This is my secret to getting everything done that I do. If I need a little cat nap (20 min) mid day, I take it. My work day is from 4:00am-3:00pm. There are 4 mornings where I teach aerobics classes and that takes up a good chunk of my morning. So in order to grow my side gig (health coaching) into my main gig, I use whatever time in the morning/afternoon that is left. I have plans of letting a couple more classes go in the future to really put more time into coaching since that is where my biggest profit will come from.
Working in family time
At 3:00pm, I am making after school snacks for the kids (at least I want to be better at this), then I pick kids up from the bus stop, head home and work on chores and preparing dinner. This also needs to change because I am realizing that my kids really need my one-on-one attention when they are home. I need to be better at staying on top of their homework and rooms clean, then of course, PLAYTIME! So that means, chores will have to cut into my mid-day schedule as well…I’ll figure it out. I absolutely love creating meaningful relationships with my children, so this is worth it to me if the business takes longer to build. Many people before they die typically say they wished they hadn’t worked so hard and spent more time with the ones they love. I’m learning from them as I go and being conscious of this.
As for my husband,…he walks in from work about 7:00pm. By this time, I’ve had time to pick up the house just a bit and make a nice meal for him so he can just come home, relax and help put kids to bed. His getting home late has become a blessing this way. I definitely couldn’t have it all done if he came home earlier. But I am hoping that one day as I grow my business, he’ll be able to take an extra day off during the week to spend with us. This would be ideal, and that is my goal. Once kids are down, I put all electronics away, turn off the business in my head, and focus on him. We watch show’s together, cuddle and just enjoy spending time together without any other distractions. This is how I keep that relationship in tip top shape.
So what really needs to happen here is scheduling your self care & relationships first. If you’re not being intimate with your spouse, just schedule it in the calendar. Struggling with a child? Give that child 20 min of your undivided attention every day. Schedule it in there. Ready to reward your hard efforts? Schedule a massage. Put those things in the calendar very first and by all means, don’t let social media or anything else distract you from these things.
Managing Self Care
It’s hard to squeeze in self care if you consider self care as massages, pedicures, spa time or something similar. While I LOVE doing all those things, I’ve had to change my idea of what self care actually means in my life. To me, self care is a healthy diet, exercise, sleeping 7-9 hours at night and managing stress with guided meditation. My brain feels like it’s functioning it’s best. I don’t experience things like depression or anxiety because I get my sleep no matter what, I prioritize the foods I am eating, I exercise regularly and I do a quick 5 min meditation every single morning upon waking up. Then when a weekend allows for a massage or other therapy practice, I’ll squeeze that in as well. I will also say this, I invested in a life coach who helps me through any particular problem I am going through. I am learning to coach myself through the stressful times in my life. Her services to me have been priceless in my life and I can’t imagine not having her guidance. It’s the best $50 a month I spend. It’s a group coaching program and although she has no idea who I am because her group is hundreds strong, I feel connected to her. You can find her podcast at “better than happy” on itunes or stitcher. Everyone benefits from having worked out their problems with a coach.
Schedule your self care first along with family time. Put it in your calendar and guard that time.
Think about these 4 areas of your life: Food, Sleep, Exercise, Stress management. Get these area’s good and the rest of everything else you want in life will fall into place.