3 Steps to a More Balanced Life

3 Steps to a More Balanced Life

Can you really have a more balanced life in 3 steps while living with a chronic illness?

Have you ever had that feeling like something just wasn’t right? Perhaps you couldn’t quite put your finger on it, something was out of whack, but you just weren’t sure what it was. Often there wasn’t anything Earth shattering going on-your loved ones were healthy, work was fine, everything seemed in order at your house. What you were feeling may just have something to do with balance. When our priorities are out of alignment with where we spend our time and energy, our lives can feel a bit left-of-center. It isn’t until we slow down and examine how we actually spend our time that our priorities become clear, not by our words, but by our actions. You really can find a more balanced life in 3 steps.

Like pretty much everyone, I always get a bit reflective around New Year’s Day. Everyone walks around talking about resolutions for the coming year and they always seem to circle around the same things: get healthy, find a better job, spend more time with family, save money… These are all noble thoughts but they never last (at least for me anyway-am I alone in that?!?!). Inevitably, if you ask me in June if I remember what they are, my answer will probably be nope, not a clue. This leads me to this post, the first in a multi-part series on restoring balance in life. It is about getting back to basics and clearing out the cobwebs, not some vague notion of what I’d like to “resolve” to do in the new year. Rather, it is the start of a clear path of aligning my values, goals, ideals, and priorities. I hope that you come along with me on this journey of discovering exactly what our priorities are and deciding if our lives are an accurate reflection of those priorities. This is balance. If our lives are balanced we will be content. We will be satisfied. We will feel complete.

balanced life

Step One: If you had to decide today what your priorities are, what would you list?

Think of your top 5 things and order them from most important to least important. Financial security? Time with family/friends? Developing a more willing spirit or deeper faith? A new car? A new career? More money? Your health? An organized home? A clear conscience?

Step Two: How do you divide your time?

Think of three average days, what activities do you typically do in those 72 hours? How much time is spent doing each activity? Make a pie chart to help visualize (I did!), you might be surprised. What percentage of time do you spend doing things that don’t reflect your priorities? How closely does your list of priorities actually match up with the amount of time you spend on those priorities in your day?

Step Three: Compare and Reflect

-Did you list family time as your top priority but notice that in three days you haven’t done anything significant to further those relationships? Did you list an orderly home as a priority but habitually let dishes pile up in the sink and clutter fill every horizontal surface? The key here is honesty. Don’t list things that you think are “right.” There aren’t any right or wrong answers. If things don’t line up the way you want them to, make changes. If your priority is financial security, do you chose to watch tv or play on your phone instead of working some overtime or picking up an odd job to add to your savings? If you say education is a priority, when was the last time you took the time to learn something new? Until our true priorities are aligned with what we chose to do with our time, we will never truly feel balanced.

Reality Check!

Again, this is a perfect scenario- sometimes things in life happen outside of our control. We end up spending more time than we’d like doing things that we would rather not be doing to ultimately meet one need or another. Family is top priority, but we end up working some extra over time to make sure the ends meet at the end of the month. Doing the laundry probably isn’t a “priority” but maybe having a neat and orderly home is, so you spend more time than you’d like folding clothes. All if that is life, it doesn’t mean your life is out of balance. Where we go wrong is when we consistently make choices that don’t match up with what we profess our priorities to be. Change your choices or change your priorities.

Stay tuned for Part II in the Balance series, “Clean Out Your Junk.” Where I will show you all the “junk” I cleaned out this past Sunday!

Until then, don’t forget to make every day a Sunday with a smile!

❤️,

Leanne

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8 Comments

  1. January 3, 2016 / 8:02 pm

    This is a great post! I never thought about making a chart about how I spend my time and then compare it to my priorities. As I’m thinking about it, there are definitely some changes I need to make in how I spend my time. Thanks for the helpful steps to take.

  2. January 3, 2016 / 10:23 pm

    I think it could be useful to make 2 charts on use of time. Had to and wanted to. Like you said there’s things we have to do. You can’t avoid the had to. Then maybe spread that out over a week. Instead of all chores on Saturday like I was raised, spread it out so it’s not a whole day. A little a night after kids go to bed might let you add more time to your wanted to chart.

  3. January 15, 2016 / 8:41 am

    Hi! Stopping by from Mom Bloggers Club. Great blog!
    Have a nice day!

    • Leanne
      January 19, 2016 / 4:13 pm

      Hello! Thanks for stopping by and checking out Smiles and Sundays!
      -Leanne

  4. February 6, 2016 / 7:05 pm

    This was the exact dilemma I’ve faced the last few years with our growing family. Until it got to a point where enough was enough. I had to stop ignoring that nagging feeling that something wasn’t right, and I had to step back. Most importantly, I had to start seeking God for his ultimate direction for my life. And that fully put my priorities in order. God, self, family, and service. Thank you for this. It was well written, and its great to know that I’m not alone!

  5. March 25, 2016 / 8:44 am

    Everything seems to come back to balance. We try to do it all, and then crash! Thanks for these three helpful tips.

    • Leanne
      March 25, 2016 / 9:08 am

      I agree, the “crash” part is particularly terrible. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. March 25, 2016 / 2:12 pm

    Very well done, Leanne! There are many things written about getting rid of stress and managing time, but I think this is possibly the best approach and thing I have read in some time. Starting with my priorities clearly gives direction to how time can be best divided. Step 3 makes clear where we are missing the mark if these first two do not match up. Happy to be your neighbor today at the Linkup at Missional Women.

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