How to Find Balance In Your Ever Un-Balanced Life..

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. – Thomas Merton.

Pic credit: Alaskan Dude, Flickr.com

(This is a post by Payson Cooper).

Balance, balance, balance!

Balance is one of those things that most of us seem to be striving for, yet, we’re always falling just short of achieving… to me, that’s because balance is actually not really attainable.

There, I said it. : – )

The idea of getting your life into balance, and keeping it there, is like the idea of exercising once and having a perfectly fit body for life (wouldn’t that be freaking awesome?!).

So, if balance intrigues you and you long for it, what can you do?

Making A Shift..

You can change your approach a bit. 

Start to see balance as an overall feeling in your life, instead of as always being in that sense of ‘perfect zen’ or feeling inspired and passionate in EVERY moment (or whatever ‘balance’ means to you).

It’s not an ‘all the time’ kind of thing, more of an overall sense of well-being, fulfillment… balance.

When I wanted to bring more of that sense of balance into my life I started to explore what would help me feel that way and  came up with a few categories of things to focus on.

It might help you to do the same, so I’ll share mine with you to give you some ideas (keep in mind, yours may be similar or they may end up being pretty different).

These are some of the top areas I need to spend quality time in order to feel balanced:

1. Hanging Out With Loved Ones 

I need to spend quality time being with and connecting with my loved ones every day – that can be eating a meal together, cuddling on the couch and watching a movie or sitcom or going for a walk. This, above all else, is required for my sense of equilibrium. 

2. Fabulous Friends

Most days, at least 5-6 a week, I need to spend time connecting with one or more of my close friends. That can be a quick phone call, some soul-baring text time, an hour-long call catching up or a face-to-face visit. If I go a few days without it, I start to feel isolated and cut-off, so I know it’s a place I need to put attention.

3. ME time 

This includes meditation, reading for 20-30 minutes, walking in the park, exercise, shopping for & cooking healthy meals, among other things. This is like breathing for me, and it’s not something I can negotiate about. These things keep me from feeling scattered, scared, lethargic, depleted and off-track. ESSENTIAL in a daily way.

4. Personal Work

I’m an entrepreneur, so for me this is about my business, it’s not the same thing as having meetings, phone calls, going to networking meetings or any of the other activities running a business requires. Those things are important, but this is about digging into my work in a deep, mindful way.

This is time I use to think and work on bigger projects that I want to move forward, like building a program or working on my book. This is creative, introspective time, and for me it usually involves being alone in a quiet space.

5. Business Building Time

This includes things that make me stretch and push a bit… things like marketing, networking, making sales calls. These things are highly rewarding as an entrepreneur, and they can also be challenging. They are essential to building a successful business, so it’s something that I require to feel confident that things will continue to grow in a consistent way.

6. Time With Clients

Client time is like blood pumping through my veins. I love it so much and it is fulfilling and rewarding in unique ways. It is also intense mentally, requiring a different mindset and type of concentration than some of the other areas listed here, so it often helps me to stack client appointments, so I can stay in the ‘zone’.

That’s my list of the key categories in my life.

Clearly there are other activities that I incorporate to keep my life feeling good and moving forward, but if I make sure each of these is taken care of and dedicated time is given appropriately, I’ll feel on purpose, inspired, focused and generally delighted at the end of most days.

For me, that sense of fulfillment IS balance.

Oh, and I just want you to know… there are LOTS of days and weeks where things don’t quite come together and I don’t spend as much time in each of these areas as I would like.

The bottom line is, life is about creating happiness.

As long as I’m happy and I can put some more attention on the things that slipped through the cracks next week, I know, in the bigger scheme of things, I’ll feel good. That let’s me relax – another key piece of a sense of ‘balance’ for me.

It’s Your Turn!

Now, it’s time for you to explore what would help you feel balanced (assuming you want to, of course). Take a few minutes and write out some answers to the following questions:

  • What does ‘balance’ mean to you?
  • What are your top 4 or 5 categories or areas where you need to spend time to create that feeling or sense? 
  • How much quality time are you spending in each of them daily or weekly now? 
  • Do you want to make some changes – perhaps start scheduling time to focus on the categories that aren’t getting the time and attention you’d like?

All that’s left is to start scheduling time to make sure you fulfill your categories and you’ll start to bring that sense of balance into your life more and more.

Seem like a tall order?

It can be in our hectic and busy lives, but what’s the point if you can’t or aren’t enjoying yourself a lot of the time?

The best way to schedule the time for this is to decide it’s actually a priority for you.

Two keys there – PRIORITY and DECIDE.

When we make decisions in life, things actually begin to shift and change around them, making the things we decided about more and more possible.

If you are wavering or negotiating with yourself, it’ll never happen. You’ll fall back on your old patterns and that will be, as they say, that.

So make adecision that this is important to your long term health and well-being (it is) and make it a priority in your day to day world. Schedule these activities first, then put other things around them. 

Trust me… you’ll be really glad you did. Your life will change, possibly dramatically, for the better. Your stress levels will go down, you’ll be more present with your family (which will have lots of great impact too) and you’ll enjoy pretty much everything a whole lot more. 

Tell me, will you give yourself this gift? Share it forward, thanks!

Payson Cooper is an Intuitive Marketing and Life Strategist. She uses her laser-sharp intuition and rapid-fire marketing strategies to help entrepreneurs make more money in their business without working harder. Payson is also the founder and chief designer of Payson & Co. Jewelry and has created one-of-a-kind baubles that have graced magazine covers, been featured in movies, and even have the endorsement of fashion guru Tim Gunn. She’s on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. says

    Absolutely Payson!

    I agree that in most places finding balance for a Mom isn’t easy, especially if she is a working Mom like us. Speaking of myself, being a professional freelance writer, bloggers, and a full time Mom to my kids – finding balance is’t easy at all!

    Yet, one has to plan out things and schedule them in such a way that one’s able to devote a little time to everything. Here your priority and decisions you take matter the most, and of course working within your set time limits – isn’t it? I guess that’s why it’s said that women make better work masters. :)

    Thanks for sharing. :)

    • says

      So true Harleena! And, yes, setting a course, prioritizing, and not forgetting one of the most important parts of the equation – YOU – helps us find our way toward that elusive feeling… And, along the way we can have some fun, fulfillment, love and joy too! :-)

  2. says

    Wonderful post Payson, thanks so much for sharing. You are SO right, life is about creating happiness. People think its the pursuit of happiness, yet you so poignantly point out the real deal – we must create it. And I totally agree that life is never completely in balance. For me personally, though, I feel more balanced when I pause and pay attention to whatever it is I am doing rather than doing and thinking a million things at once. Be here now – mindfulness – when I can – brings order and balance into my life. Thanks for a great post!

    • says

      Absolutely Andrea – we really only have this moment, you are so right that being in this moment, finding that mindfulness, can really help contribute to that sense of balance, well-being and happiness. Thanks!

  3. says

    You raise an important topic!
    Once we know your own priorities, and don’t organize our life the way we think other people expect us to do so (boss, friends,…) it becomes so much easier to make choices and stick to them.

  4. Bianca S says

    This was a great posting and a much needed read for me. Lately I have been wanting to just quit my job, pack up and go…no set plan..just go. I know this is unrealistic but sometimes you need to read something like this to help ground you a bit… Thank you! I am a traveler at heart and I’ve been pretty much travel free for almost two years now (beginning to wear on me..) Everything about travel gets me excited and energized! The problem is…the money and the time needed to do so! I lived in London for two years where I was able to travel and see the world! I am back in the states now, working and living…and not traveling. So I guess for me the balance needs to be…work (save), travel, and when I can’t travel perhaps just reading about travel will do the trick! I know, I know it’s not the same at all…but depending on the book….sometimes that excited feeling in the pit of my stomach returns! “Eat, Pray, Love” did that for me and now I just read the book “Until Brazil” by Bethe Lee Moulton and the feeling is back! It’s about a married woman, in a steady job looking for a little excitement! She goes on a business trip to Brazil hoping for a promotion and instead gets immersed in a culture and an experience that she will never forget! http://www.untilbrazil.com/ –recommend 100% – It has given me the little escape that I so desperately need! Time to be an adult right? And make adult decisions! “The bottom line is, life is about creating happiness. ” – My new mantra! Time to make things happen, but in a balanced way :)

    • says

      It’s wonderful that you’ve discovered that for yourself Bianca – books can definitely be a much needed escape – I rely on them often too.

      And, it sounds like you’ve laid out a great recipe for yourself – work, save, travel… I know several people who have the same love of travel you do (my mom is one too), and if they aren’t at least PLANNING a trip they get all floopy (am sure you know what I mean :-) ). Perhaps between the reading travel related books and planning your next trip you’ll be able to carry that sensation through more of your life.

      Thanks for your comment!

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