22 August 2021

MAKING ROOM FOR HAPPINESS PART THREE

Roll It Out and Feel It In

Continuing on to the third step of our Busy Bee Journey – The Trial-and-Error Approach to Discovering and Re-designing the new iBalance. We left off in our previous post at how to explore different paces of change that would actually bring us to where we want to be instead of backfiring on us. Today we will be rolling out our plans into actions, let’s go!


4TH STEP: FOLLOW THROUGH AND FEEL IT OUT


As ironic as it may sound, to attain a lifestyle that is well-balanced physically, emotionally and mentally, a lot of effort is needed. It is something that we earn and it is not just given to us. Let me give you an example to support my point.

Some people might be well off materialistically and physically, but they might be stressed out in other areas of their lives; their emotional and mental aspects might still be off-balance.

So, in my humble opinion, to achieve all three aspects of a balanced lifestyle, tenacity, patience, and mindfulness are required. They are essential foundations to fuel us to follow through with intentional living.

I am not saying that those who prefer not to practice patience, tenacity, and mindfulness  cannot have a balanced lifestyle. What I am saying is that, if you are in a situation where you feel off-balanced, and you have a plan to change your lifestyle, those three aspects are all part of the foundation that will get you where you want to be.

Once you follow through with your plan, checking in with yourself is equally important.

During the process, I have two check-in questions during the weekly and monthly evaluation.

The first question is: Can I follow through with the energy allocation as planned?

A lot of the time, life is not as simple as what we want it to be, so allowances must be in place so that we do not feel too discouraged.

The feeling of hopelessness to make positive change to your life is the biggest enemy. This is where patience and tenacity play their parts to get you through and to keep you going.

Then mindfulness plays its part as a navigator in the process.

I give myself time to adjust and navigate to the desired allocation plan. In whichever areas those are overly consuming, I make a conscious choice to curb them.

In areas that I inadequately spend my energy, I make a conscious choice to spend more time on them.

I ask the second set of questions when I successfully follow through with the plan:

How does it make me feel?
Am I putting the right weight with practicality and emotional authenticity?
Am I working towards the right balance at the right pace?

Sometimes making adjustments at the wrong time can actually hinder our progress to balance.

Let me share with you my personal experience to elaborate more on that. To my own surprise, as I was trying to add more self-care and relaxation time into my schedule, I felt even more anxious at times.

I was worrying about not making progress on these projects so I ended up having a hard time relaxing.

Yes, my body was trying to relax, trying to be in the moment with my self-care routine, but my mind was not. It was like my body was trying to rest, but my mind was still trying to work.

And here come, the next key step …


5TH STEP: KEEP CALM AND PRIORITIZE


During the internal state of restlessness, I tuned to my meditation practices to calm myself down. That is the first key step.

Sometimes I could calm myself down, but at other times I could not. (If meditation sounds interesting to you, you might want to check out my blog on How I meditate.)

When I could return to my internal state of peace, I would then use that moment to write out my concerns. And here is the secret, when our mind is at peace, it is in its best state.

Therefore, it becomes a lot more efficient and productive. I personally find myself sorting things out a lot more easily, and it is like the sky is clear after a rain storm.

During those times that I could not calm myself down through my meditation practice, I reverted to writing journals and dumping out all my concerns that drove my internal state “messy”.

I personally find this method mentally cleansing. Seeing them outside my mind and out onto the paper really makes it easier to handle objectively and constructively.

During this listing process, prioritization is our next best friend.

“Prioritization is BB-BFF!
(Busy Bee’s Best Friend Forever)”
– Mim Chawimon

It helps us organize and put those concerns into order, shushing them up if they are not the true priority at that moment. It is the same old mentality–get down to the essentials by cutting out everything you can do later.

The limited resources and time forced me to be more efficient and productive. And by doing so, I grew professionally without damaging my health.

But again, the pace of growth is debatable and highly personal, so we will not go into that. Let’s just agree that, if a balanced lifestyle is what you value most, prioritization is your best friend because it will help you grow professionally while also maintaining a good balance in life, shall we?

So, the key takeaway for this part is:

Don’t just blindly try to achieve what you plan out for yourself.

Have some allowances for time and some flexibility for change to unfold.

Build up your tenacity and patience muscles as you encounter obstacles.

Check in with yourself often.

Remember that a clear mind will take you much further than a messy mind. It will allow you to come up with the right set of priorities so you can manage your precious resources – time and energy – in the most efficient way to serve your well-balanced lifestyle.

Oh, and another tip I would love to introduce to you, is to celebrate little steps of progress along the journey!

Our hearts are just like trees, flowers, and other living things. They all need nutrition to grow and flourish. Move forward with positivity and allow yourself to enjoy each sense of accomplishment and recognition. Let them be the food for your heart!

With that note, I cannot say enough how important it is for us to be mindful and talk with ourselves from a place of support and kindness. In essence, to talk to ourselves just like how our best friends would talk to us.

It is this internal conversation we have with ourselves that determines how we see and color the world around us. So, color it mindfully with the shade of your choice 😊

We will know when we are there …

As I moved closer and closer to my desired Draft of iBalance, I realized that the draft did not feel right. In Part2, I  shared with you guys the draft of my new iBalance – 30% Family Business and Obligations, 30% My Own Business, 20% Quality Time with loved ones, and 20% for Hobbies and Self-Care.

As I was following through that allocation, it did not feel right given the actual amount of work demanding my time and energy. The work from my family businesses was a much taller pile of work compared to my own business.

While following through the draft iBalance, I ended up doing “nice-to-do” works for my own business while having a very hard time prioritizing the works of my family businesses given the limited resources that I allocated to it.

So then, I decided to relocate 10% of my resources from my own business to my family businesses. The point here is that you should try not to get too attached to your draft  iBalance. Instead, let the real situations and your intuition speak to you.

This is where I land, my iBalance right now is 40% Family Businesses and Obligations, 20% My Own Business, 20% Quality Time with loved ones, and 20% for Hobbies and Self-Care.

This is the allocation where I feel productive yet well-off physically, emotionally and mentally. This self-awareness is the crucial sign telling me that I have reached the ideal weight combination of my iBalance given the new context I operate in.

Of course, this iBalance is not set-in-stone. If I get married or want to start another business of my own on holistic health & wellness, the iBalance will look different. I have to ride on another wave of change, navigating to another iBalance.

The key takeaway for this section is that the iBalance is just a compass for us to be more intentional and practical in reaching a well-balanced lifestyle when we plan our day-to-day / weekly activities. And I hope this tool will serve you as well as it serves me 😊

So far in this series, we have covered how I drafted, followed through, and refined my new iBalance along the Busy Bee Route.

A gentle reminder though, that this is my personal approach, so please take what resonates and leave behind what does not. We all have our own style in approaching life, so let my stories be the draft template for you to start, and then add your own spin and style to your preferences!

So, let me close the Busy Bee route here, and in the next post, we will be taking on another route – the luxury of boredom.

Until next time!

With Love,

Mim

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