For busy high-achievers, life certainly has its moments. And sometimes, with all our big ideas, big projects, big goals, and big lives, life can seem . . . hard.
Okay, not seem hard. Sometimes it’s a really difficult challenge. But here’s the thing. We don’t like to believe or admit this, but for many busy women, WE are the biggest obstacle to a life with more ease and less stress. It’s true. A lot of the time, with a few simple tweaks and adjustments, life could be easier. Heck, even the tough stuff could be less of a struggle.
Without making it too complicated, here are a few ways you might be able to make your life easier, less stressful, and more fun.
1.Preserve your brain space. In a complicated life, your brain, your thoughts, and your mental energy represent valuable real estate. Don’t waste this on places that don’t matter. Consider what you can ritualize or turn into a routine or system that doesn’t require a lot of thought. For example, plan your menus weekly instead of feeling overwhelmed each evening with the “what’s for dinner?” question, then save your grocery lists and weekly menus until you have four or five weeks of them. You’ll never have to start planning from scratch again—unless you want to.
2.Prioritize and schedule. Before you dive into your day, it’s worth taking ten minutes to plan for success. Identify both what your priorities are and when you are going to make the time for them.
3.Gather your mojo. Even the hardest jobs get easier when we have reasons for doing them that inspire action and passion. If you need convincing, just think of the people who run into burning buildings to save someone trapped inside. A compelling “why” will allow you to move mountains. It will also help you move past fears of public speaking, procrastination, and even weight loss plateaus. If you are feeling stuck or uninspired or paralyzed, try asking yourself why you are attempting what you are attempting. Why is it important? What is the result you are seeking? What possibilities or options will completing it create? If that reason isn’t compelling enough, dig deeper.
4.Ask for help. This is the place where I find the most instant ease. It seems so obvious, but it’s also a place we tend to overlook—all the time. Other people have answers and skills and talents that we don’t have. It’s more fun to do something difficult in the company of others. It’s also a whole lot easier not to get trapped in mindsets that sabotage us when we are moving forward with someone else.
5.Approach yourself and your life with kindness. Ditch the perfectionism. Reward your progress and recognize your efforts. Treat yourself as you would a good friend or your mother—and pay attention if that’s entirely different from how you normally judge and talk to yourself. Be open to tweaking and readjusting instead of trying to force things to happen. See your progress as an experiment. Be open to what works, and see what doesn’t as an opportunity to self-correct, not as a failure.
There are so many ways that we can over-complicate things or sabotage ourselves. The good news is, there are just as many ways that we can step out of our own way and lighten our own load. I’d love to hear from you. What have you found makes the tough stuff easier? Leave a comment and share your success and your favorite strategies.