Do the words life balance just make you groan, do you find yourself having that internal conversation saying yes I know I need to work on this but now is not the right time I got X, Y, and Z to deal with at the moment? Or do you find yourself simply laughing and muttering under your breath fat chance?
I struggle with this concept at times as I feel that society is good at projecting an image of what we should be aspiring to, the perfect partner, parent, child, sibling, friend, colleague, that pillar of the community and then we beat ourselves up for not matching up to these expectations. But how realistic are they and do they actually align with what’s important to us?
Having balance in your life, achieving a balance between what we need to do and what we choose to do is important for our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. However, to have any chance of achieving a better balance I believe we have to take a step back and think not about what society expects of us but what we feel is important for us right now. I like to call this the ‘realistic life balance.’ A balance that is right for this moment in time, for what is important to me now.
What is important now will change over time as our priorities and focus change but a good place to start is to think about the different components of your life that you want to focus time and energy on. Maybe it’s family, your partner, your education, your health your finances, career etc. The key here though is to really be honest with yourself, not what you think should be included but what is important to you now. Write them down.
Now consider each of these areas and categorise them into one of the following:
- I currently spend sufficient energy and focus on this area of my life
- I currently spend too much energy and focus on this area of my life
- I currently spend too little energy and focus on this area of my life
Be honest; remember this is about creating a realistic balance that is unique to you.
For those areas of your life where you feel you have sufficient energy and focus, great job, these are not the focus of this exercise so put them to one side. You may make tweaks to them but at this moment in time, they are not your priority.
Let’s consider those components which you have identified as having ‘too much energy and focus.’ As this is about creating a realistic balance we need to find some space, some spare time, or some capacity to enable you to refocus. For each of these components challenge yourself to identify one thing you can stop doing, something that’s not adding any value to you, deprioritise it or maybe you can delegate it to someone else. In creating a better balance we don’t want to just add to our ‘to do’ list, we want to replace it with more meaningful activities that will make you happy and have a positive impact in your life. But identifying these activities it is not enough, you need to now make it happen, what are you waiting for? Take action to make this change in your life.
Ok, so now you are letting go of something we can turn to those parts of your life you want to work on. In each of these areas visualise what your life would look like if you had this component right for you. What would you be doing, who would you be with, what would it feel like, look like. Capture this. But remember this is a realistic balance so let's break it down and identify one or two small actions that are going to help you make progress towards that ideal picture. Now you need to take action, if it’s not something you can do straight away, block out time in your diary so you know you have dedicated time set aside to make it happen.
When you think about creating a balanced life remember this:
- It’s about identifying what is right for you, not for everyone else and accept that this will change over time.
- For aspects of your life that have too much focus, let go of something.
- For those areas, you want to improve, identify what your ideal is, break it down to find one or two actions that you can do right now.
Creating a balanced life is about creating a life that’s right for you. It’s realistic and it's achievable.
If you would like more help on creating balance in your life then you may be interested in attending one of my workshops or you can book your own coaching session, why not get in contact to find out more.