September 3, 2013
Last Updated:
March 4, 2021

My Balanced Life: It's Not Perfect, But I'll Take It

Hi, I'm Holli Thompson, IIN class of 2009, and the creator of Nutritional Style: a global health and nutrition lifestyle movement. I'm an author with a book coming out in 2014, a speaker, and a TV guest for several major networks. You can find me on my website and on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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You're studying nutrition and working full time. You've launched a new business and there aren't enough hours in a week. Things are slipping through your fingers. Friends, family, your workouts, even connecting with your man.

Friend, I've been there, but balance is overrated and perfection is not a lifestyle. Not if you have a new business and unlimited things to do. Add kids to the mix, a spouse, and a community, and you can easily feel like a failure every day, all day.
So, how do you keep yourself going, feeling optimistic, and moving forward? Here are my five top tips.

1. Establish priorities and be inclusive. I keep a list each week of what I need to achieve for my business, but I have sections that include my child, husband, or a personal commitment. They all need to get done, so I mix them together. My list this week says write a sales page for the Fall Cleanse, create a recipe for my blog, but it also says order khaki pants for my son. He needs them for school, and that's just as important as my sales page. The beauty of being an entrepreneur is that we can do that.

2. Take care of you, first. Ditch the guilt and get selfish about yourself. That means that your workout and movement is crucial. Your green juice or whatever healthy habit that you do is crucial. Do not let them slide. Remember the oxygen mask on the airplane. If the plane has a problem, you can't help anyone unless you have your oxygen first.

3. Welcome shortcuts, everyday. You love to cook, I get it. You love to shop at farmers markets or grow your own organic vegetables. You want to turn out homecooked meals daily because that's what you recommend. You, my dear, want to walk the walk. Get over it. Unless you have a staff of 50, you may need to cut a few corners. That means ask for help. Ask your spouse to take on a few evening meals. Pick up organic take out. Cook a big pot of something and serve it for a few days. And if all else fails, serve Annie's Mac and Cheese to the kids. It's OK. Just add a salad.

4. Don't forget to take breaks. When I first began my coaching practice, I would walk outside after each client. The sun and air helped to center me and clear me for the next conversation. Now that I work virtually and don't see clients in person any longer, I get on my rebounder, or I say "love you" to my husband (his office is next door), or I'll still walk outside and turn to the sun. There are several studies that say sitting still all day is bad for us, so whatever you do, stand up, even for ten minutes, and call your significant other while you do it.

5. Don't forget your friends. This is one I learned the hard way. I got so wrapped up in my new business, and my enthusiasm over all things healthy, that I let some friendships slip. Carve out time for your gal pals. A quick call in the morning, a cup of tea, or my favorite, call them while you're out exercising. We all need our friends, so put them on your list, too!

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