Balance….isn’t this the age old issue? We can feel pulled in many directions—work, love relationship, family, friends, etc. What is the key to juggling it all and feeling like it is a well-balanced composition?
What does it mean to be well-balanced? To me, it means that you have a handle on the the various elements in your life and don't feel that your heart or mind are being pulled too hard in any direction. More often than not, you feel calm, grounded, clear-headed, and motivated.
Well, the very first thing is to acknowledge that you are the builder of your life. Life does not just happen to us….we happen to life…we are the designers of our lives…and we don’t just r-e-a-c-t to life, but rather we c-r-e-a-t-e it. So step number one is accountability and responsibility in regards to the composition that is your life. Though you may think you don’t, you have the control over your life rather than your life controlling you.
Everything in life is a distinct choice that we are given, and sometimes we are headed on a path and we vigorously push ahead until we realize that our life is slightly off-kilter…that it lost its balance because we were pushing so hard in one direction that the other aspects of our life got left behind…
Think of it like you’re juggling balls. Each ball represents something in your life: work, spouse, family, etc. If you give too much attention to one, you’ll end up dropping all your balls on the floor. Or perhaps a metaphor that you prefer to imagine is that you’re in a canoe. The water represents all different aspects of your life, and it is pushing your canoe all different ways. If you don’t hold fast and balance the canoe, you will tip! If you paddle only on one side, you will veer off course. Choose whatever imagery that works best for you. But have a clear vision – what does your epic like look like for you?
If there is one portion of your life that is drawing a disproportionate amount of energy, other parts of your life will undoubtedly be shortchanged. That can throw you off-balance. We have to deal with any areas that are consuming too much energy and put them in perspective, in alignment with all the other parts of our lives. For yourself, figure out what your vision of balance in your life looks like. The minute you have a vision you can take the steps to make that vision a reality.
All too often, we are weighed down with what we think is a necessary routine. Working long hours at a job that feels unfulfilling, with very little sleep and little to no leisure time, or relationships that feel unhealthy, draining and not good for us. We may feel all over the place, and generally out of balance. You probably have a dream life you aspire to. And you think that one day somewhere in the future you will get there. But, creating this balance in your life will get you there sooner and with more clarity and focus.
Your best life, or as I like to call it, your life inspired, won't look like someone else’s best life. We each have distinct needs, desires, strengths, skills, and talents that make us who we are, and for that very reason we each have different visions for our lives.
So, how do you begin the balancing act? Here are 5 ways you can begin:
1. Self-care is the first step.
Everything starts with a solid foundation. This is essential for health and well-being. As much as we know we should practice healthy habits, we often let them slip. Do you find yourself prioritizing the needs of your family or friends without taking yours into account? You need to build a solid and healthy foundation for yourself—that is crucial for balance. Without it, you are no good to anyone, and you cannot truly be effective in any area of your life. So, make time for exercise, meditation, leisure, and healthy habits.
2. Envision what balance looks like for you.
Having a vision for the life inspired that is unique to you is what will keep you on course and guide you to reach your goals. But it must be accompanied by— consistent inspired action. Once you identify your goals, and plan them into your life, you can take the inspired action to set them into motion. I’ve got a great little worksheet to determine if you have the balance you want in your life. Here is the link:
3. Smell the roses.
Don't neglect the joys and pleasures of life. There are inspired moments and beauty wherever you look. Spend time with loved ones and friends who lift your spirits. Let yourself laugh. Choose relationships that invigorate, engage, and excite you rather than leaving you drained. Make time for playfulness. Be sure to incorporate joyful moments that nourish you.
4. Let it go.
Don’t consume your energy towards anger, regrets, resentment, or grudges.
Carrying within you any anger, resentments, and grudges slowly gnaws away at you. It causes all kinds of stress, heartache, mental and emotional anguish, and even physical ailments. When you clear this baggage, you allow space within you to open and you make room for a better balance.
5. Schedule it ALL!
Set aside a time for each aspect of your life. Assign an appropriate time for each activity based on priority. Develop a schedule so that each aspect of your life is accounted for.
Create a distinct time that it will be a priority. It’s not about doing everything all of the time, because that can just make you go nuts!
It’s about moving back and forth between aspects of your life. Lateral movement versus only linear one-directional movement.
Let me give you an example...For that intimate love relationship:
If you have not found the guy or girl of your dreams, then you need to commit to some time where you are in pursuit of it. For example, create a time where you can do some online dating…I think that I just heard some people groan! But it’s true, you make life happen so if a love life is on your wish list, you will have to get out there to set it in motion.
If you are in a relationship….make it a point to prioritize it each week. For example…I’m a huge fan of date night. It does wonders to set aside this kind of “couple time” for connecting every single week.
To sum it up—Life is inherently a balancing act. We try to move ahead, pursue our passion and purpose, achieve our steadfast goals, and never lose sight of the balance we seek for all the various aspects of our lives. With a little finesse you can navigate it successfully.
Remember to steady your canoe or keep those balls in the air to achieve the balance you need for an epic life!