Balancing Your Passion Project/Hobbies/Habits with Your Life

Picture: Alhambra, Granada, Spain by meee

I’m a huge advocate for balance, as it’s something I think is so important and something I could always work on bringing into my life. Life is chaotic, we have to balance school, work, and relationships, all while maintaining our sanity. Where is there room to do the things you love or the things you want to do? Today, I am going to be sharing ways you can balance your passion projects and hobbies along with the rest of your life.

I think having something in your life that fuels your creative energy happiness is so important. Life is far too short to not love what you do. It’s so good to have things you love in your life, especially for the times when other parts of your life aren’t so full of happiness and sunshine. For me, one of those things is the site you are viewing this post on. It’s an outlet, it’s a place of my expression, it’s my little corner of the internet that I get to share with you. Along with Get Aloha Spirit, there’s a whole list of other hobbies and things I enjoy doing, all while doing all of the other things my life requires me. Along with that, I have a hefty list of habits I want to maintain or take up and an even longer list of hobbies I enjoy partaking in or wish to partake in. It’s a balancing act, but fortunately, I have gotten rather good at planning my life over the years. So how do I do it?

  • I treat all of the things I like to do as self-care, so when I schedule time each day, whether it’s in the morning, at the end of my day, or on the weekend, I ensure I’m doing something that makes me feel good. My biggest tip for balance is sitting down and planning all of your activities into your day. Sundays are my weekly reset days, and part of that reset is planning my week. I schedule time into my week to spend even just 30 minutes working on GAS, reading a book, or any other thing I may enjoy doing.
    • TIP: use the reminders app on your phone and create an entire list of just habits and things you want to schedule on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. You’ll see on my list I have such small things like stretching and manifesting set for a daily thing. Without these reminders, I wouldn’t feel the urge to check something really good for me off of my list.
      • MINI TIP: I also use post-it notes that I stick on my computer monitor and mirrors for when I’ve been neglecting things in my brain dump or on my habits so I see it right in my face. Sometimes I have to even put some up to remind me to do things like breathe when stress levels are rampant.
A look into my reminders app
  • Of course, life can get hectic, like during finals week or when a crisis hits, it’s easy to neglect the things we enjoy or the things we are passionate about. The important part of keeping balance is being gentle with yourself. There is so much stuff coming from all parts of our life, sometimes we HAVE to choose what gives each week. BUT, remember to check in with yourself and give yourself time to sit back and look at what you need. If you are feeling drained, stressed, and/or swamped maybe that’s an indicator you need to step back and give yourself a break. For some, that break may be working on their passion projects or hobbies, and others may need time to do something else that refills their cup. I’m an avid list maker and a long time journaler (I think I just made up a word there), so it allows me to see everything I need to do and everything I am feeling.
    • Note: You may have to act out of sheer desperation to have a break that you time block and schedule every minute of your day so you can guarantee a break. I don’t do this often (it stresses me out to have EVERYTHING within a time frame), but when I’m juggling a lot of life balls (just stick with that metaphor, I’m doing my best here) I have to detail EVERYTHING to ensure I check off all my boxes and keep a mess from being made.
  • On top of the craziness of life, don’t put an absurd amount of pressure to do absolutely everything under the sun. I’m not sure about you, but my hobbies span far and wide in terms of things I like to do, and on top of school, work, and relationships, I can’t possibly read books, bake cakes, hang out outside, watch Gilmore girls for the billionth time, clean (yes that’s a hobby, yes I know I’m crazy), and take care of myself all in one day, or even in one week. This is when I keep a brain dump handy on my phone. I always have my phone (or some Apple device that has my reminders app on it) near me, so when something comes to mind, I feel the need to prioritize one of those hobbies/passion projects, or someone asks me to do something, I have it there to pencil in (or type in, in this case) the next time I sit down and plan. I function on a weekly clock, and the beginning of each week is a fresh start and a clean slate that I can fill with anything I feel compelled to do. Recognize that it’s okay to not get it all done, there’s always next week…or the week after.
    • TIP: PRIORITIZE!!!! When you set up a brain dump or when you sit down to plan, have a system that allows you to delegate certain hobbies and tasks into different priorities. Use that to determine what you delegate into your day. If there is something you feel that you absolutely have to do for yourself, then flag it so it stands out when planning. Of course priorities change, so it’s important to create a system that is adaptable to those life changes.
  • After all that talk above about being nice to yourself and easing up on your self-pressure, this may sound contradictory: remember to keep yourself accountable. You have these passion projects, habits, and hobbies because they add intrinsic value to your life, and therefore make you much happier. These are the activities that keep your life from being mundane. They add a little ✨spice✨ if you will. For some, this accountability may look like keeping a tracker on your phone or in a journal, others may have a to-do list they check off each day, or they may have to physically plan this activity into their day in order to get things done, whether it’s on their physical planner or digital calendar. For me, I write everything down. My mom will even comment “Go write it down or else you won’t get it done” and she couldn’t be more correct. I write down every day that I want to workout, stretch, water my plants, etc. and BAM it gets done. Sometimes I make note of smaller things like washing my hair because on days where I’m swamped with school and stressed out of my mind I have to remind myself to do the basics of taking care of myself. A lot of these steps can apply to habits too, especially this one. If you want to keep yourself accountable with habits, a habit tracker is great, and even having an accountability buddy is helpful. If you are trying to enforce working out every day, get a friend or two to hop on with you and hold each other accountable. It’s great motivation and makes it much easier to develop habits.
    • Note: Please remember that you can still keep yourself accountable while still not putting pressure on yourself and causing burn out. It’s all about balance and staying in tune with yourself.
  • Lastly, remember to step back reevaluate your systems of arranging these hobbies, projects, and habits. A system is only as good as the person who is able to maintain it and maximize its abilities. If things begin to feel redundant or your causes you even more stress, it’s time to step back and ask yourself What’s NOT working? What IS working? What changes do I need to make? Do I need to modify this system or build a new one from scratch? What can I do to make those modifications (or rebuilding) better for me? You can use these questions for all sorts of systems in your life, whether it’s planning, organizational, hobby based, etc. There is no right time to do these evaluations either. I could say mid-year and end of the year, but your systems may be working just fine. I will say, I do find myself tweaking different parts of my systems (especially my productivity system as it has the most moving parts) on a very regular basis, partly to experiment and partly because something doesn’t fit right.

As I write and share more about the productivity sphere, I will dive much deeper into a lot of the things I talked about here, like systems and habits, but for now, I hope you feel a little more at ease with balancing the things that bring you joy with the things that maybe aren’t so fun. And if you’re still stressed, take a deep breath with me…inhaleeee…and exhaleeee. Don’t forget to stay vibin!

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