As an entrepreneur with two young daughters who holds family time as sacred time, runs a small tech-firm by day and, by night, works passionately building a second venture with a mission to empower others, I am constantly being asked, "How the heck do you balance it all?"
The truth is... I don't! And before you click off this blog, thinking "Well, thanks for nothing, lady," just hear me out here! Nobody does. The word "balance" itself implies that some sort of destination has finally been met where the weight of one's life has been distributed evenly in every regard: career, family, health, personal growth, relationships, self-care, etc. And, in this line of thinking, since you've already arrived, there is no need for improvement in any of these areas. But, it just doesn't work that way! Even if all things are perfectly balanced for a moment (hooray!) don't blink because it just takes one of life's infamous little curve balls to be thrown our way to completely knock everything out of whack.
So, instead, I personally work towards balancing my life. That little "ing" at the end of the word (which, by the way, is called a gerund, in case you were wondering) is oh so important. It implies that an action is taking place. And, balancing your life takes a lot of action. Daily action, even. It's about developing a strong sense of awareness and checking in with yourself and your beloved ones on a regular basis to identify any areas that can use improvement. Are you getting enough quality times with the kids? Is your spouse feeling loved or neglected? Is your career or business running as smoothly as you would like? How are you feeling physically? Emotionally? Stressed? Are you feeling fulfilled at a soul level?
Keeping all of the balls in the air is no easy feat... especially if you are diving fully into the person you want to be. And, frankly, some days will be better than others. As humans we can only try our best. But, it is important to work consistently towards that sense of balance so that you can help others, take care of yourself, and make your impact in the world as stress-free and full of joy and love as possible.
When any one area of your life is significantly off-balance, it throws you off in every other aspect, taking you out of your "A" game and making you feel a little less awesome than you actually are.
Here are a few guidelines that will help you to maintain the harmony, peace, and balance in your life that we all yearn for!
- Be your beautiful authentic self. You have to let go of any preconceived notions of what your life is "supposed" to look like. Definitely steer clear of comparing yourself to others. We all have different paths, circumstances, and dreams. What works for others might not work for you. Instead, focus on what you stand for. What is the impact YOU want to make in the world? Learn to be totally comfortable in your own authenticity. If there's an area of your life that you are not completely satisfied with, then put in the work to change it! But, only do it because it aligns with your soul's calling, not because it will make somebody else happy (your parents, society, or whoever). You will never feel peace living the life somebody else has envisioned for you.
- Accept with gratitude. Life isn't perfect. It gets messy sometimes -- for all of us. So, we all need to learn how to dance in the storm. Your house is not always going to be spotless, you won't be able to attend every single social event, you're inevitably going to let your spouse or your kids down every once in awhile, and you may need to pass up on some seemingly awesome business opportunities. Being okay with that, accepting the imperfections, and seeing the beauty of your life with intense gratitude no matter what will give you that sense of balance even in chaotic times.
- Prioritize. At this moment, what is most important to you? What or who lights you up? Are you spending a good amount of your time with the people that you love deeply and working on the projects you feel most passionate about? If not, where might you be a little off balance and need to pay more attention? Is there something sucking up a lot of your time that just doesn't serve you or drive you closer to your vision? It may time to cut back in some areas. (Yes, I'm talking to you Facebook and TV!) And, most importantly, are you carving out some time for yourself too? Remember: If you crash and burn from not taking care of yourself, you won't be any good to anybody else either.
- Plan. Schedule everything! And, don't be afraid to say "no" to opportunities. Spontaneity sounds lovely, but reality is that if you have big dreams include balancing all aspects of your life, you must plan accordingly! I use technology to my advantage here with digital calendars that sync up to my apple products. Everything from date night to kids schedules to business meetings and workouts to when I am going to write (which is also planned in a separate editorial calendar) all get put on the schedule. I then have reminders pop up to keep me on task. Take some of the pressure off yourself by extensively planning your days. Take time to step back and look at your big picture. Then take a step back in and plan out all the details. And, if digital is not your thing, no biggie. A trusty old-fashioned paper calendar or planner works just as well. (Some enjoy a combination of the two). Whatever works for you, just use it consistently.
- Check your slices. A fun activity is to do is a goal wheel where you draw a circle and divide it up into even sections, like a pie cut into slices. Each section represents an area of your life. Perhaps your "slices" would be named: family, career, fun, personal growth, spiritual, relationships, self-care, money, etc, or whatever resonates with you. How much energy are you putting into each area and how satisfied do you feel? It's normal to have a slice or two that are totally dominating while others are just a few puny crumbs. Identify this and work to even things out.
- Reevaluate from a birdseye view. Make sure you pop your head out of the weeds and grab yourself an aerial view of your life on a regular basis so you can get a good honest look at where you're at. Where are things going well and where do you need to revamp or recharge? If it's not easy to get your head out of the muck to really evaluate things (which let's face it -- this is a very difficult task for most), than hire yourself a personal coach to help you hone in. A coach is one of the best investments you can ever make! I've personally had several amazing ones throughout my career and they've helped me tremendously. But, if you just can't afford it right now, at least get yourself a network of peers, friends, or family members who can help guide your way on. Multiple brains are better than one and sometimes it takes an outsider to really call us out on our sh*t.
Don't worry about achieving perfect balance because that will never happen -- life just isn't designed that way. However, making a conscious mindful effort to regularly check in and evaluate things will help you tremendously in the delicate act of balancing.
How do you find balance in your life? Please feel free to share and discuss in the comments below!
Wishing you much peace, harmony, and balance!
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