I've never been much of a 'planner'. Having a solid structure always felt a little too constricting for my liking. A little too tight. No room to wiggle. Along with it came 'obligation', which to me, feels like the opposite of freedom in my bones.
Does it feel that way for you as well?
The truth is, and this is what my intuition whispers to me, is that laying down the bricks of my foundation, and having a blueprint to guide me is what I need most. Not setting the tone is the opposite of empowerment, it leaves me feeling scatterbrained and overwhelmed. Everything looks a little too big from my perspective, and that's when the procrastination sets in. I'm left thinking about all the things that I need to get done, without actually doing any of them,
Has this ever happened to you?
There are two different kinds of structure: the kind that leave you feeling imprisoned, and the kind that set you free. Gone are the days where we feel like in order to be successful, we need to sacrifice our well being. Let's lovingly shove that notion to the side and give ourselves permission to live a life that we truly love, make a difference in this world, and feel free while doing so.
Are you ready to get there? Start here:
Create a Morning Ritual
The beautiful thing about carving out time for ritual, whether that be first thing in the morning (or in the evening if that suits you), is that it's personalized. There's no perfect formula for boosting productivity or creating the ultimate zen-like experience, there's only what works for you.
It's easy to get caught up in the perfect morning routines splashed across blogs and social media but the downfall is that often we're left feeling less-than in a state of comparison.
Take the seriousness out of "creating an amazing morning routine" and play with it. Adjust as you go. Some days that might be jumping out of bed for an early AM workout, other days it might be peeling your eyes open, reading a few more pages of your book. It could be cooking up a luxurious breakfast or seeking stillness in meditation before an action-packed day.
Speaking from my own experience, I would set my alarm as late as possible only to jump out of bed, race around my apartment in a mad dash to get the door and get to work. Over time, I've slowly adjusted, allowing myself time to take a few extra moments laying in bed, whip up a delicious smoothie, or move my body in some way. I've found that in the winter months, I need more sleep than what I do in the summer, so I honour myself by listening to what my body needs.
The key takeaway here is that this is your sacred time. Give yourself permission to revel in that.
Designate Your Days
What happens when I don't schedule my time: stuck 'in my head', more time out of my heart, less time being present, scatterbrained, thing-to-do list is kept on re-run, time spent on self-care is countered by feeling guilty for not being productive.
What happens when I schedule my time: I'm more able to be present in the moment, I make room for spaciousness, and I feel more connected to my goals, work, relationships, my body, and soul.
Blocking out time for specific tasks (like exercise, yoga, date nights) on certain days allows me to stay focused on others (like work, blogging, brainstorming, writing) so that I can be engaged in what I'm facing when it's in front of me, rather like having the guilt of "Oh, I really should be doing ______ instead."
Make Room For Play
We live in a world where the busyness epidemic is wide-spread and downright inescapable. If you've ever uttered the words, "I'm just so busy right now, I have so much on my plate." chances are that just means you're human.
Compare your schedule to playdough. You can shape it, shift it, and mould it however you like. The current model in your hands? You've created that. You chose the colour, shape, and size. If it doesn't feel right, you have the power to change it. Ask yourself: What can I move around, remove completely, or add in to make this feel more aligned with what I want?
You - you glorious, beautiful, perfectly imperfect human - are so much more than what you do. Disengage from identifying what you do with who you are, and make room for your soul to soar. Carve out time for spontaneity, for a beautiful evening catching up with a friend, a rejuvenating day at the spa, time to sprawl out on a beach towel on the sand, filling up your inspiration cup out in nature, playing a game with the people who make you laugh until your face hurts.
LET'S CHAT: How do you feel when it comes to structure? What does this look like in your life right now? Moving forward, how do you want to manage and explore 'structure'?
As always, I would absolutely LOVE to dive into this more in the comments. This is something that I'm handling at the moment and it's a very "day-by-day" process - sometimes I run freely while other times I fall flat on my face, but that's what the learning process is all about. Our achievements are much more than just our 'wins', they are also our bumps, bruises, and lessons along the way.