On this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Marie Levay-Pabst, who works with parents to create balanced lives. As the mom of two, she has done the work herself and knows that there is no magical time unicorn.
Marie suggests starting by tracking. For two weeks, every day you either note something you’re grateful for or a moment you experience joy. Just track that and where you are spending your time. Don’t judge, just track. This will help you start to notice what you value, which is a critical piece of creating balance.
Marie walks us through the basics of her process from tracking to naming values to creating a plan to living it. And she reminds us that there is always a reset (thank goodness, right?) and that it’s cyclical. “So many people run into thinking there’s some elusive fix version of their life out there they just have to find and that’s not true. It’s cyclical, our lives are cyclical. Our children are always changing. Just about the time you figure out what they need, they need something new.”
We talk about:
- struggling with work-life balance even if you are hugely efficient and the reminder that there is no one “fix,” our lives our cyclical and balance is something we create again and again over time
- identifying personal and family essential values to guide where you put your time and energy
- tracking time, joy, hopes, plans, and dreams to help you create balance
- ruthless time blocking, in small doses, to match your values
- minimizing time spent on things that don’t align with your values and how batching tasks helps take care of the stuff of life
- the role of to-do lists: “Your to-do list is not your self-worth. It’s a list that keeps that stuff out of your brain. You can put your mental energy on things that matter most.”
Marie Levey-Pabst is founder and a life-balance consultant at Create Balance. She teaches overwhelmed parents who are struggling to balance family, work, and personal fulfillment how to create balance around their own unique essential values, priorities, and personal strengths. She is a mother of two, a life-long educator, a coach and a writer.
- Create Balance—www.createbalancedlife.com
- Family Meetings with Cate Stillman – https://plansimple.com/cate-stillman/
Doable Changes from this episode:
- TRACK MOMENTS OF JOY. For two weeks, notice moments of joy each day. Track what gives you joy without judgement. This is a starting point to see what you want more of in your life.
- TIME BLOCK RUTHLESSLY. Choose something you really value. For many parents Marie works with it is focused time with their kids. Create a block of time—not 20 hours a week, but maybe one or two hours, or half an hour a day—when you will do this. Mark it in your planner. Then keep that appointment. Turn off notifications on your phone and have that focused time.
- BATCH TASKS. The stuff of life doesn’t go away just because you have focused on your values. Batch like tasks and block off time for that. This could look like setting aside an hour to make phone calls for appointments and deal with papers or setting aside an afternoon to batch cook meals for the week. It could even look like setting aside every Thursday for family time. You’ll know to say no to other engagements that day and if there are things you want to do—a movie you want to see or a museum you want to go to—you’ll schedule it on family day rather than dither about when to go.
REALLY getting healthy as a family can be a big lifestyle change. But no matter how insurmountable it may feel, focusing on one doable change at a time can help you take small steps toward your big goal.
A healthy lifestyle is really made of lots of little things that when repeated regularly and added together over time make a huge impact on your life.
Choose one Doable Change every Sunday night — one thing that you are willing to play with for the week. The key is to keep it doable and fun! Write that thing on a sticky note or your phone so you remember it. Then put 3 things on your calendar that support it.
Choose from the changes above or download a list of 101 Doable Changes we made for you.