How to Break Free From Your Rigid Rules Right Now

We all have rules, or better yet, guidelines in the way we live our lives.

In fact, it is helpful to have them as they keep us on track as we navigate our days. Rules that are realistic and flexible serve us positively. These are the kinds of rules we want to be sure are guiding our days. 
There are signs though when it’s time to cross-check our rules to re-evaluate how they are serving us. Key indicators are feelings of disappointment and criticism. These feelings may be pointed inwardly at ourselves, or possibly towards others.

We may have rules about:

  • a right way or a wrong way to do things

  • how often to work out

  • what we eat or don’t eat, when we eat, etc.

  • what it means to be the best

  • how tidy our home is supposed to be

  • how late we stay up

We all have our own individual set of rules. What are yours? Once you have identified them, take a quick inventory to assess where you are at with each one.

Ask yourself:

  • Are any of my rules rigid? 

  • How do I react when my rules are broken?

  • How do I feel about myself when I do not adhere to my rules? 

  • How do I feel and react when other people get in the way of my rules or break them?

When we know what our rules are and how they impact us, we can bring some awareness around the ones that need our attention. For example, let’s say I have a rule about the right way to fold clothes. When my husband folds them, I get frustrated that they are folded wrong and react by huffing and puffing that now I have to fold them all over again. So instead of being loving and kind towards my husband, if I hold this rule about folding clothes, I would react in a disappointed way towards him. This reaction would likely cause my husband to feel disappointed in return that his attempt to be helpful completely backfired. [Poor hubby.]
Sound familiar?
It’s essential that we create a routine for checking in with ourselves from time to time to assess where things have become rigid. By creating more awareness around our rules, we can act more accordingly with what we want. 
Flexibility is key. 
Truthfully, we are the ones who suffer most when we hold such rigid ways for being in the world. We are the ones who are having an internal frenzy about what’s right and wrong, good and bad, etc. We are the ones who give a care.

I can’t tell you enough how much it drives me crazy when I hear intelligent, competent women bonding with each other over how they are going to punish themselves the following the day at the gym by doing extra cardio for enjoying a piece of cake at a party. It makes me sad that this is the culture of rule-abiding that we live in. That we are not allowed to have cake. That we are not allowed to enjoy cake. That if we have cake, we have to reverse it.

So here’s my loving nudge to you: Let go of your rules, darling.

Enjoy an unmade bed once in a while. Eat dinner a little later than usual. Say thank you when your guy buys you tulips, instead of peonies, your favorite.
And most importantly. Eat the cake. 
And enjoy it!

Why It's Time to Think Different About Balance

Things had been going so well.

I was on point with all the things.  Writing.  Client meetings.  Sleep.  Eating well. Exercise. Attending social events. 

Then BAM.

Something came along that wasn’t planned. 

It wasn’t part of the things.  And it threw me off.

I rescheduled social events and meetings.  Writing was postponed.  Exercise fell by the wayside.

I tend to sway when things don’t go as planned.  I grant myself permission to not be so on point with things as I gradually I ease back into my routines.  But after a few days, I can get hard on myself.  The perfectionist part of my personality shows up and wants to get back on track.  Now! And naturally, the laid-back, right-brain part of me puts up a fit and prefers to just let things be.  No rush, lady.

This all-or-nothing response can show up in many ways. 

For some people, it might be with a diet.  You eat completely clean or it’s a free-for-all.   You work, work, work, work, work, work (thanks for the verbiage, Ri,Ri…) and have ZERO social life.  You consistently exercise or you don’t go to the gym at all.

These are prime examples of all-or-nothing and the very real struggle of work-life balance.

But what if we thought differently about balance? 

What if, balance really is all about the moving parts?

The ups, the downs, the all, and the nothing? What if all of it is part of balance?

I heard an incredible visual recently when thinking about balance that ties in yoga.  When in Mountain Pose, both feet are planted firmly on the ground, and yet, if you pay close attention, you’ll notice your body kind of naturally circles and pivots round and round.  Occasionally, you will notice you are completely hovered over center, and then you continue to sway around the center point.

We feel our very best when we are perfectly centered, and things are going right on point. 

Yet, if we recognize the swaying as part of the balancing, we can be a little kinder to ourselves and recognize we are still balanced.  

We are still standing.  We may have veered a little over to one side more than the other, but we’re still up. 

3 Tips for Getting Your Productivity On

Have you ever had one of those majorly productive days where you look back at the clock and realize the whole day has gone by and you never even took a lunch break? You rocked all those things you needed to get done. You happily head home, while checking off x, y, and z from your list.
Those days are the best. It feels great to power through the to-do’s. But if you’re anything like me, the following day is where things get interesting. You might find yourself feeling all revved up initially.

And then, the slump comes in. All that energy?? Gone. Out the door. 
I had this very experience recently and talked about it with my friend. I told her I’d been feeling a little down because I would have these super productive days, and then whoooooop, nothing. No energy. (Can you relate!?) She said something to me in that moment that I really needed to hear. What if this is all just part of how I work? That I’m somebody who has one or two super productive days a week, and the days that follow I may experience lower energy levels. If I know this moving forward, I can seize the days I’m feeling my energy peak, and plan to do my most important work during this time. Talk about a game-changer!
So, how about you? What’s your productivity like? When does your energy peak? Are you like me, and experience energy in waves, or do you find that your energy is consistently high at a certain time of the day?

Here are my top 3 tips for getting your very own productivity on:
1. Identify your own personal patterns of energy.

Start by taking inventory of your own energy levels. I recommend taking a week to do a little self-research. Log your energy levels based on your schedule. Do certain errands tire you out? Do various work tasks promote or drain your energy? Get clear on what they are.

2. Try to plan around your energy if possible. 

The purpose of planning around your energy levels is so you can be more effective at getting what you want done, DONE. Have you been wanting to work out more often? Plan to take a class on those high-energy days. Are you needing to get a project done by a certain date? Commit to doing that project first thing on the days you feel your energy peak.

3. Don’t be hard on yourself for having low productivity on your low-energy days. 

Instead, give yourself some love for having such a productive day and allow your body the rest that it needs to replenish for the next one. Try to do the things that don’t require so much thought and creativity in the meantime, while tending to the things that still have to get done, like your everyday tasks. 
Once you understand your own personal energy flow, you’ll be getting your productivity on in no time.