How to Figure out that Elusive Balance in Your Life - Part 4: Everyday responsibilities

Life Coach Comic Strip
I hate ironing. Even saying those words cannot explain how deeply I despise the chore. And yet, I do it because I have to. Does that sound familiar? I am sure you also have something that you would rather avoid, and you still do it, don't you?
Our lives are lived within a 24-hour window, and into that we have to cram working, studying, cooking, making lunch boxes, exercising, socialising with friends, looking after the kids and the pets, looking after ourselves, bathing, sleeping, and all those tasks that will never end: our chores. If ever there was a reason to give in, it is the list of chores. Even if you take care of them today, they will be there again tomorrow. If not tomorrow then the day after.
Even now, I can feel the dirty dishes piling up in the sink although I washed up a mere two hours ago. Why is that? Did someone somewhere anger the chore police and now the rest of humanity has to pay the price for it, forever more?
Life Coach Comic Strip
(everyday responsibilities)
Jokes aside, it is these daily or weekly tasks that define the way we see life. I am of the opinion that these chores are a direct way to test our attitude towards work and life. There is no gratitude, no rewards, only effort and discipline. And yet when it is done (however temporary the result), there is some measure of satisfaction too. At least for me, there is, especially when it comes to ironing. Then again, when muddy doggy paws soil the just washed kitchen floor, the satisfaction evaporates pretty fast, let me tell you.
Since I dislike ironing so much, I am incredibly focused on getting it done. I have timed myself and know exactly how long it will take me to do it. Again, a lot of effort and focus to do something that I will have to do again, and again, and again. No other chore and there are more of them that I don't like, has ever made me time myself while doing it.
Life Coach Comic Strip
(making a choice)
These tasks define the environment in which we live, don't they? A clean home, personal and environmental hygiene, own wellbeing, taking care of our loved ones and making sure we live healthy as far as possible. When I think about it, this is the bottom line of the continued effort and attitude we have towards these never-ending tasks, a better and more healthy way of living. A new mindset perhaps, but that still doesn't mean that I have to start liking ironing now.
It does mean that I will continue to get it done, and as fast and efficiently as I can manage it.
Next week we will look at the one thing that has become a sore point for everyone in modern times: money.

Until then, chin up, those chores are not going to get done by themselves.
🙋‍♀️ Lizette

How to Figure out that Elusive Life Balance - Part 3: Physical Wellbeing

The Life Coach Comic Strip
Taking care of our bodies is sometimes the hardest thing to do, purely because of all the temptations that surround us, and the busy lives we lead.
This morning when I woke up, I felt like a zombie. My mind felt foggy and my muscles overly tired. At first, I thought my blood pressure was high (since the foggy mind reminded me of a few occasions where that had been the case) but the tired muscles made no sense, so I ascribed it to a restless night or something. I don't need much sleep, but I went to bed at my usual time so that argument holds no water either.
When I eventually got around to taking my blood pressure, the results were nowhere near 'high'. It wasn't exactly normal, but it was much lower than I what I expected it to be given the way I felt. Then I remembered.
Yesterday, I ate too many of the wrong things for someone who has a blood sugar problem. Then everything made sense. The foggy brain, the lethargy in my muscles, even sleeping longer than what is normal for me. Being terrible to my body caused my blood sugar to drop very low overnight, and my body had to work very hard to extract enough energy from my muscles (the quickest way) to fuel my brain, the organ in the body that requires the most energy to function. By not being mindful of the things I ate yesterday, I had been abusive towards my own body instead of taking care of it.
The Life Coach Comic Strip
(Physical Wellbeing)
It took several hours after waking up until I felt normal again. A lesson I would do well not to forget.
My case may sound a little extreme to you, but I should know better since this is a condition I have been living with for years.
It also reminded me of a conversation I had with someone at work not too long ago. The woman mentioned eating too many takeaways in recent days, and she was starting to feel the effects of it. While she knew fast food is not good for her (her words), a hectic life caused her to neglect her health.
Moreover, she is not the only one. As my story above told you that even with a medical condition, I sometimes slip up. How easy it is these days to quickly pop in for a takeaway meal on the way home. How easy it is to skip going to the gym today because we are too tired from work, or too busy with something else to find the time. And before you know it, weeks have gone by before you realise what you have or not have done to yourself.
When you are young, catching up is easy. Reversing (to some extent) the damage you do to your body with a bad diet, and terrible drinking habits can be managed by making more healthy decisions going forward.
However, when you are not so young anymore (like I am) things are not so easy or quick to undo. Recovering from one day of bad eating will take another day or so only because my body needs more time to heal.
The Life Coach Comic Strip
(Time to Choose)
If you are living a life filled with bad habits, now might be a good time to reconsider the alcohol binges, eating fast food five times a week, and staring at the television as a means to exercise.
Our bodies can take a lot of punishment, but growing older all those bad habits do start to catch up with you and just when you need to be more healthy. Taking care of our bodies should not be just a fashion thing or something we do to impress others. We only have one body, and not taking care of it properly during our lifetime, will reduce our life expectancy and just as the statistics say that we should be living longer.
Next time we will look at our everyday stuff and how that can influence the way we live our lives.
Until then, look after your body because you need it for the rest of your life.


How to Figure out that Elusive Balance in your Life - Part 2: Education and Career

The Life Coach Comic Strip
When was the last time you sat down and figured out if you still liked what you do for a living? Nobody has the perfect job, and no one works for the perfect boss in the perfect company, and yet we stay stuck in jobs we don't like. Yes, we whine about our bosses and the company politics, and this guy's attitude or that woman's incompetence, but what about our own situation?
It is deceptively easy to complain about the things around us. When you sit down and reflect on the work you spent years studying for, or several courses to stay ahead of the game, you know you are not happy. Yet, you stay there doing the same thing day after day.

Here are a few questions that you need to (honestly) answer for yourself:
1. How satisfied are you with your career achievements?
2. Does your career stimulate you and help to help you develop as a person?
3. How satisfied are you with your relationships at work?
4. Is your working life in balance with the rest of your life?
5. Do you want to change your career, your employer, or both?

The Life Coach Comic Strip
(Education and Career)
These questions are but a few of the things you need to consider, but if your answers to these five do not leave you with a positive feeling, then it might be time to reconsider your professional journey.
I live in a country where people go to university (or other educational institution), get their qualifications and then do that exact same kind of work for the rest of their lives. The only exception would be if they get promoted into management positions, and often because they don't see any other advancement options available to them.
Very few new managers ask for training, mentoring or coaching to help them get into this career, and even fewer of them leave the company to do what they rather want to do somewhere else. Or change careers altogether. It may be the way we are raised in this country, or perhaps people instead want financial security instead of living a life of contentment and satisfaction.
From personal experience, these two (security and happiness) are not exclusive. I have changed careers over the years and continue to learn and educate myself for new (and different) opportunities in the future.
Fear and uncertainty are huge motivators for people not to change because rather the devil you know that the one you don't know, right? However, is this way of thinking really what you need? Change is only a problem for people who are satisfied in their comfort zones, however uncomfortable that situation might be. It is only when the discomfort becomes unbearable that change. The only question relevant here is: how much more time are you going to waste in that uncomfortable zone?
The Life Coach Comic Strip
(Time to choose)
The younger generation finds it easier to make those changes, but middle age shouldn't stop anyone from making changes in their own lives too. Retired, but not ready to sit on the porch? This is the place you want to be. You have the opportunity now to be a coach or mentor to someone else, and get paid for it!

So here is the question again (rephrased a bit): if you are not happy in your current job, why are you still there?

Next time we take a look at our physical wellbeing.
Until then, make your work life the best for your wellbeing.

✍️ Lizette

Course work and writing...a challenge this week

Source Free Image @ Unsplash
I was a bit quiet this week, and not entirely of my own doing. I am doing an online course in Training and Development Management and the homework this past week was a bit more challenging and required more of my time. It is one of those things that you cannot just email the lecturer and tell him: "Sorry, I need more time because my blogs required my attention."
So this week the promised Part 2 of the Life Coach will stand over until I can edit it before posting. But I have a little snack for you in the meantime, another list of useful articles to read. The list includes one of the references I am using in my next book, Take Your Journal to the Next Level, and a few articles I needed myself this week.

Here is the list for this week:

Take care!


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