WHY I BEGAN BLOGGING
Writing about my journey and my experiences of discovering a simpler, more intentional life is a passion of my mine. Blogging is now a huge part of my life and I thought it might be interesting to share some of the reasons why I began blogging in the first place.
I quite often get asked how Balance Through Simplicity came about. Family, friends and my readers want to know why I get up at “silly o’clock” to brainstorm a blog post or catch up on blog-related admin (‘blogmin’) when I could be enjoying an extra hour in bed. Hmmm, sounds tempting on a cold January morning here in the UK!
I thought it might be interesting if I shared some of the reasons why Balance Through Simplicity came about and what inspires and encourages me to try to help, inspire and encourage you!
The website and blog are so close to my heart and have become a passion of mine which I hope will continue for many years to come. I’m so grateful to everyone who’s been with me from the start and to new friends who’ve joined. Your feedback and kind words have been both overwhelming and humbling.
A QUICK INTRO FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW ME
I’m Antonia and I’m the busy working mum behind the blog.
I have two little girls, 6 step-kids, a husband and a dog. My husband and I run our own company and that’s my ‘day’ job.
This blog is my hobby turned passion and where you’ll find me if I have some spare time or (more usually) when I’ve risen before the birds to get some work done whilst everyone else is still sleeping! Like right now as I’m writing this! I’m an early bird so mornings work best for me!
A few years ago, I was working for another company. My girls were still very young and my step-kids were still young enough to all want to spend the weekends with us (we now only have 2 who stay over).
I was feeling overwhelmed, worn out and like life was just one big bulldozer and I was in its path.
Discovering the life-changing benefits of a life with less, becoming minimalist and learning to simplify my life so I could make more room for the things that really mattered (instead of things which just screamed the loudest at me from my To Do list) was the best thing that ever happened.
I couldn’t believe the difference that some small tweaks (ok, let’s be honest, some major changes) to my life could really make.
It was just a question of being brave enough to recognise that things needed to change… and, even more scary, it was up to me to make that happen.
I decluttered my home, got intentional about my time and where and how I spent it. We got on top of our finances, focused on our priorities. I set up flexible routines and systems for managing the home and managing my day. I created a calm haven at home for my family and found time to work on myself and my own personal growth as an individual, not just as a mum, wife or any of the other labels I put on myself.
I learnt so much about the process of simplifying and getting intentional about life and why it matters that I wanted to inspire others to follow their own similar path.
You can start to do this for yourself today with my popular free little mini course, Your Intentional Life.
You’ll receive daily lessons and challenges plus workbooks and other information to help you identify and build on key areas of your life. We’ll look at ways you can get intentional about your home, your time, how you look after yourself and what you hope for the future (and how you can make this happen). It’s a small course with a big purpose!
Find out more about Your Intentional Life.
HOW THE BLOG BEGAN
My website began with a blog (originally called A Mum In Progress) because I wanted to share my experience of how a minimalist, simple life had completely turned my life around. It had helped me become a much better Mum and a better person in general because of the changes I’d made.
I was able to enjoy life more and really embrace motherhood with my little ones, rather than just struggling to get through each day until the kids were in bed.
I wanted to share my passion for this simple life and help others who are overwhelmed, struggling, or just frustrated at a life that’s happening TO them instead of BECAUSE of them.
Most importantly, I wanted to help YOU find ways of making things easier, simpler and more enjoyable.
Now my blog has evolved into Balance Through Simplicity – a website where I can share my passion for a simple, more intentional life with a broader audience and I love that!
WHY I BEGAN BLOGGING…
There are a few reasons why I began blogging. Here are the main ones.
#1 Explaining Minimalism to friends and family
When I originally started telling people I’d found Minimalism and it had changed my life, I think most of them thought I’d lost my mind, joined some weird cult, or had gone to the extreme and thrown everything out so my family were struggling to survive with little furniture and no toys!
It took me a while to explain that Minimalism takes many forms. Minimalism in my family just meant getting rid of the excess clutter in our life that we didn’t like or need anyway and filling the gaps instead with things like more free time, more fun and more freedom.
Minimalism wasn’t about conforming to stereotypes or being ruled by numbers. It was simply a term for our lifestyle and a mindset shift where less usually (but not always) means more. Less stuff, more life, for example.
My blog was a way of giving people the information so they could absorb it and find ways to try it for themselves, if they wanted.
It was much easier directing people to a website than having them listen to me waffle on for ages!
#2 I missed helping others and contributing
For many years I worked hands-on in a job helping others and I really missed that type of role when I switched jobs to help my husband run his own business.
For a while, I felt like I wasn’t contributing to society as much as I could or making much of a direct difference to people, but that changed when I started my blog.
I realised there was a whole world of other busy people out there who I could really help and who could benefit from reading, learning and trying what I wrote about.
“Never underestimate the difference YOU can make in the lives of others. Step forward, reach out and help. This week reach to someone that might need a lift.” (Pablo)
Best of all, I can do this whilst helping my husband at work and looking after my kids. So now, because of my website and blog, I’m able to help and encourage anyone who finds me to seek balance through simplicity!
Is there anything that you can do this week to share your experience or wisdom to help others?
#3 Creating a platform to share a message
When you feel passionate about something, you want to yell it from the rooftops (in a metaphorical kind of way) and try to make people stop and think. If it’s worked for someone else, then maybe it would work for me?
“After you discover your purpose, you have to build a platform for your calling.” (Sunday Adelaja)
When I started blogging, it gave me a way of getting my message across. The more my website evolves, the more I have a platform to share my experiences and encouragement – something that can really change and make your life simpler and better, like it did mine.
Here’s a journal prompt for you to think about…
Do you know what your purpose is and can you find a platform for it?
#4 Finding something I can do for me and that challenges me daily!
Living more intentionally encourages you to look at your life in a new way and sometimes you’re faced with some difficult choices and realities.
“The bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity for growth.” (Anonymous)
For me, one of these realisations was that I’m a better mum and a better person generally when I have a little bit of time and space for myself each day. There are obviously lots of different ways that we can spend that time on ourselves but for me, it’s working on my blog and website.
I’m constantly learning new skills, developing technical knowledge, learning to write better and spread a message more effectively. I’ve learnt marketing, business skills, SEO and coding.
Writing is a way of doing something for myself that’s creative and inspires me to challenge myself.
Here’s a question for you…
What’s something that would challenge you and how could you learn and grow from it? Can you start that challenge today?
#5 To document my journey
One of the interesting things about writing a blog is watching how it changes shape over time. It evolves and develops as you and your story changes.
I was already a Minimalist and had simplified pretty much everything in my life that I could before I began blogging.
I soon realised that the mental and physical space Minimalism had created gave me time, energy and encouragement to try new things and explore new opportunities for growth and learning.
As a result, when I started my blog, I called it A Mum in Progress because I was a work in progress. I wasn’t the finished product and still had loads to learn, explore, try, do, take in, act upon. I was a work in progress and therefore a ‘Mum in Progress’ and writing my blog was a great way for me to document my journey.
As my blog became a website, I renamed it ‘Balance Through Simplicity’ to encourage a wider audience to fall in love with simple living!
If you’d like to start your own simplifying journey, try this post on 20 ways to simplify your life for some projects and tips.
#6 Be more intentional with how I spend my time
One of the biggest benefits of applying Minimalism to my busy life was when I simplified my calendar.
I started to say no to any commitments or appointments that didn’t feel right or add value to my family or I, and I became more intentional about what I said yes to.
It’s the same for my blog and website.
Whilst some people choose to spend their precious me-time watching their favourite films, baking, kickboxing, reading a book or whatever floats your boat, I choose to pour myself into this website.
“We must use time as a tool, not as a couch.” (John F Kennedy)
It also depends on how you’re feeling in that moment and some days there’s nothing I love (or need) more than to watch mindless TV and eat too many crisps and that’s perfectly ok! But when I get some free time (or I’ve carved it out of my day) I generally spend it here.
There’s nothing better than doing something that’s important and meaningful to you and which you can focus on when you’re feeling down or struggling.
JUST KEEP BLOGGING…
I hope this post gives you some insight into why I started blogging. Blogging isn’t for everyone. You have to be committed, consistent, motivated and there’s a lot of hard work behind the scenes which, on top of my ‘normal’ job and the kids, sometimes leaves me worn out and wondering if it’s worth it!
Yet, the rewards of simplifying my life have been so empowering and freeing that I’m always encouraged to keep going and share what I’ve learnt so that it may help you too!
The comments and emails I receive are well worth the effort and I’m so grateful for all your feedback.
As Dory says in Finding Nemo, ‘just keep swimming’ or in this case ‘just keep blogging!’