6 Essential Steps To Live A More Balanced Life
What is a “Balanced Life?”
People talk about wanting to live a balanced life.
We all want balance in our lives, but is that really the right goal or are we really even defining a balanced life correctly? This is something I’ve been thinking about lately. I know for a fact that I am very busy. I’m on the go all the time. My calendar is full of things to do, and I’m always busy.
Sometimes, I don’t feel like I’m living a balanced life.
I’m pretty sure we often get the whole definition of balance wrong.
When I think of balance I think of chemistry class in college. In the lab portion of the class, we used to measure chemicals with a balance. We put a desired weight on one side of the balance. This weight was measured against a standard. Then we put the chemical we were measuring on the other side of the balance. We would add a little more chemical or remove a little of the chemical until we got the right amount of chemical. We knew that we were right – that we had the right amount of chemical, because the balance was balanced. One side wasn’t higher than the other. One side wasn’t lower than the other.
This seems to be what people want to do with their schedules. They want to put so many things into their life that they are well-rounded in every area, but sometimes I wonder if that’s really the correct approach. My guess is that we are measuring the balance of our lives against an incorrect standard.
We all have different priorities, and we all have things that should be higher on our priority list. If you make a list of how you spend your time and you compare it with your list of life priorities, I wonder if they would match.
I know that my work is one of my priorities. I know that my fitness is one of my priorities. I know my family is one of my priorities. I know my friends are one of my priorities. I know my writing and speaking are one of my priorities, and I know that serving others is one of my priorities. I have a lot of priorities. The question is which ones are the top ones and are they getting the attention – the time and energy – they deserve
My top priority is God and my faith, but the reality is I’m not sure I give Him the balance of time and energy that I should. If God really is a priority in my life, you would think I would spend a lot of time working on this priority. The reality is I get distracted, I get confused, and I get misdirected towards other things that are much lower on my priority list. And I’m guessing I’m not alone.
How do I go about reshaping and re-evaluating my calendar and my life in light of my desired priorities, so I really can live a balanced life? Here are some ideas:
6 Essential Steps To Live A More Balanced Life
- Determine the top 5-10 priorities in your life. I think it starts by figuring out your priorities. Spend time listing what really matters in your life. Put them in order from highest priority to lowest priority.
- Look at your calendar as it exists today. Take note of how you are spending your time right now. Where do we spend the most time? Where do you spend the least time? What occupies your time? We need to know how we’re spending our time and energy in order to determine what changes we might need to make.
- Compare your priorities to your calendar. Do they match? Where do they match? Where are they missing the mark?
- Adjust your calendar to match your priority list. What needs to stay? What needs to go? What needs more time and attention? Do the work of adjusting your calendar to match your priority list. If your family is one of your top priorities, schedule time in your calendar to be with your family. If your marriage is one of your priorities, schedule a regular, weekly date night. Cut of the things on your calendar that are unnecessary and don’t line up with your priority list. Do the work if you’re serious about pursuing a balanced life.
- Get accountability to make sure these changes stick. Share your priorities and calendar adjustments with somebody. You don’t need to share them with everybody, but find one or two people who can hold you accountable to making the changes a reality.
- Take action. Don’t be afraid to reevaluate from time to time. Plan regular check-ins, and figure out what is working well, what is not working well, and what additional changes you need to make. This is an ongoing process. You are not going to fix it all at once, but I’m convinced that through diligent, intentional thought and action we can take steps to live a more balanced life.
Are you living a balanced life? What action do you need to take to live a more balanced life? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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