Spinning (And Breaking) Plates: Tips for Doing Less


I like to work. There I said it. I am a working mom, and I like it. But…I have a lot of jobs. I have always had a full-time nonprofit job because I believe in doing mission-focused work if possible, and I also run my own Whole30 Coaching business. I also have my own podcast. I teach fitness classes. And then there are the kids. Oh, yea, and my husband! And the dog and for the love, ALL THE THINGS.

For a long time, I felt like I had to do all the things in order to be successful but then realized I wasn’t doing any of my jobs as well as I’d like to because I was stretched too thin. I’ve always been so organized, but there were times where I just couldn’t get it together. I had become super forgetful and just plain exhausted. My boys are also now 11 and 7, and honestly, life is busier! I was spinning so many plates but ended up breaking LOTS of them along the way. 

So, at the end of August, I left my full-time job for another job that allows even more flexibility and less stress (still nonprofit work), and I left one of my fitness gigs. Was that easy? Heck no! It was terrifying, and it took me a full year to make the leap after a year of analyzing and making sure I made the right moves. Here’s what I learned from my year of searching for less:

-Know your “WHY:” My “why” was to have less stress so I could have more brain space and time with my family. My other why was to grow my business and get more focused.
-Be ok with saying no: I went on multiple interviews for jobs that I would have loved over the past year, but said no to many offers due to the scheduling or the work/life balance, for example. Honestly, I don’t know if I would have turned down some of these jobs 10 years ago, so I felt pretty darn proud of myself for saying no and asking for what I wanted because it eventually paid off with the right job.
-Don’t worry about what others think: I was so concerned about what others would think if I switched jobs and was so worried that I would be letting down my class attendees. However, everyone was so supportive, and I made it a bigger deal in my mind than it really was.
-Take your time and have a good attitude: Like I already mentioned, it took me a whole year to make these changes. Were there times when I was a little crabby about it? Absolutely. However, it had to be the right move at the right time. Keeping the faith and having a good attitude when possible certainly helped me along my journey.

So…do I have it all together now? Nope! I’m still spinning many plates, but I do feel like I’m not breaking as many. So, mama…I hope this inspires you to make changes in your life if the overwhelm has taken over you too. Will it be easy? Nope. Will it be quick? Probably not. Will it be worth it? Absolutely.

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Emily Nichols
Emily and her husband (who is also her high school sweetheart) have lived in Brownsburg since 2004. They have two boys (Dylan & Tyler) that keep them very busy! Emily is a nonprofit professional and also wellness expert. She is a Whole30 Certified Coach and the host of The Self Care Isn't Selfish Podcast. You can also find Emily teaching fitness classes and getting her own butt kicked at Orangetheory. Motivated by her own family's wellness transformation, Emily coaches and helps inspire other busy moms like herself to make their health a priority in their lives, and take the time to put themselves first #selfcareisntselfish Emily loves to write about health, fitness, being a working #boymom and of course self care. You can find her on Instagram and check out her online courses and the podcast at: www.emily-nichols.com