Life balance is a quest for all of us. How do you find balance in your life when you are juggling so many things? If you do too much of one thing and too little of another are you going to feel out of whack? Perhaps not-because everything overlaps to some degree. Achieving balance in life is a lifelong process. How do you know your life is in balance?
Having a balanced life means that you have things that fulfill you in key areas:
- Helping Others
- Spiritual Fulfillment
- Fun and Enjoyment
Every one of these areas is important – focusing on one to the exclusion of all others can be life-threatening – living an imbalanced life can be harmful to your mental and physical health. Life is messy, it cannot be compartmentalized. Every aspect of your life is interconnected, it is how you put it all together that makes the difference.
There is no quick and easy recipe for living a balanced life but taking a look at where you are now, where you want to be and how you can get there is not as hard as it may sound. One of the first things you need to do is decide what areas you are devoting most of your time to and what areas you have no time at all for, keeping in mind that every area overlaps.
Having a job you love provides fun and enjoyment, you learn new things, you develop relationships with others, perhaps you help others, and you are making money. But the job cannot be the be all and end all. Being in love with someone can be all-consuming and wonderful as well but relying on that love to fulfil your every need is a sure recipe for disappointment. You have to make time for the people in your life, for doing things you love, for your emotional, spiritual, and physical health, for focusing on you and growing as a person.
Questions to ask yourself to see if your life is in balance.
- Are you generally happy?
- Do you like your job?
- Are you having fun in your life?
- Are you in good health?
- Are your relationships with others good?
- Do you love other people and feel loved back?
- Do you help others in some way?
- Are you happy with your level of knowledge?
- Do you feel at peace with yourself?
- Do you have enough money to live comfortably?
If you answered yes to all of these questions your life is remarkably balanced. Congratulations!
Unfortunately, time is limited in life and it is easy to forget to do the things that can make you feel better on a daily or long-term basis. If you feel like you are in a rut, if you are always tired or hate your job, your life is not in balance.
There are only so many hours in a day (last count was 24). On the average workday, once you have worked eight hours, slept eight hours, and showered and shaved, you have approximately six hours left in the day to eat, exercise, spend time with your loved ones, get together with friends, pursue your hobbies, read a book, watch TV, whatever it is that you do in your free time. How do you make the most of your time? What do you do with your five or six free hours?
7 Steps to Achieving Life Balance
1. Make sure you have a job you enjoy – if you hate your job you are going to be miserable in other areas of your life as well. Make the most of the job you have – if you absolutely hate your job, start planning on how you are going to get a new one. You are spending at least 25% of your time working so you need to figure out a way to enjoy it even if it isn’t your dream job.
2. Schedule time to be with family and friends at meals – without the television on!! Eating together or preparing meals together is a great way to connect and share.
3. Get into a fitness routine of some sort – even if it is going for a half-hour walk each day – as my mother used to say, “Get outside and blow some of the stink off.” You can combine exercise and social activities – play sports or work out with friends or you can use the time to clear your mind or get back in touch with yourself.
4. Schedule “date nights” or days out with your family, friends, significant other. If you don’t take the time to schedule it, you are almost guaranteed to find something else to take up your time.
5. Take time to meditate or pray, whatever brings you into better touch with your inner self or your faith-you can combine this with walking to kill two birds with one stone.
6. Plan at least a few hours a week to pursue your favourite hobby or interest. Take advantage of your creativity, explore it, rediscover the things you love, play!
7. Combine, mix and match your activities to get the most out of every hour.
Life balance is one of the keys to happiness and success – it’s not a science, it’s an art and only you know what your goals are and the mix that will work for you. Manage your time well and give yourself permission to make the most of every minute.
Think about developing a personal growth map (coming soon) that will help provide you with the balanced life you want and help you achieve the goals and objectives you want to achieve.