"To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short." -Confucius
A huge struggle for me lately—hence the blog post hiatus—has been finding balance in my life. It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the daily hustle and bustle, tossed around in everyone else’s plans for us, and to turn our own worlds upside down putting out fires. It’s important every now and then to pump the brakes, sit back, and observe. Is everything at equilibrium or are things being neglected? Am I overstimulated by one aspect of life while simultaneously letting another slip into the abyss?
I’ve been guilty of this many times, and in recent months I admittedly have lost focus and perspective of the overarching harmony in my life. So in order to find it, I stopped, dug deep, and regained alignment. First, I took a break. I removed emotions from the equation, because boy let me tell you! These will throw a wrench in your harmony every time. Once my emotional whininess was silenced, I could really reflect on the important things and get everything back in order.
I realize this differs for everyone, but being the organizer planner free-spirited dreamer that I am, I meticulously categorize my life, and then proceed to dream up the most outlandish goals—for shouldn’t every goal be what we believe, at the time of setting it, to be wildly out of reach?—and set myself up for achieving them. So first things first: I examine every category of my life and scrutinize it for neglect. Relationships, family, career, health, leisure, spirituality, and finances must all be cared for equally and on the up and up!
I note where things have gone awry: too much time and energy on relationships and fun, not enough time on health and family, for example. And then I set goals for all of the aspects of my life, spending extra time and thought for those aspects that have been neglected, and planning how to tame those aspects that have been hoarding all of my time and energy. Of course, at different times in our lives, different aspects may need more attention. When you’re in college for example, that takes a lot of time, energy, and money, which negatively impact the other aspects of your life. These sacrifice phases of life should be temporary and have definite end dates, otherwise it will be a permanent and costly drain on your life balance and health!
Once the goals have been set, the resources have been managed, and the problem categories checked, I attach actions to my goals and find ways to monitor them. Just as I have a budget for my finances—of course!—I have a workout plan and meal prep for my health, and so on and so forth to ensure I’m not creating an illusion of progress for my life, but that I’m actually improving! There is a huge difference. You’d be surprised how many people go through life balancing and setting goals, but never taking the time for this important piece of the puzzle.
The last step is follow through: actually doing what you say you’re going to do and sticking with it. And that’s it. Now, in about 6 months or so, I’ll be able to look at everything again and tell what aspects of my life have slowly crept up and taken over! And then be able to readjust and reprioritize and set new goals for next time.
Hope this helps you get your creepers in check! J