Tag Archives: good life

Bring Your Life into Balance

The ability to find and maintain balance in your life is a skill. Some people may be more or less skilled at keeping up with all the responsibilities in their lives than you are. If you already feel pretty good about this, you probably can share this article with someone who may need it more than you. If you feel overwhelmed, and not sure how to keep it all running smoothly, then you’re in luck. Finding and maintaining balance is a skill, and because it’s a skill, you can learn or improve it. It’s also a habit. and once you learn a new habit, it gets easier and easier to keep it up. Ready?

beamazingSimplifying life is the easiest way to find and maintain balance. This means finding ways to streamline all areas of your life, so you are not using all your time and energy in only one or two areas to the detriment of others. For instance, you may be working long hours at work, and continuing to work once you get home. As a result, your relationships with family, friends, and your physical health may start to suffer.

It’s like the Plate Spinner at the circus. Perhaps he is capable of successfully spinning 6 plates at once. He starts with one, gets it going smoothly and adds another, and another until all 6 are aloft. Each requires minimal periodic attention to keep it going.

If he skips a plate, or spends more time on another than necessary, the others start to wobble, and eventually fall. Life is like spinning plates. You have your work, your home, your relationships, your physical needs, your spiritual needs, your social responsibilites, and perhaps others.

Take a quick look at how you utilize your time each day, and week to get a glimpse of how many plates you successfully have spinning. This is not to make you feel inadequate if you have only one or two up in the air. It is just to help you determine if some of the plates-or life areas- which aren’t spinning are keeping you off-balance. You’ll notice if you find yourself getting frustrated or angry about situations which you wouldn’t have before, or are feeling tired, out of shape, lonely or unhappy with work or life in general.

Simplifying life then is to find a way to include the missing relationships or needs. To find a way to spin a couple more plates will require you to spend less energy on the one that demands too much time. This could mean finding ways to delegate responsibilities, or saying no to nonessential requests, or combining activities that can spin plates in more than one area. For instance, taking a walk with a spouse or friend  adds relationship and physical value to your life. Enlisting help at work can be social as well as working. Make a list of some activities commitments you can drop, and some ways to combine your life areas.

Simplifying life is like cleaning out your closet. Get rid of the stuff you don’t need and doesn’t suit or fit you. Keep only the things which you love. You and your closet will have more space to fill with the activities which make you feel fulfilled and happy.

 Get simplified, and enjoy more…life.


Are You Where You Want to BE?

 

Picture a 40-something man, high school grad, been working at a variety of blue collar jobs, a wife, two kids, with a third on the way. One morning, he sees his reflection in the mirror and thinks, “What happened to my dream of coaching high school football?” Is it really too late to make it happen?

Many of us, when we take stock of our lives thus far, are loathe to admitting that time has gotten away from us without our achieving all the lofty plans we had in our youth. This is the ultimate example of goal-setting gone wrong. In reality, it’s the lack of goal-setting that is to blame. It’s just daydreaming. A dream, as they say, is a wish. A goal, on the other hand, is a dream with a deadline.

A dream with a deadline. The first step in righting all the goal-setting foibles is to make your goals measurable. Part of the problem for many is not really knowing how to set a goal. Maybe riding along on the roller coaster of life has seemed like the only way to survive. Perhaps someone else has traditionally made the decisions for you, and all you needed to do was follow through. This process seldom leads to satisfying and challenging results.

How then to best set goals and follow them to great results?

The first step is to do some self assessment to determine what it is that you would like to do. What is your passion? What would you rather be doing that really makes you feel alive? You need to buy into the goal, or you will never feel motivated to achieve it. If you need help with this, career or vocational counselors, or personal coaches can be instrumental in sorting this out.

Once you have an idea, it’s time to narrow down the specifics about your goal. If you decided that you still really want to be a high school coach/teacher, find out what that would take, and set some mini-goals or action steps which will lead you surely to that dream realization. You will know when you’re planning and hard work have paid off; because you will be offered a bonafide position at a high school where you would enjoy working. The goal statement and mini steps might look like this:

GOAL: To earn a Secondary Education degree within 4 years.
MINI-STEPS:

1. Find a college program and apply for admission by March 1.
2. Fill out a Financial Aid Application (FAFSA) by Feb. 1
3. Once accepted, meet with an advisor and plan your coursework for the first year by June 1.
4. Buy textbooks and supplies by 2 weeks before classes begin.
5. Carve out at least an hour per course for reading/studying per week
6. Revisit these steps and goals monthly to revise and update until goal is met.

The more specific the steps are, with deadlines, logical sequences, concrete actions, and the clearer the ultimate goal, the greater your chance of reaching it. The final goal may seem to you like biting off more than you can chew, but if you can beak it down into bite-sized pieces, even the 32 ounce steak can be savored, one bite at a time.