My Recipe for a Balanced Life

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Balance for life is like an old family recipe handed down from generation to generation, yet it was never written down. My mother is an amazing cook, of down home, country, comfort food cooking. Yet I have been very challenged at learning how to create the things she makes so well. The reason I’m challenged is because she doesn’t have a detailed, measured out recipe. She “eye balls” it. Balance for life takes some “eye balling.” It takes trying different things, building upon successes and learning from mistakes. I know it takes a few, standard, ingredients though. It takes self-confidence, assertiveness, delegation, and personal insight. Each of these individual ingredients relies upon the other and improves itself as well as the others the more you work on each individual one. Sounds confusing, doesn’t it? Let me put it this way, to create balance for life you need some self-confidence to be assertive, you need assertiveness skills to delegate, and personal insight to know when to stand up for yourself, and when to delegate, in doing all of that you begin to feel more self-confident which in the end creates a more balanced life. So where do we start then? Let’s start at personal insight.
Knowing yourself aids you in making sound decisions for yourself and thus for the benefit of others. It’s time to get real with what you need first. Needs and wants are very different, though we use those two words interchangeably a lot. Needs are things that we must have to live and be healthy. Food, shelter, water, air, and safety are some of our very basic needs. Beyond that, there is time to ourselves, time with loved ones, exercise, work, hobbies, spirituality, etc. Work already has its place on your schedule. How much time do you need to be alone, to be with your loved ones, for your spiritual side, to exercise, and to dedicate to your hobbies and other type of activities? This is going to require time to really think about this and see how you feel about it. A good start is would you describe yourself as an introvert or extrovert? Do you renew your energy supply by being alone or with others? How much time do your loved ones want or need to be with you? This may require some collaboration with them to insure everyone gets their social and non-social needs met. Now begin to add in all your other needs: hobbies, spirituality, exercise, etc. This list is in no particular order for activities. Some people still struggle with having the personal insight to know when enough is enough. How do you know when you’ve over extended yourself? Do you become irritable? Do you find you have trouble sleeping? Does your appetite change? Have you noticed in the past you start having more health problems like headaches, backaches, eczema, or ulcers? These are signs that appear after being over taxed for too long. There are signs that can be noticeable earlier, if we pay attention. For example, does your stomach tighten when approached with another commitment? Do you find your internal thoughts become more negative? Are you repeatedly agreeing to take on responsibilities you don’t enjoy or that involve more time than you have to give? Those are all ways that your body and mind are trying to help you gain personal insight. Listen and realize it’s time to check your schedule and create time for yourself. Personal insight is not the only ingredient to create balance for life, it’s just a place to start right now.


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