I went through a time around the birth of my second baby, and for a while after, where my life was completely off balance. I shared the story in more detail in my post Just When I Was About to Break, but the short version is that I was putting way to much on my plate and way to much pressure on myself. The good news: I learned a lot about how to find balance as a working mom.
I generally try to be a healthy eater, but being pregnant always seems to motivate me to be better about healthy eating habits. And recently, I joined this Facebook group that was focused on healthy eating. I was drawn to this group in particular because the focus was on having a healthy relationship with food, rather than advocating for any single diet or lifestyle.
At first, it was awesome. The group had something like 10,000 members, yet somehow it seemed to be pretty drama-free (amazing for a group of 100 people, let alone 10,000!). The admins were super supportive and full of encouragement and great advice.
A year ago, I decided to try out a “Word of the Year” for the first time. And I have to say, I feel like it was quite successful. I’ve never really been one to truly keep hard-set resolutions. Having a Word of the Year, though, helped me to create some good habits and kick some bad ones and overall improve myself and my life.
If you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend thinking of a word or a short phrase to keep as your theme throughout the year. It doesn’t have to be anything profound or abstract. It could simply be a word like Read or Rest that encourages you to do more of something in the coming year. The whole idea is that this word or mantra is threaded throughout your daily life. It helps you make decisions and acts as a reminder of what you want to do, be, and accomplish. Don’t worry about how others are doing it – just make it work for you.
I was looking back through my 2015 planner yesterday, remembering all the things I learned, accomplished, and experienced over the past year. That’s one of the things I love about a paper planner – it is sort of like a planner and a journal all wrapped in one. About a year ago, I narrowed down my Word of the Year for 2015 to Contentment. And looking back through my planner, I realized just how far I’ve come. Lots of lessons in contentment were learned this year, and I actually, genuinely feel more at peace. More content.
I went years without really having any hobbies at all. I dreaded the question, “So, what are your hobbies?”, because I felt like I was somehow violating a code of society to admit that I didn’t have any. Maybe this is part of my INTJ-ness, but I always sort of viewed hobbies as being a waste of time. But since really working on cultivating contentment over this past year, I’ve learned that hobbies are actually a very important part of overall happiness.