If you want more work-life balance in 2018 schedule your "life"

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I took some time off over the holidays. I stepped back entirely from my day job and distanced myself from YOM. It was delightful. I used part of my time to regroup, get things organized, get ready for the new year, and try new cocktail recipes.  Decluttering, organizing my 2018 planner, and most importantly cleaning out my closet. Yes, there would be order in Yom’s life in the new year. But, it wasn’t until I saw the first blooms on my Xmas cactus (real name Schlumbergera), you know the one from Trader Joe’s, did I know how to get it.

I like to think I’ve got my sh*t (yes, I can say it, but...I'm a mom) together since I talk about how you can get yours together in my posts all the time.  And, I do. I set SMART goals and create action plans. I keep a work calendar, track important dates and prioritize. But, despite all that I've got to admit I'm still running around like a crazy ass woman half the time.  I usually attribute it to being so busy, but I swear, I didn't get it (as in the light bulb over my head) until I saw those blooms. That cactus is incredible. All it needs is indirect light and a little water and every year, in mid-December, it blooms. Every. Single. Year. Like clockwork. When I saw the cactus this year, I realized, I was missing clockwork. I needed more clockwork in my life! Duh, Dory! 

So, I’m adding clockwork to my life in 2018. Sadly, I hadn’t planned on that being my new year focus - clockwork isn’t as sexy as some of the other New Year Resolutions I could imagine. It just happened. But, more consistency in scheduling my life is going to let me bloom.  More consistency in scheduling will help life be more predictable. More consistency will help me be mindful of self-care. In other words, clockwork will make the whole work-life balance thing more attainable.  I’m going to:

Say “Yes, and the next one, please”

Every time someone asks if they can book my next appointment I'm going to say "Yes, and the next one, please." So, that annoying question because I’m in such a hurry is not going to be dismissed any longer. I'm going to take three minutes and schedule those damn dentist, doctor, nail and hair appointments right then instead of saying, I'll call you back. And, I’ve decided that rather than being wide open on days, Wednesday and Saturday mornings are my new preferred appointment days for anything and everything.

Reserve time with friends and family

I don’t want to look at another person during the holidays and feel like I only had the CliffNotes version of their lives during the year. So, I’m taking the initiative to reach out to these VIPs in my life and get a recurring coffee, lunch, dinner, or drinks appointment on the calendar. By designating time, I’m making relationships a priority. 

Add celebration reminder dates

I'm going to add all the birthdays, holidays and other celebrations in my life during the entire year to my calendar, and add a buffer for planning and shopping accordingly. Even though I know these important dates, they always seem to sneak up on me. Every. Single. Year. I'm determined not to let that happen in 2018 because it directly correlates with relationships.

Spread the word

I'm going to visit Paper Source and stock up on blank note cards and stamps so I can hand deliver or mail cards for special occasions, to thank people, or, just because. All occasions card sets aren't what they used to be. I want this Kate Spade set and this one on the Papyrus site so I can be ready for everything.

Schedule my Me time

My Me time includes time for lunch and breaks away from my desk because I have a tendency to stay put for hours. Time to read and learn blocked out on my calendar since that’s a priority too. Time to stretch and take deep breaths. Time to read magazines that I get but never open. Time to take a leisurely shower, or maybe even a bath. And, yes, I am going to schedule my workouts. I need to be my most important person.

When I look at my weekly schedule, I want both my life and work represented. I want personal appointments to be just as necessary as work appointments. I want to keep that scheduled lunch appointment. When I'm working late, I want to look at the calendar and see a workout appointment, then dinner, even if it's at home,  so that I stop working, and live. I want to say "No can do" when a last-minute meeting request rolls in.  "I can't stay. I have an appointment that's been on my schedule for weeks."  Yes, I'm expecting life to be more manageable and meaningful. Actually, I'm expecting blooms!

Happy 2018! Are you doing anything to add more balance in the new year?