What is a balanced life?
The word balance lets us know that there are no extremes. Many people think that living a balanced life means spending the same amount of time in all areas of life. Up until recently, I thought that this was true. Yet, I could never achieve this ideal goal and I condemned myself for not having a balanced life. However, I have come to accept that by nature some activities and responsibilities call for more time than others so having a balanced life means to give each area the time and attention needed to sustain a healthy and fruitful life.
How do we avoid extremes and sustain a balance?
- Examine what you’re doing
Are you taking on too many projects or hobbies? Are you stressed with too much work? Is your passion becoming a chore? Are you far spent from your day-to-day responsibilities? Have you become obsessed in some areas of your life and not consistent in others?
You may need to take some time to step back and evaluate your life choices. Perhaps it’s time to pause and reassess your journey. Also, it may help to consider your options and find an arrangement that will allow you to reduce stress and create time for yourself and your family.
- Track your time
As tracking your budget helps you to manage your finances, tracking your activities both personal and work-related will help you to manage your time. Diligently track your day-to-day tasks for a week or month to evaluate how you’re using and where you’re losing precious time.
What activities matter to you? What deserves more (and less) of your time? What activities will make you fruitful and fulfilled, and what will not? What should you continue doing, stop doing, and do differently?
- Create some “me” time
Finding time to do the things you enjoy whether it is reading a book, going on a hike, quilting, painting, getting a pedicure, exercising, etc. Place it in your weekly schedule to do so. It may be just once or twice a week and only for an hour or two. But it will make a significant difference in your outlook on life and your fruitfulness in life. It will become a time to shift gears for a moment and be replenished so that you can continue to manage the rest of your activities and responsibilities.
- Remember first things first
Before we can achieve any type of balance and fruitfulness in our activities and relationships, it is essential that we keep our relationship with God as our first priority. Spending time with God in prayer and study of His Word first is always the principle key to a healthy, balanced life. As we acknowledge God first, He will guide us through our activities and responsibilities. He will give us wisdom on how to proceed in our daily interactions. When we keep God first, He will show us how to balance everything else.
[Since God is first, I saved the best for last.]
In closing, applying these five guidelines will help you on the road to achieving a balanced life where there are no extremes and a sufficient amount of attention given in every area of your life.