"How do you maintain balance in your life?"
Isn't that the question we have for everyone who "seems to have it together"?
Balance is tough no matter what your daily looks like so here are my tips for those with a routine and also for those of us who the only thing consistent about our life is inconsistency.
Tips to maintain balance
1. Define balance for you. Balance does not mean equal amount of traveling, parenting, gym time, office work, creativity, and blogging each day. If your life is mostly routine, look for ways to add a little spunk and adventure to the mix. If your life is mostly random, look for moments to help you feel grounded. You most likely will not have an equal amount of routine and spontaneity but you can achieve balance between these two extremes. Live in one of these worlds and add splashes of the other.
2. Prioritize. We are not designed to go 100% on 100 different activities. We don't like to admit it but sometimes somethings gotta give. Write down the things you want to give 100% to in the order you wish to give to them. Also prioritize the things that fall lower on your list. We fill our extra time with activities that don't benefit us or that we don't particularly enjoy much more than we think.
3. Do your best and don't be so hard on yourself. Don't be so afraid of failure that you don't try the things you really want to do. I am just one of the millions of bloggers out there and it took me way too long to actually publish this blog. Do the things you love and do your best at them. Once you start over criticizing yourself and comparing yourself to others, the things you once loved are no longer enjoyable and the balance is off.
4. Define your wants and needs - keep your needs list small. Sometimes there is only a slight difference between the two but it can make all the difference. What are the things you truly need in order to flourish? What are the things you really want that may help you flourish in the most important areas of your life?
small, practical things you can do to maintain balance
1. Declutter. Get rid of clothes you don't wear, clean out the junk drawer, unsubscribe from emails you keep deleting.
2. Make small changes and goals. Switch from coffee to tea. Hold the cheese on a sandwich. Don't add salt. Drink more water. Go to bed an hour earlier. Take the stairs. If you don't have an hour to go to the gym, just run for 20 mins. We have a tendency to focus on big life goals that take years to accomplish. Making small, daily attainable goals makes us feel successful and motivates us to do more.
3. Multitask. Call a friend while you drive (hands free of course). Listen to an audio book while you workout. Check your email while you use the bathroom (I know you already do this one). Maximize the time you have.
4. Create to-do lists and keep a calendar. Make yourself a to-do list so when you have 5 minutes here and there you can use that time well instead of wasting it on something else. Keeping a calendar will show you have more free time than you think. Schedule what to do in that free time so you don't blow it on something useless.
It doesn't always work out perfectly. I struggle with wanting to explore other places more and wanting to be in better shape. I don't really have a home church, which is actually really hard for me. I have lazy days, off days, and completely unproductive days. But I've realized, balance isn't about finding perfection but about embracing life's adventures and mysteries the best way we can.