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Unplanned Hiatuses

Happy October, folks! It has been quite some time since I've blogged. A whole quarter! But I'm back for Q4, and I have a lot to say. This month's blog will focus less on financial tips and more on how living out your values daily is an intentional practice, and what you can do when you're off track.

I was led to blog and coach people because I am passionate about helping them live values-led financial lives. Heavy emphasis on the values part. I try to live every facet of my life through the lens of my values. It's how I set my annual goals, and adjust them each quarter. It's also certainly how I make my financial decisions. However, sometimes I get lost in the sauce and don't live out my values daily. (It's odd how easy it is to live a values-led life in the big picture, but harder in the day-to-day!) And that lack of honoring my values, specifically my value of Perfect Pace, is why I took an unplanned hiatus.

Let me back up and define my value of Perfect Pace. To me, it means balancing my need for productivity with my need for rest. It is trusting that there is a time for everything and that everything that needs to be done will get done. Living out this value helps me to achieve what I want to while also intentionally resting; it reminds me that I have inherent worth that is not defined by how productive I am. And y'all...I have not been honoring this value.

One of my goals this year was to take two Sabbaths a month. Sabbaths (a Biblical practice) are days of rest, where I only do things that fill me up (studying the Bible, spending time with loved ones) and cannot do chores or work-related things (like rolling out of bed immediately and starting to clean). The goal was to set aside a day twice a month where I intentionally rested. While I nominally kept these days sacred, I overloaded every other day with more stuff. I started to say yes to some amazing things. I picked up more projects at work; I started serving more and in varied capacities at church; I posted on social media twice a week for the first six months of the year; I started a new relationship. I had a very full life! What I did not have was time to slow down.

I knew I was approaching overwhelm, and that if I continued at the current pace, I would burn out. So I decided to take July off from anything related to my coaching business. It's interesting how the mind and body compensate for you taking on too much. July rolled into August and my brain refused to jump back into coaching business-related tasks; hence my unplanned hiatus. It was as if my brain said "Thank you for taking one thing off my plate. You cannot add it back." Then my body jumped on board, and I got sick for the first time in over a year. Completely took me out. I had to pause and slow down because there was no other option.

I am now recognizing that this is a pattern in my life. I set good intentions early on, and then I let my boundaries slip and completely wear myself out. My mind and body shut down, and I have to reset my boundaries again. Thankfully, this time I noticed the signs and started to take action, but not quickly enough to prevent my mind and body from rebelling.

To resolve taking on too much, I did a time audit. I organized my life into five categories and wrote down all the things I participated in for each category. For example: in my work category I wrote down all my responsibilities and all the extra things I'd taken on at work. I then used my values as a filtering method to determine what I wanted to continue doing in each category. I ended up with a much shorter list of values-aligned things I wanted to continue. From there, I had a list of to-do items to reduce things on my plate. Some tasks included: (1) sending my boss an email about what I wanted to step back from, (2) determining one day a week from now until the end of the year when I don't have any plans, and (3) talking with women I mentor about what I can feasibly commit to.

I'm still in the process of unloading things from my plate, but my mind is clearer and for two weeks, I've had no plans on Mondays after work (what a glorious feeling!). By honoring my value of Perfect Pace, I've been able to be more present in my relationships, and more focused at work. I'm already seeing the benefits of incorporating intentional rest.

My question to you is, what value have you fallen short of honoring? Where do you need to reevaluate? How can recentering that value benefit your life? It can sometimes feel like once you've fallen off the wagon, you can't get back on. I'm here to tell you that isn't true. Every day is a new day to try something different. You still have time to start or return to living a values-led life.

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