practical steps to turn ‘balance’ into reality
I don’t know about you, but I feel like the world ‘balance’ has become such a buzzword in the last year or two. Maybe it’s because I’m self employed and around a lot other self-employed individuals who are striving for balance. But, we hear this word everywhere, and it’s such a wonderful thing to strive for. When I asked you guys to share your word for 2018 in a recent IG posts, SO many people said their word was ‘balance’, and I love that.
Balance is definitely something I’m striving for more of in 2018, but to be honest…I think this word can be so vague / abstract. Sure, it’s a great thing to desire or strive for…but how can we make that a reality? This is something I’ve been thinking and praying a lot about recently. I don’t think that balance is something we achieve overnight, but rather a process of taking little steps every single day towards a more balanced life. So, today I want to share a few of those steps that I’m taking towards a more balanced life with you guys, in hopes that it helps you in your journey towards finding balance!
Before I share a few of the steps I’m taking…let me clarify. The concept of ‘balance’ is something I really struggle with. If you know me at all, you know I am very ‘all or nothing’, which can be a great thing but also cause some issues (aka an unbalanced life haha). SO, I am writing this post in the middle of my own journey and my own struggle. But, sharing things that are helping me grow along the way.
Before you start taking steps towards a more balanced life, you need to put into words (or on paper), what exactly about your life feels unbalanced? Your social life? Work life? Eating habits? For me, the biggest area where my life is lacking balance is work. As a blogger and someone who is self-employed…work never stops. There’s no such thing as a 9-5. In 2017 there were days I woke up at 5am to start working, or times when I was finishing a blog post at midnight (not okay). It’s hard though when work is something that you truly do love! But, you’ve gotta draw boundary lines somewhere!
So, in an effort to find more balance in my work life, I’ve thought of a few practical steps I can start practicing today. I decided I needed more designated times without my phone. To take that a step further, I thought of what those times would be. For me personally – I decided that when I am running outside, I’m not going to check my phone. I know that sounds silly but there are times when I am literally answering emails or DM’s while I’m running (I’m obsessed with multi-tasking haha). I’ve also made a goal for myself to not be on my phone at all whatsoever after 9:30pm. No texting, no answering DM’s, no scrolling through, IG, nada. It can wait until morning. There have been far too many times where I lay in bed for an hour either working on my phone or mindlessly scrolling.
These steps might seem small – but these small steps are a tangible way to begin my journey towards finding balance. Being attached / on my pone 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, is not healthy, and is not going to produce a balanced life! So, I’m creating boundaries.
Side note before I share more steps in creating balance – the steps / boundaries you put in place for yourself will not always be easy. It’s been like 2 nights and it’s already been SO hard for me to not be on my phone after 9:30. But, you have to trust that these steps will be worth it. Just like going to the gym when you haven’t been in months is not easy…it will be worth it. And it will also get easier the more you do it! Forming the habit is the hardest part IMO.
The next step I thought of for my journey of finding more balance with work…is discovering things that I enjoy as “me” time. TBH I really struggle with this because it feels selfish or like a lack of productivity. BUT, I realized alot of my issue with working too much is from a lack of rest or “me time”. So – my next practical step is find and enjoy my “me time” at least a few times a week. This doesn’t need to be anything extravagant like going to the spa every other day (but wow that would be awesome). For me, this looks like maybe 2 nights a week taking a bath (without my phone nearby), with a glass of wine and a book or magazine. This could also be going to a (relaxing) yoga class at night, or getting in bed at 9 to read a new fiction book before going to bed. Or taking beau for a walk around our neighborhood and listen to worship music. [I also have a goal for myself to take at least a 3 day trip this year totally unplugged! No social media!]
These are all really simple things, but for me…these “me time” activities allow me to unplug from the world of blogging and social media and work, and just relax!
Like I said, these are all very simple steps but I think achieving a balanced life begins with exactly that: simple and practical steps we can implement every single day. The example I gave today is finding balance in my work life, but you can apply this same principle to any area of your life where you sense a lack of balance: in your physical fitness, how you eat, relationships, etc. Take some time to reflect and ask the Lord where your life might need more balance!
Thank you for reading!