Then there is this article in Entrepreneur, 4 Ways Successful People Balance Work and the Rest of their Lives, which assumes that work and life are separate. In fairness, the article was written in 2015, and I do believe the landscape of what it means to work has evolved in our current climate. When I first opened FitPOWER in 2012 my parents were concerned. In my heart I believe they knew I would succeed. In fact they don't know this, but the few times my parents pulled my huge "hopes and dreams" balloon down from the clouds, and set my feet firmly on the ground, they were starting the path I would follow. My parents acted as my personal cartographers by expressing their fears. What about health care? What about job security? What about loyalty to a company? Start up costs? Where are you going to live? Are you sure you want to do this?
I was so sure. No question in my mind type of sure.
With my feet on the ground, in the year 2008 mind you, I gained experience with a 9-5 type of job. I worked in the now extinct (I think) Bally Total Fitness. It was there I learned how to manage books, a team multiple trainers, and met one of my BEST friends. It was also there that I was reminded once again how much I hated corporate fitness. Corporate anything. The work I was doing wasn't for me. When you worked for Bally's it had to be done their way. Therefore, it was a job. I don't enjoy jobs for the sake of doing jobs. I wanted to work.
DEFINE YOUR WORK
I can't sit here and define what works means for you, but I do know what work is for me. My definition of work is anything that takes up my mental or physical energy to complete. It doesn't mean I hate doing it. Let me give you a break down. Work is:
Believe it or not, I don't jump for joy every time I get to update my calendar or budget. Just sometimes. Google calendar colors are pretty. However, when you take all of those elements and combine them with running a team of coaches, a team of lifters, and every amazing client that walks through my door.....it is draining. Because every time someone walks through the door they bring their personalities with them, and we don't stare at walls as we lift. Well, we do. Focus points are important. But those special in between times we are social. We interact and help each other. We laugh with each other. Sometimes at each other.
We are family, and I miss them when I am gone too long. Every person I have the opportunity to help evolve physically and mentally is my life's work. Therefore, if I am to be at my best, I need to allow the time and space to recharge, relax, and rest.
Lets talk about rest, baby....
See what I mean? Rest and work. Work and rest. There is no one versus the other. It's not black and white. Your work could be my rest, and vice versa.
MAKE YOUR LIST
Time for you to do a little work! Think of the ebb and flow of your life. Are you a parent? Your flow probably looks like a school calendar. Do you work somewhere with a lot of travel? When do you travel the most versus slower months? Whatever it looks like make your work list and your rest list, and then observe how and when it starts to change and evolve. Do you enjoy gardening to unwind? Then work comes in the spring, and it may turn to rest in the summer, and then work again in the fall.
Try it out.
Find your flow.
Love your work.
Rest your soul.
I am working on a project that I hope to launch by the end of summer. It is one of three projects that I have given myself the task of doing for the year 2019, and none of the three are linked. What do these first statements have to do with boundaries? Not much. As I dive into this project and my words for 2019 of "growth" and "balance" keep reappearing, I am constantly reminded of my own boundaries. You see, with these projects come systems that I have to create because I am no longer a party of one. FitPOWER is now a party of 6. A very curious, determined, and excited party of six. With curiousity come questions about how things should be run, and while I can mentally paint this picture of how I want my business to flow, translating it to a neat handout is proving to be more difficult. But that is why this chapter of my life exists. Another growth spurt is about to happen, and perhaps I can share a little bit of knowledge from these last soon to be 7 years of business. Grab a cup of vacation coffee, making sure it's exactly how you like it, no distractions in sight, and enjoy this little blog of Jess insight.
1. My 1"x1" People
I took this out of a chapter by Brene Brown (is it obvious I'm a fan?). Find a piece of paper (I used an envelope), and create a 1"x1" square. Now write in their the names of your people. You know. The ones you'd go to battle with. The one's who's opinions truly matter. You don't have to share this information with anyone. It simply exists to remind you of who's opinion you hold valuable. Yes, you may have to edit your square from time to time, but whenever you start getting unsolicited advice grab this piece of paper and remind yourself who's voice really matters.
2. Airplane Mode
Literally and figuratively. In the evenings I put my phone on airplane mode so I'm not waken up by texting or phone calls. Unfortunately I use my phone as an alarm clock, and while I've tried to go the actual alarm clock route, I found myself paranoid that it would not go off for whatever reason. If you find it hard to get in contact with me on the weekends there's a good reason. I'm ignoring you. Just kidding! Sort of. After all training is done on Saturdays I try not to talk about work in any capacity. I love what I do, but I don't want to talk about it when its my turn to unwind. Some people may not agree, but there is nothing so important that it cannot wait until the work week begins again.
3. No Means No
I am a pretty firm believer that if you ask me something work related, and I tell you yes or no, I should be able to explain myself and be transparent. However, in most cases no simply means no. The problem with saying no isn't always the verbal part. It's the follow through. Make sure when you say "no" you understand why. Your own understanding will make it easier to draw those boundary lines and stick to them.
4. Social Media
This topic is a tough one. One of my coaches and I had an in depth conversation about social media. I feel as our political climate heats up it gets easier to make a slip up for the world to see. When I say "slip up" what I mean is resorting to rude behaviour online that you would never express face to face. One, this is cowardly, and I hold no space in my gym for attitude of that nature. Two, it reflects upon you. If you are wondering if I watch what my clients and coaches say online, the answer is yes. I watch how you treat other individuals, and I watch how you react to situations. Now, do I have notifications set up every time someone makes a comment or post. No. That's creepy, and a little too Big Brother. However, if you are a client or a coach representing my business there is a clear boundary of what I tolerate. Hateful, ignorant, sexist, misogynist, ableist, homo/trans/xenophobias, racist, etc, comments of any sort are a red flag, and I have no problem cutting ties.
Thoughts on Vacation Coffee
The world is brighter, the moments sweeter, and the coffee bolder while on vacation. Vacation coffee is the slowness of the morning before the world wakes up. It is the smell of your favorite roast and the rustling of crisp pages turning in a book.