Work-life sway is the act of swaying back and forth between your personal life and professional life. (It also has a nicer ring to it than “balancing act”!) The difference between balancing and swaying is the word “balance” can cause a mental negative block, like feeling “off-balanced”.
Swaying is the act of being more fluid, purposeful, and going with the flow. Sway is also a more accurate reflection of what all working moms actually do.
Commit to a Work-Life Sway Mindset
In order to get into a swaying mindset, you’ll need to acknowledge when you begin to
Take Time to Reflect on All the Work You’ve Done
You know that you work hard and accomplish so much, but have you taken the time to reflect on all the work that you do, especially all of your accomplishments both big and small? This isn’t meant to exhaust you; rather, it’s meant for you to realize what you’re capable of and who you are. You are one impressive working mom with lots of potential.
Write about your personal and professional accomplishments. If you’re stumped, clean out your work and personal email. Read through your Facebook or Instagram feed — what have you pinned that you successfully made or completed? Lastly, read through your most recent performance review that you received at the end of the year or quarter.
Then to keep the momentum going go buy a journal and reflect every quarter or monthly on all the work you do.
Commit to a Self-Care Plan
If you haven’t taken great care of yourself this past year, forget the past and look forward. It’s time to focus on the positive and upgrade your self-care plan. The first step is to actually create a plan then mark it in your calendar.
Make a list of things you’d love to do — for yourself and no one else — each month. Then book these things in advance. You can start simple: For example, every Sunday night you can end your weekend with a hot bubble bath with your favorite bath salt. No matter what it is you do for you, practicing self-care is easier to follow through with when you have a scheduled plan.
Buy an Activity Tracker to Monitor Your Sleep and Exercise
Two things that will always make you feel better is exercise and a good night’s rest. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for working mothers to fit both of these things into their busy lives. To help keep you accountable use an activity tracker to monitor how well you sleep and how much exercise you’re getting.
Having a tracker can do more than keep you on top of your health. You can also challenge friends to do the same. Great things can happen when you team up with others to get healthy.
Strengthen Your Support System
Your support system consists of the people in your life that can help you out either professionally and personally. How good is your support system right now? Are there any areas where you feel it’s a bit weak? If you know it’s not as solid as it can be, make a resolution to make your tribe stronger.
Do you lack a dependable babysitter? Start a search for someone by asking local friends who they use. Ask your daycare provider if they can recommend anyone. Make up a list of questions and interview people until you feel you’ve found the right fit.
Do you need a mentor at work or a coach to help smooth out your work/life sway? Having guidance helps you tackle problems that may otherwise take you longer to resolve. A mentor or a coach can push you to be the best working mom you can be, as long as you’re up to the challenge.
Once you’ve determined where your system could use work, put a plan in place to strengthen it by the end of the year.
Color Code Your Calendar
Of course, you have a calendar — how else could you keep things (relatively) organized? Make this year easier to manage by color coding it. Regardless if you use an online calendar, paper, or whiteboard you can commit to coloring it.
Color not only makes it easier to read but it also can cause positive emotions. Each person in your family could have a color. If it’s only you and your spouse you keep track of color code events. For instance, for all self-care events make them your favorite color. When you look at your calendar and you see this color it’ll cause you happiness.
Start Setting Personal and Professional Goals
Do you feel like your life is lacking something? Then this is the year to change that. In order to make changes, you need to make a plan, set goals, and write it down. Use the S.M.A.R.T. system to create your goals. The acronym has a few different meanings, so here’s an example: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based.
Once you have your goals planned out for each month or business quarter you need to have visual reminders like sticky notes or cork board with things pinned to it. You could spend New Year’s Eve creating a vision board you can stare at every morning when you wake up.
Your life doesn’t have to stay stagnant just because you’re busy taking care of everyone else. Resolutions are a way to make change happen, but only if you figure out and implement ways to actually incorporate them into your life.
Culled from The Balance Careers