Over the last month or so, I’ve received questions submitted by readers and friends asking how I personally manage to find balance in my hectic schedule. The short answer: I’m not sure I ever have. In all honesty, I feel like true balance is much like true perfection: Never quite attainable…but definitely something to strive for.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve never been satisfied by the status quo, by average, by everyday…I’ve always looked for ways to make things better. And, I have always been overly involved with a wide number of things at the same time. Whether it was in high school when I was in 5 music groups, 3 extra curricular activities and volunteered at a local nursing home all at once, or today, when I run my own company, work for a global architecture firm, am President of a local chapter of an alumni organization, sit on the Board of Alumni Leaders for my alma mater, and try to be a good wife and daughter, I’ve always been ‘busy’. I’ve never known how to be anything else. This is how I live my life, and this is how I hope to always live my life.
So…finding balance, how do I do it? Well, to be honest, it is a matter of prioritization. There are certain things I just will not compromise on: exercising, eating right, maintaining myself (hair, skin and nails) and letting loose at least once (or twice) a week. I’m not saying that I’ve always been able to successfully do all of these things, but when I slip up on one of these areas past a certain point, I remind myself to reprioritize and get back on track.
Balance means different things to different people. My idea of balance, I know, is not the same as my mom’s or my girlfriends’. Remember, balance isn’t just about one component, it is about mind, body and soul, all together, feeling good. And it is very personal. You have to discover what amounts, of what things, will take care of all three for yourself. Be true to your needs and make them a priority. Here is my prescription for balance:
- Create a Vision: Be dreamy and visualize yourself as being balanced. How do you feel? How do you look? Are you relaxed? Are you busy? Are you stress-free? Are you alert and awake?
- Make a List: Now that you know how you want to feel, list the things you think are important to achieving this vision of balance. Keep them as general topics: eating right, going to the spa, meditating, exercising, traveling, etc.
- Get Detailed: Take each item on your list and think through the details:
- How much time do you need to spend on each item? 30 minutes?
- What time of day / week do you see doing it? Morning, evening, weekends, afternoons?
- How often will you do it? All the time? Once a week? Once a month?
- How much will it cost you? Is it free? Do you need to budget for it?
- What else do you need? A gym membership? A recommendation for a masseuse? A travel agent? A good grocery store?
- What obstacles exist? Money? Family? Time?
- Create a Roadmap: Now that you know what it will take to be balanced, create your monthly roadmap of how to incorporate these things into your life. Be realistic so that you know it is achievable…but don’t compromise. This is your happiness we are talking about!
- Stick to your Guns: Best laid plans are only as good as how they are implemented. This is most key. You need to prioritize what is important to you. Only you can create balance in your life…
For more information on Balance, refer to the following articles: