Life Balance IS attainable, but it all depends on how we define balance.
Balance is about managing all parts of our life and being equally well, not about equally distributing them on the calendar.
Life Balance is not fixed. It is not stable. It ebbs and flows with the waves of life. In order to achieve Life Balance it has to be a dynamic concept in our mind. It has to adjust as our life cycles through each season of growth and change.
There are several first steps we can all take towards creating better Life Balance: prioritize, practice good self-care and take time to reflect.
Setting priorities in life helps us all establish better balance.
Most people equate life balance with time management…and for sure, managing our time well is a huge part of feeling like all parts of our life are in harmony. One of the best ways to manage our time is to set priorities. They can be daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual priorities.
Selecting my word for the year is a great example of setting annual priorities. My desire to INVEST in my local community, myself, my relationships and my business sets my priorities for this year.
Within this, I also set out daily and weekly priorities to help me know how I should spend my free time. This month for example, I am focused on my upcoming presentation on the benefits of coaching in green spaces (instead of inside office spaces). This means I have had to place working on my book projects lower on the list for the next few weeks.
While my writing goal (to finish the text for one of my books by the end of 2017) remains the same, I have to prioritize my upcoming speaking opportunity. My life would feel out of balance this month if I didn’t make this subtle shift in priorities because I would be using my limited amount of free time for the wrong activity. Having a finished version of Chapter 2 will do me way less good at the conference than having a really thought out and well-practiced presentation!
Taking care of our mind, body, heart and soul can help keep life in balance.
Self-care was drilled into me during both my counseling and coaching training. I am my best tool. My heart, mind and body are all key parts to my coaching work. My entire being is the gift I have to give to the world. If I am not doing well, constantly renewing and refreshing, then I won’t be able to do my work well. It is the same for every profession, every activity, every person.
I’ve noticed that most of us seek harmony between the various aspects of our being in our search for balance. If life feels out of whack, we are probably not at our best mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically. We’ve got to integrate self-care into our routines in order to be at our best and feel like life is at its best.
For me self-care means taking my dog on longer walks each night so I have time to wind down and think after a busy day. Self-care means that I stick to my 10pm bed-time so that I can get up and go at it all again the next day. It means taking the time to text and call my friends for support and connection. Most importantly, good self-care means I have to remind myself constantly that the to-do list will always exists as a small business owner. I’ve got to know when enough is enough for one week because it would be so easy to burn myself out trying to grow my business. What good would I be to my clients or readers if I’ve just pushed myself too hard for too long?
Love this idea of self-care and need more ideas? I recently pinned a great list of self-care ideas to the JLJ Pinterest Board.
Spending time in reflection can reveal how to better balance our life.
We live at such a fast pace, especially in America. Time for reflection is often underestimated or undervalued.
There really are so many good ways to add a little reflective thinking into life. For example, I keep a journal…several actually for different purposes and topics. Journaling can be structured (like the Go Journal) or just blank pages to write free-form. It could mean writing poetry (it doesn’t have to be good!) or drawing or doodling our current thoughts and experiences, and ask ourselves about their significance. Journaling could also just be writing out any questions currently on our mind.
Not a writer? No problem! Reflection could be done during a walk while thinking about your highs and lows for the week or things in life make you the most grateful. Reflection could be part of meditation or a craft project to capture the most important parts of life right now. Reflective thinking can also be captured on video if this is a fun and comfortable method. My Moment of Clarity videos are an example of this option and really do help me think through the key parts of my week.
There are so many ways to reflect and create more clarity for yourself!
Taking the time to stop and review life, even if just for 5 minutes a day, can help us all make better or faster decisions. It can help us determine what needs to be the current priority. It can help us be more present in each day. Possibly most powerful of all, reflective thinking can help us see if our life is out of balance in any way. Sometimes we are moving so fast through life it blurs our view of reality, allowing us to neglect a certain aspect of life…without even knowing it…and that’s scary!
Want more ways to get a better-balanced life?
I’m currently giving away my new Path to Life Balance PDF with 10 intentional ways to increase your life balance and lead a more sustainable and satisfying life. You can get your own copy by completing my short 10 question business and marketing experience survey.
OR watch my latest Moment of Clarity video about having Margin in Your Marathon!
Content first published by Jessica Lynn Johnson in March 2017 on JLJCoachingServices.com