Balance is a word that is often used as the vague but necessary ingredient for happiness. The problem is, what feels like balance for me may not feel like balance for anyone else. Balance is all relative to where you start, in college I spent several years living on diet coke and twizzlers, my current lifestyle would not have felt like a move toward balance, it would have felt incredibly extreme. The same with an exercise program, for me, a balanced running program is about 30 miles a week, as well as several hours of yoga, but I didn’t start out there, it happened very slowly over time, and I let go of other things to allow for the time and energy to support my exercise.
The first step towards achieving balance in any area of your life, is to understand where you are starting from. If you are an insane workaholic, then deciding that balance means no working after 4 pm, may be setting yourself up to fail. Recognize that you are a workaholic, and figure out why. Is it truly your job is that busy, or do you use work as a way of avoiding dealing with other things? If your job requires 100 hours a week to perform, and that is wearing on you, then start looking at different jobs, or hire someone to help you. If you are using your job as a safe haven from your life, than really look at that.
If you want to add yoga or meditation, or healthier eating habits, start small, commit to breakfast being a healthy balanced meal, or decide to sit for meditation 3 times this week for 15 minutes. Ask a friend to meet you for yoga, or book a private session with a teacher.
If you try and make these small changes and it doesn’t happen this week, don’t torture yourself about it. That’s not balance, balance is being honest about what motivates you and trying to replace behaviors that don’t serve you, with those that do. It won’t happen overnight, and no one can do it for you. I know that my life is in balance when I am not pretending to enjoy things because they are good for me, but actively seeking them out because they make me feel good. Balance is a life that feels authentic to you, that at the end of the day you can feel like you did our best…..