“Finding balance is like finding happiness: there’s no right way to do it. There is only your way, your efforts, your time and your happiness.”
Much like me balancing my 60+kgs on my poor knees and heels, we’re all in pursuit of a balanced life. A life that feels grounded; with enough time, love, energy and money to live out our desires. Yet, I bet I’m not the only one who sometimes feels as though I’m doing it all yet nothing at all. We all have days when we lack harmony. Days when the weight of the world feels heavy on our shoulders. Days when we haven’t moved mountains but couldn’t feel more tired if we tried. “So little time, so much to do” has been the soundtrack of my life for so long, until I only recently began being more deliberate about creating balance in my life.
My greatest realisation thus far has been that I’m the only one who can define what true balance means to me. The point at which I feel the most grounded, connected and confident is unique to only me.
While this is still an area of growth, here are five important steps that should help you create more balance in your life:
Define What Balance Means to You
What do you believe to be important and true to you? What do you, not your grandma nor your man – what do YOU value? What matters to you is exactly where you should invest your time and energy. Balance feels different to us all, depending on our careers, relationships, passion points and responsibilities. Let go of the need to do what you think you “should” be doing and do what is important to you.
Today and always, drop the balls that don’t belong to you.
Work On Your Self Esteem
Self esteem drives your feelings of competency, your attitude towards life, your confidence and your authenticity. Once you’re clear about your values, the manifestation stems from your confidence in yourself and in those values. Cancel the noise and commit to your journey. Your value is innate, so find ways to nurture it in your everyday life.
While we’re here, this is one of the most helpful articles I’ve read on understanding self esteem, self concept, self efficacy as well as practical ideas on how you can develop and maintain a good sense of these – thank me later!
Plan and Prioritise
With so much competing for our undivided attention, it’s important to plan and prioritise. Let go of the temptation to do it all and be everything to everyone.
Create a basic outline of your week’s activities and revise daily. When planning, take into account your values and goals as well as the realities of your day to day life. Rather than pile on your to-do list as though you unlocked a few extra hours to your day, determine what tasks you can let go of to give room for today’s priorities. To-do lists work best when one look at them doesn’t immediately increase your blood pressure. “To do more of one thing, you must do less of others.” Marie Kondo your priorities and to-do lists – adjust your goals and priorities and ask for help when you need it.
And please, learn to say no. If I had a shilling for every “yes” I said when every fibre in my being needed me to say no, ya girl would be an island owner 🙆🏽♀️ . Sometimes the effects go by unnoticed but other times, you’re left feeling drained and your relationships strained. Make peace with your limits and give your yes’s power by using them thoughtfully.
Practice Self-Discipline and Consistency
Nothing will have you feeling on top of things like setting personal boundaries and actively reducing your distractions.
I’ve found that being intentional about some form of daily routine helps to keep me grounded and focused. Whether it’s a workout routine, a morning or night routine, a daily 30 minute bath or journal exercise, being disciplined about how you take care of yourself dominos to other facets of your life. For instance, if you’re trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle, it’s important to make better eating decisions frequently. Eating salads throughout this week and then KFC (and green tea) all of next week will not lead to real change, will it? Practice habits that support the life you endeavour to create.
I highly recommend creating a system to reflect on how you’re spending your time, how you’re feeling, your accomplishments, necessary adjustments – and do this, at least, weekly.
Create A Healthy Mindset
First and foremost, begin each day with the intention of making the most out of it. Beyond this, a key tenet to finding balance is being flexible. Adapt to the moment and allow things to fall into place, rather than force them to fit into a pre-determined structure. Truth is, no matter how much you plan, your boss will call you for an impromptu meeting, your lunch with the girls may run over and you might be stuck in traffic for longer than expected. 🎵 Just let go (of your expectations) – let it flow, let it flow, let it flow…🎵 Make Toni Braxton proud, will ya?
Learn to accept the good enough and let go of perfectionism. Don’t allow yourself to go to bed feeling like a failure. When you lay your head on your pillow every night, let go of the thoughts that you did not do enough and thank God that you were able to do all you did. Breathe, count to ten and move forward.
I love how the author of this article puts it, “finding balance is like finding happiness: there’s no right way to do it. There is only your way, your efforts, your time and your happiness.” Do not measure your balance by how much you accomplished in a day, it’s unrealistic to expect 100% performance on the daily – remember, you’re in pursuit of a balanced life so don’t condense your progress to 24 hours. Be kinder to yourself.
I’d love to know what balance means to you and how you overcome periods of imbalance in your life – please do share!
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