Any Sound of Music fan will recall the famous words of Maria to the Von Trapp children while teaching them to sing: “When you read, you begin with ABC. When you sing, you begin with do re mi”. Foundations are – per definition – foundational to any skills. This is no less true for the ability to manage our lives satisfactorily.
We often feel overwhelmed by all the balls we need to keep in the air: family responsibilities, work, social engagements, church activities, household chores, health and fitness – and you can add to the list! Sometimes we let crucial balls fall to the floor because we were just too human to keep up this intricate and taxing game. Although this is totally normal, life might actually be more governable and gratifying than you think if you re-evaluate and re-organise your life from the bottom up.
Here is the ABC of laying life foundations to help you cope with the craziness.
A is for Assessment
It all starts with a really good look at your life and honestly answering some questions, for example:
Are you satisfied with your life?
Which areas are you neglecting?
Are you constantly feeling that you have to perform?
Are you surviving rather than thriving?
Give yourself time to think of all the spheres of your life at this stage in its cycle. Try to plot the level of meaningfulness and contentment you are experiencing.
The first step is always to become aware. Make a clear and truthful appraisal of your life. There is no growing without knowing.
B is for Basics
Sometimes we just need to go back to the basics in order to unclutter our busy lives. This means doing a priority check.
Tell yourself again what you deem most important in life – where you actually want your focus to be. What are the basic requirements you have for yourself and your life? What do you really want to achieve? Are the areas that you treasure most the healthiest parts of your life?
Does your present existence reflect your priorities?
Let your belief system guide you here. You will never be truly at peace if your day-to-day doings do not sit well with your soul.
C is for Customise
Being more mindful of what is actually going on in your life and having an updated list of priorities will position you to make the alterations you need in order to fix the flaws in your foundations that are causing cracks in your coping.
This new alignment will look different for each individual and you will need to figure out how to move from where you are to where you need to be. For some, it will entail a major life shift, like changing jobs. For others, it might involve smaller adjustments, like establishing date night with your spouse, quitting (or joining) a cause, or cutting on time-wasters like social media to get more sleep.
To build a satisfied life, your groundwork needs to be sensibly constructed and in agreement with your core being. If the foundation is set, you have a much better chance of succeeding at managing life and reaching your goals.
If you realise that you need to be restructuring your base structure, but you feel uncertain how to get the process going – maybe consider skipping ahead in the alphabet all the way to “L” for “Life coaching”! This might serve you well in fine-tuning your foundations and building effectively on them!