finding balance

February 27, 2013

Do you wish there were more hours in the day to get things done? Are you finding it hard to fit everything you "must" do and everything you "want" to do into a day, week, or even a month? I have to tell you, you are not alone. 

Lately I have found myself lost in the minutia at work. To do lists and reminders aren't enough to hone it all in. By the end of the day I am pretty much done with thinking (kaput!) and I wind up home, alone, watching tv and drowning out all of the noise. The next day I wake up thinking..."Why didn't you spend last night doing something productive?" "Why didn't you do something you always complain there's no time for...a creative project...get back into on jl...cook a new a good book? The list goes on and on, but I just sit and sit.  

So, how do you go about finding balance and making the best use of your time? This is what 2013 is going to be all about for me, and since I have a year to work at it, this post is about finding a place to start. 

First, let's talk about why life balance is so important and how the meaning can be different for each person.  Maintaining a healthy life balance benefits your mood, well-being, productivity, and can aid in both personal and career success. By identifying what achievements in life (family, career, social life, fitness, etc.) are most important to you, and focusing on how you can improve each, you can make changes (even small ones) that are very meaningful in that pursuit. Maybe you are doing a few things really well, but other areas need more attention? Maybe there are some things you need to let go of or learn to say "NO!" to in order to give others more room to grow? However the path to life balance may look, the trick will be finding fulfillment without feeling overwhelmed or out of control. The good news is...once you feel balanced, you will know how to keep it and maybe even fight for it. You'll know immediately when things feel a "little off" and make small changes to get back on track. I am...feeling off balance. Fully admitting that I am not paying enough attention to areas of my life that overall benefit me greatly. While I could throw myself full force into everything I feel I am lacking (tried that!), this approach usually leads to more and more stress. Trying to improve everything all at once is overwhelming. Instead, taking stock and seeing the bigger picture will help me to approach things gradually. (Baby steps!) This is where the "Life Wheel" comes into play. 

The Life Wheel is a tool often used by professional life coaches to help clients determine 6-8 aspects of life they find most important and then assess how fulfilled they feel in each. This exercise not only allows you to see which areas may need improvement, but it helps to identify and enforce areas of success! 

A few nights ago I completed my Life Wheel. My 8 important areas included Career, Finance, Health, Family & Friends, Romance, Personal Growth, Social/Fun, and my Environment. After filling in my satisfaction with each, here is what I found. 

Now, imagine the edges of the wheel are defined by the edge of each shaded area. How bumpy would that ride be? I have a feeling that at some point, this wheel would just stop turning. And THAT, my friends, is a clear sign of imbalance.

Using my current life wheel as the "big picture", I can decide what steps to take next to balance this sucker out. The goal is not to fill each one, but to align the segments with my ideal level of satisfaction. For me, the wheel should be closer to "round" but a perfect circle is not required. For example, I would like family & friends, social/fun and health to be more fulfilled, and I may need to reduce the career segment to achieve that. Depending on your needs, each slice may not be filled up to the very edge and you may even reduce an area or two. Whatever the approach, "rounding out" the wheel will signify improvements in your life balance. That is my goal for 2013. More...even...slices.

Over the next 10 months I will work towards achieving balance and periodically renew my Life Wheel to track improvements, goal achievement, and possibly even setbacks.
Would you like to fill out your own Life Wheel? If you like my 6-8 life areas, here is a template to get you started. Otherwise, instructions for starting one from scratch can be found after the jump.

Now...I'm off to make some changes. Until next time! 

Hey, Monday...

February 18, 2013

Find balance today. Seek out solid ground, breathe in deep, and exhale everything you are looking to let go. Take a moment to prepare yourself for the week ahead and set one small goal that will move you in the direction you are longing for. Put a pin in the map of life to mark where you are today and decide where you want to end up tomorrow. 

This week, I will challenge myself to move. Mentally and physically. I'm starting to regain motivation and inspiration, so it's time to build momentum and press on. This week will be about wrapping up projects, cleaning house to make way for building more balance. I think better with a blank/clean canvas. Clutter and stress free. Having the day off from work today allows me time to clean, organize and prep. It's going to be a productive day. 

Have a great week!

spread the love...

February 14, 2013

Happy LOVE day, everyone! Don't forget to send some of that joy back your own way. Dare to fall madly in love with your own magical self.

"To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance." ~ Oscar Wilde

you're the bomb...

February 12, 2013

Love is in the air and I am interrupting regular broadcasting to bring you a special Valentine's post. I was going to log in and share with you a life coaching tool this week, but something really cute came up and I decided coaching could wait. For those of you who don't already know, by night I'm a blogger, but by day I work in commercial property management. Each year we give a little treat to our tenants for Valentine's day and this year's treat is UNBELIEVABLY fun...I just had to share.

Look how cute!

That's right. You're the bomb! 

I had so much fun making these, and received a lot of great feedback, so I thought it would be fun to share a "How To" for those of you who still have time to crank out a few V-day treats, or for those of you who may be looking for ideas next year. Honestly, they could be used for an anytime "Thank You" treat. Just change up the paper label to customize it to your needs. I am seriously smitten with these. I hope you are too. 

Click "read more" below to see the "How To" after the jump.

Hey, Monday...

February 11, 2013

Let's have some FUN today. It's bound to be busy, but I say we take a moment to laugh. Enjoy a treat. Be in the moment. Start the week off right. Make this week what you want it to be instead of arriving at the station on Friday afternoon beaten and exhausted. You are the conductor, the captain of your week. Make it a good one and have some FUN!

This week, I will challenge myself to smile and make eye contact every time I see my own reflection. I'm seeking motivation and inspiration, something that negative self-talk can rob me of, so it's time to be nice to myself inside my own head and send some "feel good" energy out into the Universe. This practice will be one of my first steps towards finding life balance.

Have a Joyful Monday!

monthly music

February 6, 2013

One month down and 11 more to go in 2013.

Did you get a lot done in January?

I started small steps toward achieving my goals, spent a wonderful week in Maui, and felt a small surge of inspiration. Now the trick will be carrying those accomplishments, adventures, and motivation into the coming months. I've got some things planned for the blog and small adjustments to my lifestyle that should help to keep the momentum.

Until then, here are a few songs I've been playing in the background while brainstorming. Cover art is of the trees overhead on a recent tropical road trip. See you again soon!

It's All Possible February 2013
1. Lucky - Kat Edmonson
2. Fly Away - Sweet Talk Radio
3. Wild - Royal Teeth
4. Harbour Lights - A Silent Film
5. Passerby - Allie Moss
6. Broken Brights - Angus Stone
7. The Moon Song - Gregory Alan Isakov
8. Simple Things - Amos Lee