Life in Balance

Remember that old saying your parents used to say to you – ‘everything in moderation’.  Well in this day and age we seldom do anything in moderation!  We live in a fast paced, immediate gratification society.  We live hard, play hard, work hard until our bodies tell us it is time to stop.

Invariably this leads to either total burn-out and exhaustion or stress related problems – neither of them very good!  When this happens people find themselves re-evaluating their lives and find it is totally out of balance – with work usually dominating most of their waking hours and doing something that they no longer enjoy.

This realisation can often make people feel ‘lost’ with no direction or trigger a return to youth (mid-life crisis I believe it’s often called!).  It starts many on a quest for what is important to them and what there priorities are.

I know many of these people (I was one!) and I am sure you do too.

So how can you avoid reaching breaking point before you are forced to evaluate and change?

One way is to use a ‘wheel of life’ chart – see picture – to see how balanced your life is.  The wheel represents the base areas of everyone’s lives.  To lead a fulfilling life, the theory is that you will apportion an equal amount of your time in each segment of your life.  When one segment overpowers, then all other areas will suffer and you become out of balance.

Draw your own circle on some paper and try it out now………

Sit in a place where you will not be disturbed and use the wheel to:

  • Draw 2 circles and draw 6 segments in each circle and name the section as defined in the picture.  One circle is for how things are now.  The other is how you would like it to be.
  • Against each segment write down about 3 or 4 things that you value within each segment (what are important to you in the segment)
  • Assess how much time of your day/life you spend in each of the segments – if you are like me then work dominated the wheel) and tick off how many of the list of values you are meeting.
  • Write down any thoughts you have about your current situation – positive and negative
    • If there are any negatives in any of the houses (don’t beat yourself up if there are!)
  • Compare the current and ‘would like to be’ circles and see where the differences are.

Are there any things you would like/need to change?  If so start making plans to and putting them into action.

Examples can be:

  • If work is overpowering and you are working more hours than you need to – look to work only your contracted hours and put early finishes in your calendars to remind you.  Make arrangements with your manager to ease your workload.
  • If your family is suffering due to other commitments – make time for them.  Put aside even a few hours where you spend time only with them.
  • Health and fitness is lacking – look for something you enjoy doing (swimming, go to gym, tennis, skipping!). If you are not sure try out a few different classes until you do find something.

The key also is to do what you love to do!  I know many people who go through their lives being miserable and not doing anything about it (I did for a while!), but I am also privileged to know a few people who are doing what they love, turned it into a career and are very successful due to their passion about something they love doing.

Make sure that one area of your life does not suffer because another area is taking up so much of your time.

You only get one shot in this life so make sure you are doing what you love and spending quality time with people who empower you and support you in doing the things you love to do.

Til next time – keep in balance!

Maureen

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