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Life happens, and . . . the balance beam of life

Life happens, and...

When I was a kid, I took a gymnastics class and let me just be clear….I was horrible! I couldn’t ever even learn to do a cartwheel, let alone do the parallel bars or balance beam. With those images at the forefront of my memory, it’s no wonder that I struggle with work/life balance. After all, how you do anything is how you do everything, right? If you can’t cut it on the balance beam as an 8 year old then there is a high probability you are a little wobbly in terms of balance as a 50 year old. My handsome husband, Ron, is convinced that if we weren’t married, I would be married to my job and he is probably right. I have severe workaholic tendencies!  I was recently asked what I do to relax and honestly, it took me a few minutes to respond. As a business owner and leadership development consultant, I do a lot of talking about work/life balance; however, but I am not so great at practicing what I preach.

As I speak with people all over the country, the number one frustration they feel has to do with work/life balance. They often feel frustrated and overwhelmed and would describe their lives as anything but “abundant”.

I believe this frustration comes from a misunderstanding of “abundance”. We usually equate abundance with the state of our bank account. However, one of the best definitions of abundance I’ve ever heard is “balance”. If your bank account is full but your relationships are bankrupt, you aren’t living an abundant life. If your relationships are thriving, but your health is failing, you are not living an abundant life. If you are physically fit, but emotionally fat, you are not living an abundant life.

In order to live a truly abundant life, you must pay attention to the “important” not just the “urgent” areas in your life. These key areas may not get the same amount of attention at the same time; however, if you are self-aware, you will be able to put a plan in place to increase your work/life balance.

People may differ about which areas are key; however, I believe we experience true abundance when we are able to focus on the following 5 areas:

  • Possibility/Creative Thinking
  • Personal Growth
  • Financial Stability
  • Authentic Relationships
  • Physical and Mental Fitness

We may not focus on each area equally, but when we are committed to balanced living, we will have a game plan to focus on each area with regularity. Otherwise, we will teeter totter through life by swinging from one extreme to the next. We will focus on one area to the detriment of another and then overcompensate. This can be alleviated if we will simply take time to evaluate our lives in each of the above areas and set measurable action steps to ensure we are working towards balance.

I definitely don’t have any delusions about being an expert in this arena; however, here are a few of the action steps I incorporate into my weekly routine to bring balance into my schedule.

  • Possibility/Creative Thinking
    • I say positive affirmations every day
  • Personal Growth
    • I read something about personal and professional development daily
  • Financial Security
    • I review and adjust my budget monthly
  • Authentic Relationships
    • I have a weekly date-night with my husband
  • Physical and Mental Fitness
    • I work out 5 days per week and take time to relax every week-end

If you are reading this article and feel like you are about to fall off the balance beam, I encourage you to take the time to reflect on how you can incorporate deliberate action steps in the areas you feel deficient. Enlist support and accountability as you develop the muscle of balance. By practicing on the balance beam of life, you are able to create a schedule that allows you to major on majors and live with no regrets and that is feels even better than a cartwheel.