How to Determine if You Live a Balanced Life

Balance, how do I find the time for myself? How to determine if you live a balanced life.

What exactly is “balance?” If you look up “balance” in Wikipedia, you get everything from equilibrium definitions to arts, literature, and music references. Living a balanced life is talked about a lot these days. But what does that mean? How do you determine if you are living a balanced life?

Yin and Yang is the idea that seemingly opposite forces may actually be complementary in the natural world. Generally, yin is soft and slow. Yang is fast and bright.

Rather than pursue perfect harmony or exile those who are different from we are, Taoism states, “The wise person is flexible, and one who can go with the natural flow of the universe.” When we do this, we allow greater ease in our relationships with each other and our relationship
with ourselves.

The curved line that separates the yin from the Yang in the symbol represents that flexibility. Balance is not stagnant, especially in life. In the ocean, the swell is the Yang while the trough is the yin; in the car, the brake is the yin while the gas is the Yang. Opposite but interdependent. See how there is a fluidity to the co-existence?

That is a formidable scale to balance. It is not static and can change day to day. What exactly is balanced living? How do you earn a living vs. get the rest you need? How to work your body in fitness vs. resting and to stretch, time with work vs. time with family. Your happiness hangs in the balance.

At the Center

Balance is found at the center. The center houses everything vital to us, for one reason or another. Our core values, core purpose, and core beliefs drive our balance. If your life is out of balance, you have allowed other things to precede your core needs.

A solid physical core allows heavier weightlifting, building stronger bones—the center of the attachments for tendons and ligaments.

The daily decisions you make show what your core values are. If you believe saving money is essential, you probably have a sizeable portfolio. If you believe health is wealth, you eat healthily and exercise daily. If you say these are core values, then your daily actions reflect that.

But what if you say they are essential, yet, your life does not reflect stated value?

*Do you eat what you want and exercise 2-3 times a week and consider that balance?
*Do you work 8-9 hours a day, run errands, do for others, and at the end of the crash and experience no self-care?
*Do you take the $ for paid time off or take time off?
*Do you wait until you’re starving to find the nearest food, or do you plan your meals with quality protein, veggies, starches, and fats?
*Do you plan fitness into your day or just hope you can get to it?
*Are you active outside work with your hobbies and friends, or is it all work and errands?

Questions to ask yourself?

When designing your days with the “have-to’s,” but you need to enjoy some “want-to’s,” you have to ask yourself some hard questions.

When a client comes to me and says, “I want to lose weight,” I simply ask, “Why?” I get a blank stare, and then “Because I want to feel better about myself.” I respond, “Why?” Blank stares, “Because I want to feel confident in what I wear.” Next tricky question, “Why is that important to you?” And this continues until we get to the REAL WHY. Pain in the core is the reason that will bring balance back into their lives.

But balance is not 50-50. The two opposing forces determine balance. Eating cake and ice cream and processed foods with lots of sugar 50% eating well-balanced meals 50% will not give you the health you crave at your core. That looks like 85-15%. But that is the balance that belongs with those forces.

It’s essential to know your core reasons because when it gets tough to do what you need to do, and it will, you need to remember why it matters to you. Is it your grandchildren? Is it trekking to new adventures? Is it feeling healthy and confident daily?

Wheel of Life

Wheel of Life

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” Benjamin Franklin stated many years ago. Balance hangs in time management. Most of you have seen a “wheel of life.” Here is a simple reminder to check in with yourself. Where are your numbers? Are one or more areas in need of attention?

This week, take some time. Sit and talk with yourself and find the balance you need. I have an excellent tool for time management. You manage money; how do you manage your time? This tool can help you determine what activities keep you from living a balanced life and where you can start building the life you desire and deserve. Be kind to yourself. Get to the very core of finding balance in your life.

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