My Definition of Balance = intentionally and consistently accomplishing the things that most benefit the quality of your life. (Spiritually, physically, emotionally, relationally, and mentally)
This is a tough article to write because I find myself consistently unbalanced, investing time and energy into things that tend not to benefit that overall quality of my life. (At some point I need to stop watching Once Upon a Time – there is no way that show’s going to end well). But over the years, I have seen improvement, and it’s because of some of the thought processes below.
To have balance I need counter balances:
No matter how hard we work at balance, there will always be circumstances outside of our control that force us to be unbalanced: conflict at home, an unexpected project at work, or a friend in need – and the list goes on. It’s nearly impossible to stay balanced.
About three years ago, I was introduced to a counter-balance mindset which yielded some pretty fantastic results. This is the idea of going between life and work requirements so that nothing is ignored or left undone for too long. An example of a counterbalance in my life is taking a half-day and spending it with my family at the Zoo because I had to stay late for the last two nights at work.
What counterbalances could you add to your life?
To have balance I need healthy habits:
So much has been written on healthy habits, so I don’t think I’m going to cover any new ground here except to reiterate their importance. Habits – good or bad – are the building blocks of our life. The importance of building healthy habits can’t be overstated.
Tom Ziggler, the son of the author Zig Ziggler, was once asked what’s the fastest way to be successful. His reply is enlightening, “Consistently replacing bad habits with good habits.”
Here is a tip to building healthy habits: link them to rewards. Personally, I’ve been wanting to exercise in the morning; but I could never stay consistent with it until I linked it to a personal reward – something I couldn’t do until I completed my healthy habit. In case you’re wondering, it was checking my email and Facebook. It sounds funny, but that was the answer I got when I asked myself the question, “What do I like doing in the morning?”
Is there a good habit that you need to add that would help you maintain balance?
To have balance I need to start saying “No”:
If you are around 30 years old, your life has probably hit max quo in what your schedule can handle. It’s time to start saying, “No.” See, you aren’t a superhero that can magically create more time and energy. You are a finite human being with limitations — and saying “yes” to everything is the easiest way to become unbalanced.
I don’t mean saying “no” to all new things, but you might need to say “no” to something you are currently doing before you start something new. Recently, a friend asked me about starting a blog. My question to him was, “What current thing are you going to say ‘no’ to in order to create time and margin to take on the new responsibilities of writing a blog?” I don’t know about you, but personally, I find myself saying “Yes” a lot more than “No” which consistently causes me to lose balance.
Is there something you need to start saying “no” to so you can get to a better “yes”?
To have balance I need consistent rituals:
Rituals are not just to-dos on a calendar; they are sacred times that bring alignment back into our most fundamental relationships with God, spouse, and family.
For over four years, my wife and I have had a date night every week on Tuesday. I can count on one hand the number of times we have missed it. It’s not always easy to get a sitter for three kids, but this has been one of the best things Bry and I have done for our marriage.
Is there a consistent ritual that would help you have balance?
Ok, so what did I miss? What are some things that help you stay balanced in life?