Next to love, balance is the most important thing. John Wooden
In order to find balance in our lives we need to first discover what our life consists of currently. That will help bring clarity in what might need changing in your life to achieve the balance you desire. To help you do that I've listed some questions for you to answer about your life. It might help you to begin with a new notebook in which you can write down what your life looks like now and later compare that with what your "happily balanced" life looks like.
I'm going to use the 5 following areas to guide you in thinking about your life:
Personal ( mind, body, spirit ); Relationships; Work; Serving/Giving; Home Life
Don't "over think" your answers. You will begin to see more clarity later on in the process. You can also change some things as you think about them later.
So find a comfy spot to plop down in...
take a deeeeep breath...
and let's get started..
Many of us are so busy we don't often take care of ourselves the way we should. But unless we take care of ourselves, we won't be in shape to take care of others and the things we need to do. It's about balance. While we don't want to be self absorbed, we do need to stay healthy in all aspects of our lives.
A) How much time do you spend engaged in some type of exercise ( biking, walking, sports, etc. ) weekly? Make a list of what you do to exercise your body on a weekly basis.
B) How much time do you spend in recreational activities, hobbies, or interests you enjoy on a weekly basis? Make a list of activities and hobbies you enjoy and engage in on a regular basis.
C) What types of things do you do to "exercise" your mind? This might include learning new things, reading, etc.
D) How much time do you spend on a weekly basis in having a quiet time of prayer, meditation, and/or deep breathing exercises?
E) If there are other things you do to develop your mind, body, and spirit, that haven't been mentioned, list them here.
Relationships are what life is really all about! We need each other! It is so important to develop healthy relationships with those closest to you ( ie, spouses, children, parents, grandchildren, grandparents, etc. )
A) Make a list of your immediate family members and those you are especially close to. How much quality time do you spend with each on a weekly basis? How much time would you like to spend with each person on a regular basis?
B) Make a list of your close friends. How much time do you spend with them on a regular basis?
C) Are you reasonably satisfied with the amount of time spent with the people you care about?
D) Do you feel you need to spend more time with any of those you listed above?
We are all engaged in some kind of work in our lives. Whether it be a job outside the home, a business, being a home-maker, a stay-at-home parent, etc. there is work to be done. We often spend most of our hours in the day in some type of work. It doesn't matter if you are paid for your work or not. Your work is still important. If you are fully retired then you can skip this section. At least that is what my husband would say. But even some retirees like to keep doing some kind of work.
A) How much time do you spend in your job or work on a daily or weekly basis?
B) Do you enjoy the work that you do?
4) HOME LIFE
Creating a warm, caring, home life is the responsibility of everyone in the family. Most often, however, it falls to one parent or the other. Especially if one is a stay-at-home parent. Home life is listed as an area of life because it takes time, energy, and creativity to create the kind of nurturing, safe atmosphere that helps everyone learn to work and grow together. A home is more than a place of shelter or roof over our heads. It's a place where we can feel safe, cared for, nourished, and encouraged.
A) How much time do you spend in creating the kind of atmosphere you want your home to have?
B) Describe the kind of atmosphere you would like your home to have. ( place of acceptance, place of simple beauty, comfortable, welcoming to others, etc )
A balanced life is a life of helping others, of serving and giving. It's giving time to your church and community. It's helping neighbors. It's being the kind of person who helps those in need.
A) What do you do to serve and give in your neighborhood, schools, church, or in other volunteer activities?
Are there areas in which you would like to spend more time? Are there areas lacking in your life? Is there an area in which you spend too much time and need to cut back? These questions will all be addressed as we work through learning how to have balance in our lives. It will be a work in progress.
For now describe what your happily balanced life would look like in all these areas of your life.
This is just a beginning. So stay tuned...
Thanks for following along!