Brilene's Recipe for Balance & Success

More Sleep + Less TV/distractions + Getting up Earlier + Consistent Exercise

Finding balance between work, life and wellness isn’t easy, but it’s also not rocket science. Over the years, I’ll admit, I’ve struggled to “do it all”. Work 50+ hours a week, get my Master’s degree, spend time with friends and family, be present in my relationship, take care of my dog, make it to the gym, eat healthy...the list goes on and something usually falls through the cracks. 

How was I trying to do so much and often not feeling like I was getting much of anything done?

Hi, I’m Brilene and I’m an overachieving, people-pleasing, procrastinator (highly self aware). I hate saying no when people ask me to do something and I hate disappointing people. I also put way too much on my plate and end up waiting until the last minute to do some things because I find it can be hard to prioritize and stick with a plan. I currently serve on four boards and multiple committees, I’m in school earning my CFP designation, I aim to spend time with friends and family and I have a growing financial practice that I put my heart and soul into. I also got married in July, so summer 2017 was a whirlwind. At times, I’ve felt like I was totally out of control trying to juggle everything.

Now I’m not necessarily a morning person. I don’t bounce out of bed, but I am someone who wishes there were more hours in the day. I used to stay up late trying to get things done or watch TV to “wind-down”, but I ended up getting too little sleep and feeling unmotivated in the morning to go to workout. I would pretend like I was going to go after work and something always came up and I’d skip it. I would get frustrated with myself for putting on weight, but I wasn’t exercising or meal prepping, so the cycle just continued. I was running myself ragged and bordering on burnout. 

I knew I had to make a change, so the first thing I did was sit down and write out my goals.

What actually matters to me? Is it being caught up on The Voice, or getting school work done? That seems easy to answer, but then why was I finding myself on the couch at night watching useless shows instead of reading books I had bought or sitting at my desk and getting work done?

I realized my top priorities were to (not necessarily in this order, but more so simultaneously):

  1. Take better care of myself, meaning eating healthier (80/20 rule), exercising at least 4 days/week, getting more sleep and consciously reducing stress.
  2. Continue to build my financial planning practice to get to 200 clients.
  3. Spend purposeful time with my husband, friends and family and be present while there.
  4. Finish my CFP study program and sit for the exam in 2018.

After I made this list, I wrote down all the places I was actually spending my time and took a hard look at whether these were moving me closer to my goals or further away. Time blocking can be really eye opening. I do this with exercise with my clients regarding their spending and often they have very little idea where their money is going. For me it was my time. Time is valuable and I was wasting a lot of it. Now I set aside “free” time, and I make sure to schedule my workouts, study time and meal prep. 

It was clear I had to make some changes. 

Anything that was taking me off track, I nixed. I’ve switched out late night junk TV for reading and going to bed earlier. I aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep at night. I know that if I do this, I feel more refreshed in the morning and more apt to get up and work out. I also switched my workout routine. Just going to the gym wasn’t cutting it and I was so bored with the classes I had been taking. So I researched all of the options in my area and found one that had accountability, flexibility and high intensity options to get me max results without having to spend hours there. For me, a lot of it is just getting a good routine going. If I sleep well and exercise in the morning, I know the rest of my day will start off on the right track. If I’m up early, I’m more apt to get some housework done before I head to the office, meaning that I’ll have more time at night to relax and cook a healthy meal. 

Oh and did I mention - Delegate! 

We can only do so much. I had to get some things completely off my plate. I almost never go grocery shopping anymore. For me to spend time every week or several times a week walking around a supermarket, spending more money than I intended, and buying things I don't need is just not a good use of my time. There are great meal delivery options out there and I’m an avid Peapod orderer. While I wait for my groceries to be delivered I’ll clean or go through emails. They bring the groceries in and put them in my kitchen, saving me time and aggravation. 

If you hate folding laundry and it’s taking time away from your family or business, utilize a wash and fold service. If you feel guilty that you can’t take your dog out to exercise, look into a doggy day care or a dog walker a few times a week. Not to get on a feminist tangent - but we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get everything done and we just can’t do 100 things in a day and make sure we are taking good care of ourselves. 

So stop being so hard on yourself and ask for or pay for some assistance. Bottom line - it’s your life. 

I had a tough time really owning that. I was doing too much for others and putting my self care on the back burner. We all know that if we eat healthier, drink more water, exercise more, surround ourselves with positive people and do what makes us happy, the days will go by faster and we’ll get more enjoyment of our life. So be UNAPOLOGETIC when you say “NO”. Be SELFISH and say that working out or meal prepping is a priority. If you don’t put yourself first, who else will?

Thank you to Erin for letting me open up to her community of Warriors! I’m so proud of all the great work she’s doing to help people have an accessible means to get healthier and happier! 

Happy Holidays!

About Brilene: Hi! I’m a financial advisor in the Boston area. I spend most of my time talking to people about money, helping them save more, planning better ways to accomplish big goals and strategizing how they can retire with confidence. When I’m not in the office or with clients you can find me at the dog park with my husband and yellow lab or kickboxing to relieve stress. I love trying new healthy recipes, yoga, writing, coffee, a good pinot noir and warm summer days! Connect with her by clicking here!