It's tough to balance the many demands on your time. Yet, although it may seem an impossible task, living a balanced life is not only possible, it's also vital to your enjoyment of life. Without balance, you may have trouble setting limits, experience difficulty saying no to demands that add little value to your life, and have no time left to say yes to your spirit and those relationships that matter most.
1. Make Time For Personal Goals
You may be wildly busy in your life, but are you busy taking action on your most important goals? It's easy to push your personal goals to the back burner and think you'll get to them tomorrow, next week, or next year. Unfortunately tomorrow never gets here. Balance includes identifying values and personal goals - ones that you are passionate about and that you believe in - and making them a part of your daily existence. To bring your dreams or personal goals back to the front burner, ask yourself these questions:
What is really important in my life?
What are the important relationships in my life?
What do I want to achieve for myself and my life?
How will I give priority to the things that are most important?
2. Drop Unnecessary Activities
To make room for personal goals, most likely some other activity has to take a lower place on your daily to-do list. Make a list of what really matters to you and what things are just 'nice to haves.' For example, keeping your sink clear of dishes and talking to your friend everyday might be 'must haves', but vacuuming the floors everyday and watching television every night might just be a habit. Unnecessary activities keep you from the things that matter to you.
3. Manage Your Stress
When your life is out of balance, stress and its harmful effects is the result. Your body reacts to stress with insomnia, migraines, lowered immunity, and digestive problems. With stress, you are less likely to eat well or take care of yourself. And you're less likely to have enough energy to remain committed to the tasks that are most important to you. Reducing stress is an absolute must for good health and emotional well-being.
4. Drop the Guilt
Many people put career and family before personal goals. And sometimes, doing this may be a necessity. But can you name at least one personal goal that you are consistently working toward? Yes, having a family and career is important - but so are your personal needs. You deserve to be happy and you are the person solely responsible for making that happen.
5. Follow Your Intuition
That small inner voice within... that's you talking to you! Intuition is your subconscious self attempting to make your life better. However, if you're just too busy, you're not likely to take the time to hear your intuition. Developing your intuition is essentially learning to listen to sources of information that are already within you - just ignored. So close your eyes, take a few slow deep breaths, and invite yourself to get back in touch with who you are.
6. Rest and Relaxation
Life is simply to short, so don't let the joy pass you by. Make it your intention to take daily steps to stop and smell the flowers, feel the breezes, really listen to the people that matter most to you, and enjoy your afternoon chamomile tea. Set aside one night or one afternoon each week for recreation. Turn off the TV and do something enjoyable. Making time for activities that are beyond your typical habits will rejuvenate you.
I use the word meditate metaphorically. There are times when you need to get out of your head and get in touch with your body and your spirit. You owe yourself at least 10 minutes of peace everyday. Spend some time each day breathing, sitting alone in the sunshine on your patio, going for a stroll around the neighborhood, or even just staring out the window. Taking time out can create balance by lowering your heart rate, relaxing muscles, and reducing stress. You end up feeling rejuvenated, more likely to hear your intuition, and more capable to take action on those inner impulses.
8. Stay Focused
With so many things vying for your time, decide to maintain focus on what's important to you. Create reminders of what is important to you by creating a vision board, putting a motivational poster on your wall, or taping a reminder on your refrigerator. Another option is to use your computerized task program and send yourself daily reminders.
9. Food Is Important
Getting involved in cooking your own food creates balance by keeping you energetically involved in the process of life. Eat at least two fresh, home cooked meals each week. When you cook, you realize that your life, your body, and your joy are a priority. You make the time for what is important to you. Cooking for yourself and enjoying the process activates both your own energy and the healing, invigorating energy available to you from food. The life energy of food is available to in part through digestion, but taken in through your senses. As you prepare the food, feel the food between your fingers, listen to the crunch of the fresh vegetables, and inhale the aroma of the meat sautéing. Breathe in all that food has to offer and take in the life energy of food that is in the colors, aromas, and sounds.
10. Evaluate Your Options
If your to-do list is overflowing with daily commitments, it's time to evaluate your options. Ask yourself a simple question. "Is doing this activity going to improve my level of joy, personal satisfaction, or the quality of my life?" If the answer is no, decline the activity, delegate it, or put it lower on your to-do list. This makes room making your life more enjoyable because you can now devote time to activities that matter most to the most important person in your life - you!
Creating balance means finding the right balance between the different aspects of yourself and you life. True happiness comes from identifying what is important to you and then dividing time between these things. You owe it to yourself, and to your well-being, to find the right life balance that works for you!