This is the time of year when many of us may have set new years resolutions, but perhaps some resolutions have not been met or we may feel we have ‘failed’ at achieving our goals. Here is some good news! We are never too late to start over and begin again. Below are some ways to help you find balance:
1) Your own personal equilibrium
It’s easy to get tips and read about how to achieve balance, but ultimately, you are the one who is steering your own ship. Always know that even when you set out to go to yoga three times a week, eat healthy food, read your children bedtime stories, it might not work, and it is okay to re-work the plan as many times as you need to. If achieving balance is seeming like a struggle, listen to your intuition. Only you know when it is best for you to make a move, when to step back, when to quicken the pace and when to slow it down.
2) Support System
Reach out to family and friends and let them know what you are attempting. Maybe your friend wants to try healthy eating with you too and you can exchange photos of your healthy food for motivation or better yet, have them over for dinner!
If you have gone to yoga classes, you have probably heard your teacher talk about yoga as a ‘practice’. This concept is incredibly true as trying to find balance is very much a practice. We all have days when we ‘fall off the wagon’ and maybe we lost our temper with our kid(s) or did not meet the deadline for work. Balance does not mean we are calm, relaxed and happy all the time. Instead of thinking you need to achieve balance, think of yourself as practicing balance over and over again throughout life.
4) Goal Setting
Determine some short term and long term goals. Be sure to write them down in a place that is visible. Consider sharing the goals with someone and they may be willing to help you be accountable. If you have tried this step in the past, and struggled, try baby steps by starting with a very small goal. For example, if your goal is to eat healthier, place a calendar that is visible near or in your kitchen, and write down what you have been eating or take a photo and pin it to a digital platform. If you like to write, then record in a journal what you have been eating and how it makes you feel.
Setting a boundary could be telling your family that you are willing to make 3-4 healthy meals per week, but the other meals would be their responsibility. This approach can be a way to set a boundary and initiate their support. It does not have to be perfect, especially the first week, but it can be a way to begin integrating balance within your life and family.
6) Be Specific
It is more straightforward to say, ‘I going to read to my children before bed three nights this week’ than to say, ‘I would like to spend more quality time with my children’. Quality time is an excellent idea to gain more balance for a family, but it is vague. To ensure that your goal can be more attainable, try to be as specific as you can.
7) Have Fun
The whole purpose of finding more balance is to improve your life and well-being. If you are starting to feel that you have done the above steps and it is not working, it’s okay to re-work your plan. Examine the list and check to see if any steps are too rigid or not compatible with your lifestyle. There’s no sense beating yourself up trying to do it all. Go easy on yourself!