Balancing Life

In my first post for this blog I spent some time discussing why I had decided to start with this blog and why I was not focusing on one specific niche. I have my hands in so many projects and ideas that it would not have served me well to focus on one specific area. Since I appear to have a full plate and hectic schedule I always get asked the “how do you do it?” question. I mean; motherhood, career, entrepreneurship, blogging, learning, speaking, fashion design, and wife duties as well as running a household. I will cover it all in this post, believe me it is not a one woman show, I have a lot of support from my family and the people I surround myself with. I will share a few nuggets on how you can take a few of my tricks and use them to help you balance your lives too. I acknowledge that not everyone’s situation is the same and I am the first to admit I have it better than most. My parents live with us and that takes care of one of the biggest challenges that most people face ,which is CHILDCARE so I will start off by addressing that issue.

1.CHILDCARE: We all have our little munchkins that we love so much and making sure they grow into healthy responsible adults is one of our biggest priorities. In order to achieve this we make every effort to ensure they are under the care of the most trustworthy individuals. As a result there is really a very small circle of people that we we end up trusting to look after our kids. When they are in school we at least know they are under capable hands unless you start seeing all these crazy gun shootings that have been going on. As parents we have the responsibility of coordinating the care of our kids, if we are at work who will pick up the kids and look after them until we are in a position to pick them up ourselves.All sorts of different scenarios. All this requires a , of time from us so it can therefore be challenging to find the time to do other things. If finding appropriate childcare is an issue that you face on a regular basis here is something worth considering that has worked for me in the past. A little out of the box thinking but a great way on ensuring your kids are safely cared for while take that needed date night is using your circle of friends, especially those that also have kids. It requires a little bit of give and take as you can all help each other out with childcare as needed. If you are one of those moms that doesn’t attempt to mingle or get to know the other moms at the school this is the time to get social. Get to know the parents of the kids your kids hang out with as these are the people you could trade childcare with. Trust in your people judgement skills and take the needed time to get to know these people. They might actually be some decent human beings that you can learn to trust and have a mutually beneficial relationship with by sharing childcare with them.

2.ME TIME: Once you figure out the childcare issues you will now be in a position to take advantage of creating some ME TIME, yes this exists and you need to start doing this for your sanity. This is one of the great ways of maintaining balance in your life. You have to create the time to date yourself and do things just for you. It makes for a well balanced, happy home, no one like to have a stressed out mommy around as this just makes for a miserable home.

3. PERSONAL GOALS: Most people I know have personal goals, whether they work on them or not is another story. What I find useful in helping me balance my life is creating personal goals at the beginning of the year and revisiting them on a monthly basis. SOme goals are easier to stick to then others and by checking in every month I am able to priorities and reshuffle what aint working. This helps me stay on schedule as I usually try and place deadlines on my goals in order to push myself to move from the dreaming stage to the action stage. I am not perfect but this is a way forward. By revisiting my goals on a monthly basis I can gauge the progress or lack of progress I have made towards the goals and believe it or not this helps in keeping me balanced.

4.FRIENDS: Besides your me time you need friends to help you with maintaining a balanced life so that you don’t feel like you are constantly peddling the hamster wheel. I am talking about the type of friends that can be supportive yet honest with you when you are acting the fool. You know the type that won’t let you wallow in your sorrow when you feel like the world somehow wronged you. We are so good at creating stories in our heads that keep us focused on our problems that we need friends that are able to tell us to get over ourselves. These are the friends that offer a listening ear to our venting our crying and our celebrations. Having such friends around has made my life so much easier.

5.TO DO LISTS: These work for some, and they tend to work for me as well. I am still trying to master the art, I have monthly to do lists and find if I don’t break these down further I end up not getting anything done. I have therefore started having weekly and daily to do lists as well. Every sunday I look at my big goals and create a to do list for the week and this helps me avoid overwhelm. I then break these down further to daily to do lists by creating a list of things I would like to get done for the following day.Tackling one thing at time is great and i get a sense of accomplishment when I get to cross out my achievements. I dont give myself a hard time if i am unable to complete the tasks for a given day, I simply add it to the list for the following day.

I have a lot more to share but I don’t want to loose you with too long a post so I will plan a future post to cover more tips and tricks to help you live a balanced life. I hope you are all remembering to STOP, TAKE A BREATH , AND REASSESS LIFE as you go about your daily business. Until the next post

With Love and Gratitude

Dr Fatsani Dogani

My take on goal setting

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I am one person who doesn’t shy away from setting ambitious goals. I have been setting goals for some years now but the weakness that I have is that I don’t always see them through. I have a funny habit of buying cute looking notebooks from the dollar store and I always have the best intentions of using them as my goal and idea books. I always start off well but somehow midway through the year I find myself forgetting all about these little notebooks, when I find them a year or two later I see all the ideas and goals that were great on paper but that never amounted to anything. I sometimes look at some of my goals from 7 to 10 years back and ask myself where would life be if I had put these ideas into action. I try not to dwell too much on the what might have been but rather also focus on the fact that everyone’s path is different and oftentimes there are  reasons why god lets us take the paths we lead.  I am accepting of the fact that my journey was meant to take me here. Now is my time to Stop, Take a Breath, and Reassess Life. With that has come the realisation that I have been going about this whole goal setting business the wrong way. I have always had great goals but I lacked a method of  sustaining the interest that would have encouraged me to take the action necessary to achieve the goals.   I came to this realisation as  I was going through a change management online course the other day. Within the course content there was an old Japanese proverb that I believe was directly speaking to me.

Vision without action is a daydream , action without vision is a nightmare.”

What this means to me is that all those goals (vision) I had were daydreams because I did not take any action towards them or even attempt to have a strategy thinking session as to how I would achieve them. At the same time starting out with action without really having a clear vision is a nightmare. To break it down even further, if my goal was to run a marathon and I did nothing towards this goal that goal would mean I was just daydreaming. Similarly if I just started running without having a clear vision of why I was running , I would be setting myself up for failure (nightmare).  I therefore came to the realization that the goals that I had been able to achieve in my life were due to the fact that I had a clear vision for them and actually took the action towards them , such as pursuing my PhD or starting my fashion business with my best friend.

What I am trying to share is that when you set your goals you have to have a clear vision of what the outcome is going to be, the goal has to be able to move you towards taking the steps and action necessary to get you to where you want to be. Goal setting should not be taken lightly , it should be taken as a major responsibility to be treated with the utmost importance. After all, this is you finally giving yourself the permission to do something about living the life you want to live. You are now saying to society ” this is not what life is all about, I can be more than this, I can do more than this , I wasn’t meant to be mediocre, I was meant to be great.” Once you give yourself the permission to improve your life and to live your best life now, you will find that the goals come to you. What have you always wanted to do, what have you always thought was out of reach?Once you start to visualise and set the goals, your mind opens up to opportunities that can lead you to your better life. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you set goals and sit back, you have to take the action necessary to reach your goals. Take the example of the marathon, just because I say I want to run a marathon does not mean the opportunity for a marathon will just come to me. I have to start taking the steps to get me there. This would require researching types of marathons, cost of marathons, training required etc , etc, . Then followed by the action of training until the point that I would feel prepared to run the marathon. Goal setting can get you to where you want to be if approached the right way. I hope my take on goal setting has triggered a small desire in you that will encourage you to do some soul searching about whether you are living your best life now or whether you need to Reassess where you are in life.

I hope this  blog post has some of you thinking . As always I encourage you all to Stop, Take a Breath, and Reassess Life.