Does anyone else find life is a constant struggle to maintain balance? The need to be alone and the urge to be with friends? The need to be active and the desire to relax and watch a movie? Life is a balancing act and it is not an easy one. Balancing a career, fitness, blog, friends, family, home, fundraising, etc is a struggle. This summer I have found it to be particularly difficult. I have been on some awesome summer road trips and I find that I have been trying to jam so much into every day that I am getting less sleep and not feeling as energized to exercise in the morning. I want so badly to be able to fit everything and everyone in but it simply isn’t possible. So what does it take to find balance in it all?
1. Take an honest assessment of where you are at: At times it may be difficult to admit that we are very far from finding balance. I have had many times in my life that I was very far away from my definition of balanced and I had to be brutally honest with myself. I was sick, stressed and incredibly unhealthy. There is a tool I use at work with my client’s called the Life Balance Assessment http://www.bebalancedforlife.com/upload/Assessing%20Your%20Life%20Balance.pdf Print it off and try it out. I do this regularly to highlight areas where I need a bit of a tune up. I hear time and time again from friends and family that they just can’t lose the weight that they want to lose but they aren’t really being honest with themselves. Losing weight in a healthy way is hard work and you can’t say “Nothing works!” when you aren’t really committing and sticking with a plan. If you are cheating regularly and not eating clean then your body may not be where you want it to be. However, if you are looking to be healthy and part of your balance is working in those cheats then you may have to be honest and accept that extra 10 pounds as part of your concept of having a balanced life.
2. Set SMART goals for yourself: After you have done an honest assessment of yourself, it is time to set some goals. Goals needs to be specific! Try answering who, where, what, how, and when? How will you measure your ability to reach your goals? Is this goal attainable? Is it relevant to you? The goal needs to be personally important to you or it won’t happen! What is the time frame for your goal? It is easy to say someday I will… but if we don’t set time frames around those goals then it is very likely that it won’t happen. September starts on Monday and it is a great month to seriously assess those goals that you want to work towards.
3. Seek Support: Friends, family, counselors, doctors
It is ok to admit that you don’t have it all together and you may need some help from a professional. I try very hard to be a friend that people will call when they are in need and I know the people in my life will do the same for me. It may be difficult to ask for help but really that’s what friends are for.
4. Learn to say No: This one can be particularly difficult for a lot of people. In my professional life I can be really good at accomplishing this but it is more and more difficult in my personal life. It is common for a lot of us to want to be the best friend, child, mother, father, etc. but not at our own determent. I find that I need to prioritize and make sure to fit in all of my own self-care strategies (exercise, proper nutrition, sleeping well, relaxing, etc) or I simply do not have the energy to do my job well or be a good friend to others. If you have difficulty saying no an excellent book that I recommend is called “How Full is Your Bucket.” It is definitely worth the read.
5. Have Fun: Life is short! Do the things you love doing and do them often! Just make sure you do the healthy things you need to do in order to have the energy to do all the fun things you want to do! Try something you haven’t done before and start crossing off that bucket list.
I hope everyone has a wonderful long weekend and remember that finding balance is an active process that requires mindfulness and honest self-assessment. What do you do to stay balanced? We want to hear from you! Here is some of the fun I have had this summer! Thanks for reading!
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