|Posted on February 26, 2016 at 1:10 PM|
Welcome to the Life Balance and You blog! This is my first edition and I'm excited to share thoughts with you about this most important area. For any blog to be worth anything, it helps to have a community of people who read the blog and respond to its contents. I look forward to building a community of people looking to create Life Balance for themselves and are willing to share their strategies with others.
In this edition of my blog, I will focus on putting yourself first and then bringing family and close friends into the equation as you begin your quest for Life Balance.
What is Life Balance anyway? Life Balance is the space in which you feel your life is on track in terms of physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. We refer to this in many ways: "in the zone," "all in," "everything clicks," "hitting on all cylinders," and "hitting it out of the park," are ways I've heard people describe their lives when things are going well for them.
PUTTING YOURSELF FIRST
So what does this mean? It means those living in Balance are making decisions that are benefiting them in their lives and at the same time they are helping others do the same by their example. They live "intentionally" and their example is seen and appreciated by others. People who live in Balance know to take care of their own needs first. While this may sound selfish, think about it this way: If you are continually stressed out, you have a boss who is "on your back" all the time, money is a problem and your relationships are suffering as a result, you're obviously not in balance. You have nothing to give to others because you are so preoccupied with your own needs. Until you clear up the issues that you face in your life, Balance is not very achievable. But the key is making time for yourself. Work on yourself first.
BRING IN FAMILY AND FRIENDS
As you look at your situation, if you can be honest, you begin to see issues that need improvement. This is the first and biggest step to working on achieving Balance because it shows you have insight into what needs to change. Instead of looking at the sum of your various issues, choose one to tackle first. Break things down for yourself into small improvements that you feel certain you can achieve. If it's possible, have a family meeting where you admit things have not been going well for you in your life and perhaps you have been taking it out on loved ones and straining your relationships. You'll be surprised how your honesty and straightforward presentation may open up your loved ones and barriers may begin to soften. Understanding breeds teamwork and perhaps a willingness to "pitch in" to help each other move into a healthier set of circumstances that may repair and strengthen "stretched-thin" relationships. If your relationships at home are improving, you have more to give at work and in all social situations because you see a path to improve those areas as well.
How do you look at your situation and move in a direction that will help create Life Balance? There are many ways, but let me suggest the following as a start:
1. Find time to spend alone. You might start a journal to record thoughts about your life and what you think needs to change. Write down things that are really important to you. What changes need to be addressed first, second, etc.
2. Start small. Create success in small steps for yourself so you have the motivation to continue on your quest for Life Balance.
3. Find activities you enjoy and make time to do them. Doing this helps you feel like you have committed to yourself and you look forward to that activity. Most importantly, you feel empowered that you are starting to make decisions that will improve how you feel about your life. For example, let's say you want to start walking each morning. Consider how much earlier you may need to wake up so you can fit walking into your morning. Instead of thinking about how far you walk, think about walking for a certain length of time, say for 15 minutes to start. Slowly and when you are feeling good about how you are progressing, increase the time for your walking, developing confidence in yourself in this area as you experience success.
4. Solicit relatives or close friends with whom you can share your goals. Ask for their support to keep you accountable to your goals.
One thing to remember is that Life Balance is fluid. This means we all need to work on maintaining gains toward Life Balance each day. When you get up each day, consider those things that are most important in terms of tasks to be completed or that need effort toward completion. We all need to adapt to conditions that may present themselves that we didn't anticipate, so new decisions and priorities may need to be made for that day. Without a doubt, working toward Life Balance is a "juggling act," but it is attainable with commitment, effort and perspective. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain as you pursue Balance in your Life.
I look forward to your feedback as you join this blog and share your thoughts.
Until next time,
Categories: Life Balance and You