We’re told that the ability to go with the flow is essential for success. But putting your foot down, drawing a line in the sand, or simply refusing to budge occasionally can actually contribute to a more balanced life. Balance is all about making room for everything that matters most, and stubbornness is the bouncer that keeps trivial stuff from taking up precious space.
Use a pen on your calendar. Some things can’t be rescheduled, like birthdays, anniversaries, and other days worth celebrating. You can be just as rigid about date night or family time, which makes it less likely that a business meeting will suddenly outrank personal time.
Having a standing appointment with kids, a spouse, or a friend is a great way to let loved ones know that they are a priority in your life. For the same reason, consider cementing time for your own self care routines.
Make important decisions once. Every time you have to make a decision, you use a little bit of your energy. That includes choosing between cereal and oatmeal or negotiating curfew.
Give yourself permission to be rigid about some rules, especially the ones you’ve already put deep thought into. Instead of having yet another conversation about bedtime or the fairness of chores, conserve your resources for investing in your relationships or creating at work.
The key, of course, is to know what can be juggled and what is worth setting in stone.
Moving dinner from 5 to 7 one night isn’t the end of the world, and it’s perfectly OK (and even a good idea!) to talk to your kids about why you set the rules you do. But it’s also just as acceptable to pull out the “I’m not having this conversation” or “sorry, we already have plans” cards, especially in the interest of preserving your sanity.
Don’t underestimate the importance of your sanity when it comes to maintaining balance. Keep your mental stores well-stocked gives you more time to do what needs to be done and, hopefully, leaves you with some leftover for what you want to do. If routines, rules, and habits you refuse to break helps you stay emotionally and psychologically strong enough to keep juggling, then embrace your stubborn streak!
How has being inflexible helped you live a more balanced life?