2014 is shaping up to be a year where my balancing scales – relationships / health / career – will be put to the test!
With my partner heading north – seizing a fantastic job opportunity, which takes him away for the majority of days in a month; my health, post major surgery last year, feeling great… but weak and needing conditioning; and, as with everyone, finding the passion to not only do my job, but to do it with joy and excellence – the ever-present, for every person, challenge of keeping life in balance is shaping up to be an interesting one! (for some reason the Japanese ‘Ninja Warrior’ show pops to mind when I’m envisioning this year! For those of you who ‘get’ it – I’m picturing that obstacle where the ninja warrior tries to balance on the barrel that is rolling down a steep slope! :))
So instead of just letting this year happen around me, I’ve made a decision to be intentional with the year ahead and the time I have.
- 52 weekends a year – 104 days in total;
- about 10 public holidays and hopefully;
- a few weeks of annual leave to spread throughout the year.
- about 128 days of possible adventures away from the desk and computer,
- the equivalent of about 4 months to reconnect and refocus on what life is really all about (I know – I had to check my calculations twice!!)
- 1 /3 of this year ahead to spend with family, friends, loved ones or just in moments of necessary ‘me time’
For me, and I think a whole lot of other people – a great thing to do is to plan ahead – as I blogged about last year – I’m a huge fan of post-it notes and sharpies – but a desk calendar, excel spreadsheet, Google calendar or whatever your method, are all fantastic ways to get an over-view, ‘big picture’, look at your year ahead.
Sometimes, once we’re back in the
slog of routine, it’s harder to see the opportunities and possibilities, setting out some ‘non-negotiable’s’ at the beginning of the year in whatever planning method you choose is a HUGE help!
For example – take up your pen (keyboard/post-it notes) and on your calendar mark the big events that aren’t going to move
Then add the things that you are already committed to, or really want to do, like
- Music festivals / events
- Conferences / Art exhibitions to attend
- Sporting events (for me it’s purely as a spectator! :))
Then grey out/mark as ‘tentative’ all those things that are going to happen ‘sometime in these few days/weeks’ (for example – imminent arrival of a baby)!
For me and my partner, we then looked at the spaces between these – we want to see each other at minimum once a month (another ‘non-negotiable’) so we simply placed holding post-its in where we had gaps or long times away from each other.
This is your outline! Trust me – it’s now sooooo much easier to work out the next step – where to meet up – (if I drive north and he drives south a Sunshine Coast adventure is in store!), what to do in your weekends together, how to maximise the time together (by combining an art exhibition with a long weekend in Sydney, for example)!
Take the boredom out of planning – work out your non-negotiable s – and then fill in the blanks! Marking the times you are going to visit your grandparents, escape for a weekend away, picnic in the park will give you something to look forward to – and be a constant reminder that that’s what the routine and daily grind are for…
*** Selah ***
But where to start?!!! Here’s some great calendar templates:
- Basic Microsoft PowerPoint/Word/Excel calendar templates
- Looking for something a little more beautiful? This FREE downloadable printable 2014 Calendar, by ‘Oh the lovely things‘ will look lovely on your wall… filled with all your holiday plans and lovely long weekends
- Or maybe these cute postcard style month-by-month calendar, by ‘Mom Spark‘, will get your mind in holiday planning mode!
- If you’re behind a computer for most of the day – download this desktop calendar for a bit of inspiration too!