November 28, 2012

Balance - Progress & Tips

If you've been reading my blog this year, you know that my "word of the year" - aka, 2012's version of a New Year's resolution - is balance.

And so that is what I have spent the year striving for & always keeping in the back of my mind.

This month we're doing a "Strike a Balance" challenge at work through our wellness program, so I thought it would be a good time to share a couple of rules I've come up with this year to try to abide by in an effort to live a more balanced life:

1. Weekend Commitments.

I like to have one afternoon & one evening free of plans each weekend. I love to be social & am happy with a busy, full life, but I find when I've packed my entire weekend top to bottom, I feel exhausted on Monday. Therefore, I try to carve out Saturday evening & Sunday afternoon or vis-versa with nothing on the calendar.

This means I can spend those times doing whatever it is I feel like doing that moment. Whether it be catching up on my current read, taking a nap, getting a pedi or massage, zoning out to the TV, calling up my mom, sister & cousin to hang out or making last minute plans with a girlfriend - whatever! The point is that I can see how I'm feeling at that particular time & do anything I want.



2.  Enact a 24 Hour Rule.

This one is simple. Before I commit to anything, I try to think on it for 24 hours before I make a decision. This is easier said than done.



3. Backing Out Isn't The Worst Thing You Could Do.

 If #2 fails & you commit to something that you're less than enthused about, it's not the worst thing in the world to back out.

Something can certainly be said for relentlessly sticking to commitments that you've made, but when this comes at the expense of running yourself ragged, just to accomplish something you said you would do, I'm in the camp for just moving on.

Sometimes we're holding on to commitments that mattered a lot a year ago, but we have since changed & are not as passionate about that commitment. It's time to give it up.


4. Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

I used to be a strict 8 hourer, but in the past couple of years have found that getting 7 hours of sleep on week nights is the perfect fit for me.



5. Take good care of yourself.

This may look different to different people. For me, taking care of myself means:

Physical Health
- Exercising 4-6 times a week
- Eating healthy
- Getting a monthly massage
- Being proactive on my health care appointments

Mental Health
- Having at least one evening a week to stay in & spend time with no one but my husband
- Walking my dogs at least three times a week
- Spending time with my family & best friend at least once a week
- Blogging on a regular basis (@ once a week)
- And writing everything down so that I don't overlook an important date or appointment!

If you're interested in jotting down your own list of must-haves for balance in your life, here are more good suggestions:


I took a look back on the post I wrote in March & was happy to see that I had completed almost all of the goals that I set for myself. I've evaluated the groups I'm a part of and have a plan going for going forward in Colorado, I've substantially cut back on my DVR time and I've tried to focus on the quality in my friendships as opposed to the quantity of friendships that I have, hence, less "group outings".

 I'm still working on the early morning exercise one - but, hey, all in time, right? : )

After focusing on this word for a year, I truly feel like a more balanced person today than I was when I started.

I think balance is something that we all struggle with & strive for. I also think you'll have it at times & not at others and that it looks different for everyone. And I hope that my search for balance has inspired you to find yours.

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