Are parts of your life struggling whilst others are flourishing? How can you find balance?
Life is a hell of a tricky beast to navigate. As we polish up one area, the other areas take a dip. We find ourselves feeling unsettled whilst we play a continuous game of catch up. Whilst we feel good about some areas; the other areas seem out of reach! Soooooooooo far! A nod to Gabrielle's tune... Is it ever possible to have a balanced life? A life where every aspect is working optimally and we experience consistent fulfilment and joy …
I was in search for the answer to this question a couple of years ago. I wanted to feel good more often than I felt out of balance. I wanted to feel vibrant more often than I felt exhausted. I wanted to feel peace more often than I felt uncertain. I wanted to feel the more positive emotions more often than the less positive emotions. I wanted more of the positive energy flowing through me …
In my search, I stumbled upon a test on the lifehack website. I will link it at the end of the post. The test is simply titled Are You Living a Full Life? I was on that test so quickly it would make any other human's head spin. Within minutes I had the answers that I had been looking for. I was transfixed!
The results of the test were delivered in a report that explored the following six key areas of life :
Family and Relationships Fulfilment
Work and Career Prosperity
Wealth and Money Satisfaction
The report gave me a summary of the areas that I was happy with and the areas I was struggling with. Reading the report gave me a level of peace because it echoed my thoughts and gave me clarity. There is something about clarity that gives me peace.
The most amazing thing though was that the report also provided me with an understanding of the behaviours that I needed to cultivate and maintain in order to do better in the areas I was struggling with. For example, one of my areas of struggle was Physical Health. Below is a summary of the things that were suggested to address these :
Self Empowerment: Giving yourself the confidence to push forward with dieting and exercising
Self Control: Setting goals and sticking to them
Renewable Vitality: Do things that give you energy
Smart Focus: Knowing when and how to get things done
I now had a skeletal idea of the things that I needed to improve my physical health! I then began my research to transform the skeletal idea into specific goals and habits. The notes below will hopefully guide you through the thought process. I will focus on one of my physical health goals which was weight loss.
Self Empowerment: Through research, I learnt that weight loss was about having a calorie deficit. I also learnt that losing weight at a steady pace that I could maintain was a recommended approach. These two points could be achieved by combining low calorie meals with walking or dancing 20,000 steps a day. It would take me a while to get to my ideal health and wellness goals but it was doable for me. With this in mind, I was able to tell myself that my health and wellness goals were possible. I also learnt the value of leaning into my feminine cycle and tailoring my exercise routine to how I felt. This meant no gym for me or any exercises that I hated. I felt more motivated by the fact that I would enjoy the process of improving my physical health. I would enjoy the exercise routines! This made the next part a total breeze.
Self Control: I was eating food I loved, doing exercises that I loved and I had achievable goals. How could I not be motivated by this ?! As I saw the results as well, my enthusiasm grew and suddenly I was in a routine that I loved and enjoyed. This minimised the level of struggle as the practices and commitment to the practices were now a way of life. It wasn't determination driving me , it was enthusiasm that was motivating me. You guessed it, this made the next part so much easier...
Renewable Vitality: Excitement for the progress I was making, the pride in my achievements made me feel sooooooo amazing. Losing my first five kilos in a month were a revelation and caused so much elation. I was committed to continue. It also made it easier to give up on the harmful practices and low motivation habits - they no longer gave me the same level of joy as my new habits . It got to a point that I could not get to bed if the 20,000 steps had not been completed!
Smart Focus: As I progressed with my routine, life began to get in the way. I was back to full time work. I had started focusing on my physical health during a period where I was working part-time; I had time to focus on my new habits. I had to get smarter about how I exercised and ate to match my new time constraints. I started researching high metabolism exercises and experimenting with my diet to see how I could improve the results I got. This process of improvement became a regular activity because of changing circumstances in my life. I now call this section going back to the drawing board. There will always be a need to enhance routines and habits to make sure they keep us moving even when time becomes a scarce commodity or our circumstances in life change.
Imagine the impact of having such clarity over all areas of your life? How focused and fulfilled would one be on a daily basis? How easy would it be to navigate a life that had clear goals and priorities supported by healthy habits? How easy would it be to fall asleep at night? How excited would one be at the rise of a new day? How accomplished would one feel? Would life feel better if there was more enjoyment rather than perseverance as our main motivation? Well, my final thought is TRY IT AND SEE ! The link to the test is below:
I hope the report you receive after you have completed the test leads you to clarity, balance, greater success and more fulfilment in your life. You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. A balanced life is within your reach!