life balance

Life Balance – 7 Steps to Achieving Balance in Your Life

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:

  • Relationships
  • Love
  • Money
  • Work
  • Helping Others
  • Spiritual Fulfillment
  • Learning
  • Fun and Enjoyment
  • Health

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.

  1.  Are you generally happy?
  2. Do you like your job?
  3. Are you having fun in your life?
  4. Are you in good health?
  5. Are your relationships with others good?
  6. Do you love other people and feel loved back?
  7. Do you help others in some way?
  8. Are you happy with your level of knowledge?
  9. Do you feel at peace with yourself?
  10. 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.

How to Make the Right Choices

Choices – we must all make countless choices each day from the time we get out of bed to the food we eat to what we will do with our lives. Making choices is not so difficult with the basics. You know what you like to eat and do on a daily basis – easy. Or is it? Personally, I find making choices for the bigger things in life sometimes much easier than some of the smaller things. I know what I want to do with my life and what my life goals are – in the bigger picture, I make my choices based on the goals I want to achieve. It is when I start thinking about whether or not to go to an event, whether or not to accept a date, whether I should eat ice cream or frozen yogurt. Those decisions seem to take an inordinate amount of time. …

Lessons from Kindergarten

Sometimes it’s good to remember those things we were taught as small children, they still hold true today!

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school. These are the things I learned:

  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don’t hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
  • Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Flush.
  • Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  • Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
  • Take a nap every afternoon.
  • When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
  • Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
  • Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
  • And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living. Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all – the whole world – had cookies and milk at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess. And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together. Source: “ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN” by Robert Fulghum.

 

See his web site at http://www.robertfulghum.com/  ]

Motivate Yourself- Motivation Tips and Quotes

I often find it difficult to motivate myself but motivation is important and there are ways that you can motivate yourself to get things done – even things that you would rather not do.  The wonderful thing about motivation is that it is contagious.  If you are motivated, you can motivate others and vice versa.  When you are motivated, your energy levels increase and your attitude improves. There are several ways to keep yourself motivated:

Find Ways to be Passionate Be passionate about what you are doing.  If your goal is one that you set, you should already be passionate about it.  If the goal is set by someone else, like an employer, find ways to be be passionate about the goal.  Focus on the good points, on the things you will learn, the rewards you may receive and the experience you will gain.

Write Down Your Goal Writing your goals is especially helpful in the motivation process.  Establish your goals and write them down along with the steps or objectives you need to complete along the way to meet your goal.

Visualize the End Result See your goal.  Visualize your goal.  Visualization is a proven technique for achieving goals.  Write down your goals and visualize what will happen when you achieve them.  See yourself and environment as they will be once you achieve the goal.  Close your eyes and see yourself doing what you want to do or having what you want to have.  Mind movies or dream boards are especially helpful in this visualization process.

Don’t Procrastinate Set a calendar for your goal and when you will achieve it and the interim objectives.  Stick to the calendar.  If there are unpleasant parts of the project, get them out of the way first and reward yourself for doing so.

Reward Yourself and Others Reward yourself when you reach key objectives toward your goal.  If others are involved reward them too.  Go out to dinner, buy a gift, treat yourself to something you enjoy.  Make the reward commiserate with the objective, if it is a milestone, give yourself a bigger reward than if it is a small step.  Write down the rewards and make sure you give them out.

Involve Others Start a fun competition with someone else or find partners to achieve your goal.  If you are starting a fitness regime, find a fitness buddy.  If you are trying to raise money for a cause, get friends involved to see who can raise the most money.  Find a mentor if your goal is specific to your career or education.

Maintain a Positive Attitude There will be some days that you are simply not motivated.  Keep a positive attitude and remember your long term goal.  Don’t give up.

You can motivate yourself, you have your passions, things that inspire and move you…believe in yourself and your ability to motivate yourself and others.  One of the greatest keys here is your own belief- your own desire to achieve your goals!

Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.”~Jack Canfield

Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy, or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan.”~Larry Winget

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”~Carl Bard

I don’t regret the things I’ve done, I regret the things I didn’t do.”~Lucas ( Rory Cochrane, Empire Records)

Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.”~Unknown

When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place.”~Unknown

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”~Judy Garland

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”~Henry S. Haskins

Challenge yourself with something you know you could never do, and what you’ll find is that you can overcome anything.”~Unknown

It is never too late to be what you might have been.”~George Eliot

All our dreams can come true”~if we have the courage to pursue them.

The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”~Alan Kay

If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”~Napoleon Hill

An obstacle is often a stepping stone.”~William Prescott

You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give.”~Winston Churchill

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”~Lao Tzu

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”~Ralph Waldo Emerson

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”~Gandhi

Tough times never last, but tough people do.”~Dr. Robert Schullerscher

Keep your face to the sunshine and you can never see the shadow.”~Helen Keller

The best way out is always through.”~Robert Frost

Make each day your masterpiece.”~John Wooden

The best dreams happen when youÂ’re awake.”~Cherie Gilderbloom

Don’t count the days, make the days count.”~Muhammad Ali

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”~Jimmy Johnson

You must not only aim right, but draw the bow with all your might.”~Henry David Thoreau

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”~Will Rogers

Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”~Babe Ruth

DonÂ’t wait. The time will never be just right.”~Napoleon Hill

A year from now you may wish you had started today.”~Karen Lamb

If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”~Frederick Douglass

What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.”~Tim Ferriss

The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.”~Richard Bach

Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.”~Albert Einstein

Do what you love and the money will follow.”~Marsha Sinetar

The harder I work, the luckier I get.”~Gary Player

Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.”~Victor Kiam

The purpose of our lives is to be happy.”~Dalai Lamacliff

The dreamers are the saviors of the world.”~James Allen

Obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated.”~Russell Warren

Someday is not a day of the week.”~Denise Brennan-Nelson

If you can’t outplay them, outwork them.”~Ben Hogan

Champions keep playing until they get it right.”~Billie Jean King

Change your thoughts and you change your world.”~Norman Vincent Peale

Action is the foundational key to all success”~Pablo Picasso

I will go anywhere as long as it is forward.”~David Livingston

If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?”~Joe Namath

Just keep going. Everybody gets better if they keep at it.”~Ted Williamsjobs

Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.”~Jim Rohn

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”~Ralph Waldo Emerson

It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.”~Howard Ruff

Never let your memories be greater than your dreams.”~Doug Ivester

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”~Henry David Thoreau

There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.”~Denis Waitley

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”~Aristotle

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering the attitudes of his mind.”~William James

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.”~Robert Frost

The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress.”~Joseph Joubert

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”~T.S. Eliot

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”~Oscar Wilde

Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose yours.”~Paulo Coelho

Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”~John F. Kennedy

I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.”~James Joyce

It’s time to start living the life you’ve imagined.”~Henry James

Every man dies. Not every man really lives.”~William Wallace

Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.”~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Action is the foundational key to all success.”~Pablo Picasso

Nothing important was ever achieved without someone taking a chance.”~H. Jackson Brown, Jr

Stop Worrying With These Easy Tips

It is common advice to suggest that if you have worries, you should ask yourself “What is the worst that could happen?”  This may work for some, but I suggest that if you can’t do anything about it, simply stop worrying about it, ruminating over the worst that could happen might make it worse; it might give you even more to worry about.  If you start thinking about the worst that could happen, you are bound to come up with worst case scenarios that create their own worries. If you can’t do anything about it, if you have no control over it, throw out the worry.  Don’t waste any more time on it.  If you can’t control it you have no right to worry about it!

  1. Worrying is not a virtue, it doesn’t make me a better or more caring person.
  2. I only have the right to worry about things over which I have control.
  3. If I have control over something, I have the right to change it.
  4. If I have a worry I can change, I have the responsibility to either change it or decide that it isn’t worth the effort to change.
  5. If a problem isn’t worth the effort to change, it isn’t worth worrying about.
  6. If a problem deserves changing and I can change it, I need to determine what the solution to the problem is.
  7. If the solution is in my power to accomplish, I need to solve the problem.
  8. If the solution is not in my power, then it is not my problem and I don’t have the right to that worry.
  9. I cannot worry about things in the past. Unless I can rectify or change something that happened, I have no right to worry about it.
  10. I can only worry about things in the future if I have control over them.
  11. If I have control over something, I don’t need to worry about it, I only need to exercise my control, come up with a solution and work the solution.
  12. If the solution to my problem does not work, I can only worry about my problems insofar as I can come up with another solution. If there is no solution, I have no right to worry.
  13. I have the right to do things that are productive, to keep myself busy and engaged in productive and positive activities and to stop worrying.
  14. I do not have the right to devote time that could be productive to worrying about things I cannot control or change
  15. I have the right to share my worries, to speak about them with friends and families.
  16. If I am afraid to share my worries with others, I have no right to keep those worries.

The worry that cannot be spoken, that cannot be shared, turns to guilt, or even greater worries and fears.  The worry that cannot be given up turns to sickness, depression, and other nasty things that create even more worries and fears.  If you are unwilling to share your worries with someone else because you are embarrassed or uncomfortable about sharing your worries, then it stands to reason that you should probably dispense with the worry.  If it is too embarrassing to talk about, then it is not worth holding onto.

As I was growing up my mother used to tell me, “Idle hands are the devil’s playground,” and she would give me some task to do so I would stop moping or pouting.  Keeping busy may be an antidote to worrying.  If you are busy doing something your focus is on the task at home and it is difficult to concentrate on two things at once.  The problem with busying yourself is that the minute you stop busying yourself you start worrying again unless you are willing to truly let go of your worries.

One of the basic tenets of the Law of Attraction is that you are what you think.  If you are what you think and what you think about is all your worries, oops, that really sucks.  You don’t want to be a train wreck, do you?  So stop worrying.  Now you are probably worrying about worrying.  It is a vicious cycle.  But no worries… 🙂  You can overcome worrying too much by keeping the above principles in mind.  Live in the moment, enjoy life and “don’t worry, be happy”.

7 Easy Problem Solving Steps That Work – Solve Problems Quick!

I struggle quite often with how to solve certain problems. Problem solving for me is not easy, I tend to run around in my head and generally spend way too much time trying to solve even the simplest of problems. Knowing that problem solving was taking up way too much time, I decided to implement a new problem solving strategy for myself – Seven simple problem solving steps, easy to do and clearly defined. It actually works. …

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