Life balance in our lives seems fleeting, these days. Balance does not mean being calm, relaxed, and content all of the time. Balance is not our final goal, but an ongoing practice. Balance in your life may seem momentary, but with practice it will reappear over and over again. As we practice balance, it will become part of our daily journey.
In his book The Effective Executive, Peter Drucker talks about the importance of setting goals, prioritizing. Balance comes from setting both long and short-term goals. Strategy is the long-term goal. Your tactics become your daily practice. Finding balance is determining what is most important on any given day, any given moment. What is your priority, today? When, life balance, is your focus the practice becomes easier.
Practice of balance needs to be specific. Your strategy “I’m going to call some friends this week”, is too vague. Tactically, plan time to call three friends, knowing you won’t be interrupted and have time to engage. The same is true with your strategy “I’m going to eat healthily & exercise more”. Practice may be eating fruit, instead of a bagel, with your breakfast. If your strategy is to exercise more, your tactic for practice is building 3-4 hours of movement (don’t call it exercise) into your week. Set taking care of yourself, as priority one. Learn to say “No”, as a full sentence. Create an efficient mindset, become organized and plan ahead.
Maintain a schedule. One way to ensure a balanced life is to schedule your time. Now, we have seemingly limitless amount of time, right? It’s hard to maintain balance within such openness. A schedule can help you balance your time in various areas, that are most important to you. You can and should schedule “Me -Time”. Prioritize what activities (1) you must do 2) those you should do (3) those that you enjoy and make you happy. Then assign an appropriate focus to each activity. Set your boundaries. Practice paying attention to your health which has the biggest effect on the quality of our lives and those around us. We are far more productive and happier when we get enough sleep, eat a healthier and practice something we love to do.
Practice making compromises. You rarely can “have it all,” so compromises are necessary to keep yourself (and those around you) happy. It may seem hard to balance your own life, while still considering those around you. However, practice following the airlines rule and “put the oxygen on your you first and then the loved one”. To support good compromises, think positively. Your thinking can shape how you perceive each day and situation. Maintain a positive approach to life. Reduce your negative self-talk. Understand the difference between “I can’t do that” and “I won’t do that”. If you think, “This cake was a flop”. Change to “This cake was not my best effort” Knowing it will be appreciated by the recipient, as a generous gesture of caring.
Minimize toxic people in your life. Minimize the negative influencers around you, the complainers, whiners, poor attitudes. If you can’t completely avoid them, practice minimizing contact. Practice finding and surrounding yourself with positive, supportive, can-do people.
Practicing “Me Time” may seem selfish. However, it is crucial for lowering stress, increasing happiness and encouraging creativity. Learn or practice deep breathing exercises, meditating, yoga, going for a walk, gardening. Take a walk and find the beauty around you. Be a tourist in your own back yard. Discover something about Sun City you did not know before 2020.
Practice Joy, repeatedly. Laugh, joke, play, find your sense of humor and share it. Nothing makes anyone feel better, faster than a good old-fashioned belly laugh. Go spread Joy.