I asked a friend to share a topic for me to blog about. I’m getting a little bit of writer’s block. Balance, was her response. Balancing family and personal life, specifically, but what I’m about to share is going to serve you in seeking balance in any areas of your life.
Ooooh, I love talking about balance. We all fall off the balance beam from time to time. It’s remembering to get back up that’s so important.
Maintaining balance is a struggle in our generation. With everything at our fingertips, we should be able to do it all… Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night, get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, eat healthy and nutrient rich meals, give 110% at the job, maintain a strong and healthy relationship with the significant other, provide a clean and healthy home for the family, help the kids navigate life, academia, and social networks, provide nutritious meals, keep up with friends and extended family, etc… And while some of us have help, it’s still a lot to keep up with while trying to maintain you sanity.
But what if we don’t have to struggle to maintain the balance? What if there was a tool or guide that will help us to maintain the balance so that we can continue to replenish our spirit?
Maintaining balance is simple, once you lay the ground-work. There are easily four pillars to finding and maintaining the balance in your everyday life.
- Identify Personal Values. Most of us are not living from our values. We are simply going about life addressing things that demand our attention NOW and not prioritizing where our time is spent. Sit down right now and identify your top 5 values. You may have to start with a list of 10 and narrow them down to the top 5 (i.e. time for family, personal happiness, health and fitness, accountability at work, personal freedom). Your top 5 values could change many times during your lifetime. That’s perfectly normal. Live from your values.
- Simplify Your Life. Now sit back and take a look at how and where you spend your time. Are you spending time on things that do not align within your top 5 values? If so, refocus and prioritize what’s important right now. Are you participating in evening networking events when you could be at home with family, or at the gym with a fitness partner. Rearrange your schedule to focus on what’s important to you right now. It doesn’t mean you won’t make it to that networking event, or catch up on that TV show. Once you’ve staged your top 5 values as priorities, you’ll find that you’re you have time left to tackle some of the other things – like a good Archer binge watching session.
- Set Boundaries. Once you’ve identified your top 5 values, make them untouchable. That’s right… it’s time for a little accountability here. These are your values. These are values that you’ve identified as crucial to your happiness and balance. It is your personal responsibility to make time for them – for the sake of balance and harmony. Do not apologize or sacrifice, and for the love of all things sane, DO NOT FEEL GUILTY about focusing on what’s important to you. If you say you’re going to make a 7:30 PM yoga sesh, enlist the support of your partner to rally the troops, get dinner in the mouths of your littles or set an alarm to remind you when you need to get your butt out the door.
- Schedule Time for Self. Don’t forget to care for your basic needs. Do you need to take a minute when you first get home before tackling dinner or laundry? Find a place where you can go for some peace before tackling the evening. Hell, grab a glass of wine to accompany you. Shut your bedroom door and take your time getting our of musty work-day clothes. Take a small walk around the neighborhood or yard and get some fresh air. You can’t run on empty all day. Take time to re-energize.
If you feel like your balance is off, it might be because you’ve made time for yourself a last priority.
Remember, Self Care is Not Selfish.