Hi there, wellness entrepreneur! Today, we’re going to talk about how to create your ideal schedule right now. Let me tell you why this is important: because it’s embodying your wellness practices. Having an ideal schedule that actually allows you to live the lifestyle you desire, while growing your business, allows it to be sustainable so you can embody your own wellness practices day-to-day.
So you can slow down, notice how you’re feeling, honor what your body, your mind, and your soul needs on a given day. It can give you the space to work through growth edges, to discern the difference between growing and doing something that may be uncomfortable, versus forcing yourself or shrouding yourself.
This is so important because living your ideal schedule now allows you to live your life. It allows you to spend precious moments with your family that you can’t get back. You might say, “Oh, Alison, that sounds nice. I’ll start fixing my schedule when I have more clients, when I have more revenue, when I’ve done this, or when I’ve done that.” Let me tell you, the more you wait, the more you’ll wait. The time is to do it now.
I’m not saying that it might feel like rainbows and daisies and unicorns while you cultivate this ideal schedule, while you learn to live the lifestyle that you really desire when you create that time freedom for yourself. Sometimes, you have to work through discomfort to get there, but it’s remembering that the process can actually be simple. It’s doable for anyone. And that discomfort, it’s temporary, versus the discomfort of living your un-ideal schedule, overworking, hustling, feeling exhausted with no end in sight. So there are two types of discomfort you get to choose.
How Do I Know That It's Possible To Just Decide To Change Your Schedule, Go Through It, Make It A Reality?
Because I did that. Let me tell you a little bit about my story. I’ll get into some details I haven’t shared before. The realization of how important this message is, and that I needed to share with you now, comes from my experience last week of crying on a Jumbotron.
If you read my e-mails or follow me on social media, you might have seen a brief highlight of how I mentioned that I was coached because I attended my 200K mastermind event virtually. So when I raised my hand to be coached, I was shown on the big screen and Stacy, her coaching, literally brought me to tears and it also caused me to reflect on all that I’ve done, all that I’ve created, and how it’s so important for you to hear this story.
I went through a lot of mistakes. I did not live my ideal schedule because I had so much fear about changing things up. And that fear caused me to overwork, miss weekends with my daughter, be exhausted for far too long. I got through a scary health diagnosis and still work through it – because I have the genetic mutation of Lynch syndrome – and still live my ideal schedule. In fact, that’s why it is so important for me to embody this and embody my own wellness practices, because it helps keep me healthy and being as preventative as I can both mentally, emotionally, and physically. It also helps to create a sustainable business so I can do what I love, so I can show up with more energy, more clarity, more focus, to serve you.
Let me go over my story here briefly. A few years ago, I was making six figures. I was actually on track rapidly for hitting multiple six figures. So on paper, it looked good. However, in life, I was hustling, I was exhausted, and I was just diagnosed with cancer. I had to go through many surgeries. In fact, when I was first meeting with my oncologist and practitioners who specialize in syndrome, I had multiple surgeries coming up on my timeline. And during that time, tactically, or getting into the details of my schedule, I was teaching classes at 7:00 AM, 7:30, 8:30 PM, working and leading trainings, workshops, events on the weekend, and then Monday, waking up and starting that whole week over again of teaching classes, working with patients, working with clients, teaching into the evening, teaching on the weekend, and then waking up, and doing it over again, and now, trying to bring in doctor’s appointments, trying to heal.
During that time, I just kept going. I didn’t think I could stop. I thought if I stopped, my business would collapse. So I just kept going.
In fact, when I was first diagnosed with cancer, I didn’t really tell anyone beyond my family because I was so scared that my clients would not want to work with me, that they would think that I wasn’t showing up to my fullest potential. I just went to my doctor’s appointments. I just planned for my surgeries. I did take off the bare minimum amount of time.
During my first surgery, I came back way too soon from my colon cancer surgery. I came back way too soon and ended up delaying my healing because I started teaching and demoing. When I was in the class, for example, I was like, “Oh, okay, I’ll just get back to my classes, but I won’t demo.” But then in the moment, even though I was holding myself back from demoing, when I was in the moment, I was actually demoing way more than I consciously realized. So I ended up flaring myself up more.
A lot of the work that I would do in one-to-one was very physical. I do a lot of body work, so my body just was never given the opportunity to heal fully. So I stayed exhausted and I kept pushing through, pushing through, and in my brain, I would say, “Okay, when I know I am back to my “normal revenue, normal schedule,” then I’ll work on fixing my schedule.” I’ll teach less on the weekends. I’ll teach less in the evenings, but what really happened? Yes, on paper, I got my revenue back to where it needed to be but my schedule was full again. And this is right at the beginning of the pandemic. I ended up in the hospital for an entire week, and a good portion of that was spent in the PCU, one step away from being on a ventilator.
When I came home from that experience and was healing and working my way back again, my husband sat me down and had a “come to Jesus talk” with me. He told me, “You need to work on your schedule. or you need to stop your business because this is not sustainable.” And that was difficult. It was really difficult to hear because I thought I was embodying my wellness practices. I was going to yoga. I was doing something every day for my physical, mental, and emotional health. I was doing restorative yoga. I was going for walks. I was meeting with friends. And yet, I felt like out of my control, I felt like I couldn’t say no to workshops. I felt like I couldn’t say no to some subbing classes. And really, all of that was just a story in my head. It was a story based off scarcity and fear.
I realized at that moment, I could choose. I could choose to feed the wolf of scarcity and fear. And as I came back from this health diagnosis, as I worked to build my business back again, I could keep repeating that story, keep taking action from that story, or I could feed the wolf of abundance. I could feed the wolf of trusting myself, believing in myself, knowing that there was another way to build my business, because truthfully, I saw so many other people doing it in a more sustainable way. And truthfully, if they could create that, then I could create that.
If It’s Possible For Me, It’s Possible For You, Too!
Let me tell you now, if I can switch my whole business, if I can rebuild my business back up several times, over following many surgeries and crazy health stuff, then you can too! You can create a business that fits into the lifestyle that you truly desire. And this is so important because your family is waiting for you. Just like my husband, my daughter, were desiring to spend more time with me. They wanted to relax on the weekends, doing fun things with me. Instead of having me home on the rare weekend that I was home stuck on the couch, because I was so exhausted that I couldn’t imagine going to the zoo and walking around more.
I’m actually really grateful for all that I went through because it made me realize that I could have a business 20 years from now. It could be successful multiple six figures or even higher. That potential is possible for me. It’s possible for you too. However, is it worth it at the cost of knowing that my daughter would then be 18 or older, she would be independent off on her own? I will have missed those 18 years of her life to do the things that I craved so much to do with her. Like go to the zoo, picking her up from school and taking her to swim class, and watching her in the swim class, sitting down at the dinner table, having dinner with her, and then helping her through struggling with reading and math homework. I would miss all those moments.
If I’m teaching an early morning yoga class, I would miss the moment of helping her pick out what she wanted to wear on school picture day. I would miss the moment of picking her up from school and having her be able to lean on my shoulder and cry. If the day didn’t go the way that she wanted, if someone was mean to her in school, which I hope never happens, but probably will. If a boyfriend broke up with her, I wanted to be available to her. I imagined myself going to the mall on a Saturday and picking out clothes for her to wear to school, trying on things as she grew taller and explore her own freedom in style. I wanted to be there for all those moments.
My Lynch syndrome diagnosis awakened me up to my own vulnerability of being a human being, that there is no guarantee, no matter our circumstances, if we’re completely healthy or not, that every day on earth should be cherished because we just never know what’s going to happen in the future.
And so, I finally decided after years of struggling, and it doesn’t have to be this way for you because yes, on paper, I was succeeding, I was successful, but internally, I was really struggling because I wasn’t there for my family, for myself, the way that I truly imagined. Yes, I created a business that I was helping people in a way that I couldn’t help them when I was working in the traditional physical therapies clinic, but I wasn’t able to truly live the life that I desired out of fear. Out of fear that I had to overwork to have it be successful. And some of that is just a story that was passed down through generations in my family line, in both sides truthfully.
If you are having difficulty working through stress make sure to read this blog: https://igniteurwellness.com/entrepreneur-stress-reduction/
Learning to Set and Enforce Boundaries, Working Through Discomfort, and Accepting Changes
I had to decide to let that go. I had to work through the discomfort of having businesses that I’ve collaborated and worked with in yoga studios for a decade or more, decide that they no longer wanted to hire me because I wouldn’t work a Saturday and Sunday, because I wouldn’t travel sometimes an hour or more one way to teach an hour yoga class.
When I started enforcing boundaries, I started getting turned down, being told no that I could no longer fulfill the contracts of teaching anatomy or teaching workshops that I normally did because a studio felt that my role to teach was on the weekends only. And that just didn’t fit with my lifestyle. And I had to learn how to grieve some of those relationships.
Let’s go back to the decision. When I first start made the decision and how I worked through it and how I’m working through now, the end of, I guess, an era of some of these relationships, and I’ll give you a sneak peek. I do feel that I’m grateful for those times and that one door is shutting to allow many more doors to open because I know I’ll still be able to teach anatomy. In fact, I think in a bigger and better way, and the result of this, the result of working through the discomfort, of saying no, establishing boundaries, changing the whole business model of my business in a way, the result of this is I do have more energy, I have more trust, I have more confidence with myself and I am able to show up for my family.
I spend most weekends at home now, in fact, this weekend, because I have more energy, my daughter and I painted our front door, which doesn’t sound like a big thing, but we’ve been in our house now for eight years. And there’s so much that I want to do for our house inside, outside, everywhere pretty much that I’ve been putting off because the weekends I was home in the past, I was so tired. I couldn’t imagine doing any of that stuff. I just had to replenish and play with my daughter, like the bare minimum, so I could feel like I would have enough energy to make it through another week. But now, I have so much more energy. I’m so much more replenished that I can do random things like plant rosemary plants, dig in the yard, go to the zoo, walk around Lego Land. I’m living my life and I’m actually helping more people. I’m actually making more revenue now without the overworking and hustling. And it’s possible for you too.
So if your schedule feels out of your control, if you feel like you have to say yes to subbing classes that are clear across town, to not even the people that really are appropriate for who you want to work with in private sessions, let’s say for example, like subbing a prenatal class, when really you help out stressed out ambitious professionals, if you feel forced to teach, to learn in evenings and weekends when you would rather be at home with family, this episode is for you.
Implementing Changes in Your Schedule NOW
For me, it started with the realization that now is the time. I can’t wait. I need to start changing things right now. And I would just pick one area of my schedule to start with and change. And I would implement that.
For example, I started with my classes, the public yoga classes I was teaching now, which the pandemic kind of put a turbo booster under that schedule change because there were no public yoga classes in person for a good deal of time. So I was able to still teach some yoga classes for some studios that I worked with for a good number of years online, which actually helped my schedule tremendously. Here in San Diego, traffic can be kind of crazy at times. So if I can cut down on the drive time, it actually was saving me hours of time a week. So it started there.
Well, first I created a schedule. What are the hours that I want to work really? I want to work when my daughter’s in school. So all other classes, early mornings and weekends, they had to be let go. I had to say no to. And then when in in-person classes were starting again and I was getting requests to come back to teach in the studio, I had to look at my schedule. If I take two and a half hours, maybe even three, depending on the drive time out of my schedule, one day to teach one class with prep time, drive time, teaching, not to mention the energy that I put out because I’m an introvert. So I feel tired after a class and then having to miss out on three private sessions.
Analyzing What You Need To Let Go Of And How It Impacts Your Wellness Business
How does that impact my business? What’s the consequence of saying yes to that weekly class? For me personally, the cost was too high. I also had to look at the cost of letting go of that class because I did receive clients from being out in the public and teaching so frequently.
But as my business shifted, I realized that there are many ways to get clients and it doesn’t always have to be at the cost of me physically being present. I can learn how to generate clients through other ways. It’s a skill. Marketing is a skill. I just have to learn how the other factor I had to consider was. Of course I love teaching. It brought me so much joy. I love connecting with the students. I love planning for the class, creating the sequence, the theme, the messages, that I would pass on from all my years of learning and experience. I loved that. So if I was letting go of a weekly class and eventually, I had to make the decision to let go of my weekend workshops as well.
How could I still bring the essence of those classes and the workshops into my business so I still feel joy but not having to do it at the cost of missing moments with my daughter? At the cost of overworking and having a crazy schedule with limited time for rest and replenishment? How could I bring in the essence of those into my business?
I figured out how there are other ways. So piece by piece, facet by facet, I would examine what was outside of my ideal schedule, whether it be class, a workshop, a training I was leading, a certification I was leading, and a yoga anatomy weekend. I was leading case by case. I had to examine them from all these angles and determine what was the best decision for me, even if it might be uncomfortable. And I had to own my reasons. I had to like my reasons and that made it possible when I did get answers that maybe I didn’t like, or I was told no, or some of my contracts ended, I was able to accept it. I was able to open my arms and grieve those relationships from a place of gratitude, from a place of appreciation.
This whole process has allowed me to evolve as an entrepreneur. It’s allowed me to evolve into the parent, the wife, that I truly desire to be. It’s allowed me to really love our house, even though it’s by the freeway and make it a sanctuary, so we don’t feel rushed or forced to move. It’s allowed me to grow in my business skills. It’s actually totally grown my practitioner skills without even trying, because I evolved the coaches and knowledge I was seeking out. I trusted myself more and embodied and sought out coaches that were aligned with my values and the business model that I desired to implement.
I know changing the trajectory for my daughter because now she sees me doing what I love. We always talk about the clients I work with on Zoom, the patients I see in the she-shed, the trainings and events I still lead and teach. She sees me do all that. We talk about it all the time. And also, I read with her every night. Right now, we’re struggling through some math worksheets and problems. I’m there with my husband. At times we trade-off. When she’s sick, we are doing fun things on her. Spring breaks, fall breaks, winter vacations, instead of just working around the clock. Sometimes my husband and I talk and I think about if I had a traditional physical therapy job, how I would have limited vacation times. I’d be working through most of the holidays with probably just Christmas stay off, maybe a half day on Christmas Eve, for example, working around the clock.
Because I own my own business, because I decided to enforce these boundaries of the life that I wanted to live, then I’m able to show up and actually live my life. It’s possible for you too. And for yourself, it might take making difficult decisions. It might mean putting up boundaries that are uncomfortable at first, in the beginning. And some partnerships or studios, collaborations that you’re currently doing might no longer fit your lifestyle, your business. Learning how to let those go to grieve them. And also, at the same time, be appreciative for them, for their time in your life as well.
The result of this hard work is having a sustainable business that you wake up in the morning, looking forward to working in, instead of just waking up, being like, “Okay, I’m just going to make it through this week. Just going to make it through this week and I’ll rest on the weekend.” No. It’s living your life and embodying your business as well.
So let’s look at your schedule. Let’s look at your business. Get out a piece of paper and a pen, and list these questions:
What Is Currently Working In Your Business And Your Schedule Right Now?
Write down what facets of your schedule is working. What’s working in terms of getting new clients? How do you get new clients? Where are they finding out about you? Where are they entering your world? What’s working in terms of the work you do? How you show up day to day, what’s working for you? Write it all down.
Now, examine. What’s not working for you for your schedule? Maybe you’re getting home “too late.: Most evenings you’re missing dinner with your kids. You’re missing homework time with your kids. You’re getting home exhausted and strung out. Maybe you’re scheduling private sessions or classes during your lunch and you’re not having any time to rest or even eat through your day. You’re just rushing, racing through your day. Maybe you’re not embodying your own wellness practices. You’re not going to yoga. You’re not meditating, not journaling. You’re barely even exercising.
Where it Gets Uncomfortable And Scary – Problem Solving
Write down what’s not working in your schedule, in your business right now. And for all those areas that are not working, you can put a dash next to it. Because your goal is to problem solve for them. I had to problem solve for each class. I thought I had a problem solved through teaching workshops on weekends. If I was getting most of my clients from those workshops and I let those go, how else could I get clients? How else could I connect with more people, develop relationships? Do that for yourself.
Take a moment and problem solve. And this is where it gets uncomfortable. This is where the brain likes to say, “But it won’t work. It’s too risky. It might work for her, but not for me.” Acknowledge what your brain has to say. Don’t try to resist it or avoid it or push it away. It’s just messages from your nervous system to try to keep you safe, right? You’re making a change. There is the essence of the unknown.
The first time, I know I had to shift a few things, but now it’s coming together. So it’s okay to hear those messages. The difference is learning not to indulge in them and get stuck in them or not make a change because of the feelings, because of the thoughts that your brain has, or your nervous system has to offer. It’s acknowledging and recognizing them. You can even hold the space for them and be in the discomfort of doing something different, making another decision. And that is from having the foundation of knowing what is important for you.
So take a moment and write that down.
Why is making this change vital for your life?
For me, I wrote down, I only have this one life to live. I don’t want to be 55 with a successful business, but have missed over a decade of my daughter’s life. I want to cherish every moment that I can with her outside of school. I want to be there when she grows. If I ever get diagnosed with cancer again, I want to know that I lived my life to the fullest, that I gave it every shot that I could. This is your opportunity right now to create the life you want. This is the process. You don’t have to wait. You have my permission.
So write down, why is this important for you? And any time your brain wants to remind you that it won’t be possible, it probably won’t work out, you’ll probably fail, remind yourself, why? Why is it important for you, and remind yourself that you are learning another way.
It is possible for you to learn another way. If I can do it, you can too. I’m not a special snowflake. In fact, you can probably learn it much faster than me. I had a few years of struggle, that looking back, truthfully, weren’t really necessary. I really indulged in a lot of drama, confusion, fear, and scarcity.
So write out your worst fears, write it all out. And if those fears were to come true, why would it be a problem? Sometimes just answering that question why is it a problem, it freezes you because you realize, “Ah, it’s not really as big of a problem as I thought,” or, “There’s a workaround. I know exactly how to handle this situation.” And that builds more trust within yourself. That builds the trust with your intuition and in a way, doing this, when honoring what’s important to you, when you’re creating a sustainable business, this way, your soul is often heard, and that might get a little too esoteric for you. But if you think about it this way, you branched off on your own into an entrepreneurship because when you were an employee, you probably felt that there was a different way to help people. You wanted to help people, but in a way, that was in alignment with your experiences, with your expertise in a way that you envision, that you dream.
When you’re honoring your schedule and working in your business day-to-day, you’re also honoring the dream that you have for your life. You can have both, it doesn’t have to be one or the other, but what it does involve is sometimes making those difficult decisions. But once you do, I can tell you this: so rewarding. It is so gratifying and it’s so fulfilling.
This is what will enable you to have a business for years to come so you don’t give up, so you can work through the hard times, the challenges, because you’ll have more buffer space, you’ll have more resiliency to bounce back from things instead of being so exhausted and drained that you lose of the clarity, of your purpose, the clarity of the direction that you want to go, the belief in your vision. And this isn’t only important for you and your family and those you care about, but it’s awesome for your clients because they need your help. They need you to show up with energy and clarity and focus. They want you to succeed. They don’t want to see you exhausted, tired, on the brink of burnout. They want you to be happy as well. And that gives them permission to be happy in their own lives. It starts with you.
So there you have it. Some journaling prompts. Hopefully this is inspiring for you. If you feel stuck in any way with your schedule, I actually have a freebie on the website. You can go to it. It’s a free training on how to implement a schedule audit, so then you know exactly what decisions to make and how to go forward in crafting that ideal schedule that you want for yourself.
This is just to start, so implement the work from today’s blog. If you want to dive deeper, go get that free training.
And of course, if you want to work with me, just sign up for your free consult call and together, we’ll decide if it’s a good fit.
All right! There you have it. I’ll see you next week. Bye for now!
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