Life balance…people talk about it. It sounds good. Its a hot topic. We strive for it. But, what is it? Is it attainable? I had the privilege to speak at the Women Empowered Network at Hill’s Pet Nutrition in Topeka, Kansas on April 15th, 2010 on this very topic – Organizing for Work-Life Balance! You can see pictures on my Facebook page here.
Life Balance could mean different things to different people. As I think about what it means to me I keep coming back to two things: the eternal perspective and everything in moderation.
To have life balance you need to continually check back in on your eternal perspective. Doing this quickly brings into focus what is important in life. Are you spending your time on what matters? People matter. Relationships matter. Who will be sitting at your funeral? What will they remember? Is your life in balance when it comes to what really matters?
Then, check on your “everything in moderation” guide. What one area of your life is exceeding moderation? Work? Play? Your phone or computer time? Your thoughts on a particular topic – healthy or unhealthy? Why is this area of your life excessive right now? When you have identified an area that is exceeding moderation bring it back to the eternal perspective question. Whew, then things really come into focus! Seeing things clearly helps you make decisions clearly!!
Relax. There are times in life where things are naturally out of balance. Having a new baby. Meeting a deadline. Sickness. It is unavoidable that during life we will have areas that exceed moderation. That is why you as yourself, “Why is this area excessive right now?” Moving through these times with an understanding of this will help you get back into balance as soon as possible.
Here are two tips to keep your life in balance:
First, I like visual examples so think of life balance NOT like a juggler…
…where it is all (success, perfect balance) or nothing (crashing to the ground). Instead think of the playground equipment when you were a child…
…one side may be heavier periodically but things move and sway. The joy of that equipment is to have fun within the movement. It wouldn’t be enjoyable if a 300 pound adult got on one side and kept it on the ground.
Life isn’t meant for one side to be sitting on the ground continuously. Your ultimate goal is to keep the rhythm in balance…thus LIFE BALANCE!
Second, use this visual picture to represent your life. Have goals for all “arms” or sections of your life. Start with basic areas: work, physical, spiritual, relationships, financial, etc. Most people have work goals but by broadening the goals to all areas of your life you will be able to keep your life more balanced.
What does life balance mean to you? What do you use to examine and keep your life in balance?