It can sometimes seem that there’s a perfect formula to balance life. Once we decipher that formula, we’ll unlock the secret to having everything we want — including the ability to manage it with health, vitality, and energy.
If there’s any mystery to decode about life balance, it’s the meaning behind the word itself.
What is balance?
Balance means equilibrium. It indicates stability.
What it doesn’t mean is juggling or trying to do everything.
As humans, we are the same, yet different. We have common yet unique needs in life.
There’s an obligation to balance all these individual requirements to live our life — to accomplish what we want to do in the world. Theory about balancing our life will only take us so far.
Why is balance so important — and so elusive?
We may have ideas about what we want to do and how to get there but one practical emergency can bring us down to earth fast! Ten year plans on becoming the next global philanthropist can evaporate when staring at considerations including family needs, transportation breakdowns, health crises, and even the mundane and routine self care. (It can be extremely difficult to show up and do your best without clean clothes to wear.)
It’s natural to automatically strive to create an equilibrium between all we need. Nature attempts balance instinctively and we orient ourselves to wanting this for ourselves.
We can feel an urgency to meet our needs when we are passionate about what we are doing or have something driving us to accomplish our objectives. We can also feel compelled to meet others’ needs — particularly those we love or want to please.
Tools to balance (rather than juggle)
Our common needs are basic. We’re a life form that requires light, rest, food, and water. We also need purpose, relationships, connection, and meaning.
However, how we meet our needs can vary vastly. Each of us is exceptional. It’s why we look to personality quizzes and psychometric analyses to inform us where and how we fit.
Yet there’s often a reluctance to take time for ourselves. There’s a perception — a fear — that if we do, we won’t have time to take care of our family or other we love or get “something important done”.
In fact, taking intentional time provides the fuel in which to provide energy so you can provide to others — if that’s your goal. But without meeting your own needs — getting your equilibrium — it’s impossible to sustain stability for another.
That’s why juggling or doing it all doesn’t work. It isn’t sustainable. You can juggle for awhile. But there’s a point when the pieces fall. We need tools that support us for life.
How to create a Toolkit of Alignment
Creating a personalized “toolkit of alignment” — a kit of practices, routines, structures, and habits customized for you and you alone is the key to having that balance in your life.
The basis to creating this Toolkit is to know yourself and your needs. And beyond knowing your needs, it requires accepting what you need with a willingness to create a life that works to support them.
Your current life already has a structure from which to start unless you’ve completely disregarded your instincts. A few modifications may be all it needs to fully support your balanced life.
Build from the foundation
Support is built from the ground floor — the foundation. In your Toolkit of Alignment, the foundation is your values, strengths, weaknesses, and your mission in life. This foundation is everything that makes you “you”. It’s your mission in life, your preferences and your style!
Some of these elements remain constant. Your strengths will remain your strengths and your values remain your values.
However, many will change. Some values may take on more prominence at different stages of life. You may turn a former weakness into a strength. And an age, stage, or life circumstance can switch your preferences around completely.
Therefore, your Toolkit will change, too. You’ll create a framework that works and modify it as you find it no longer as effective as it once was.
Life takes time
Life takes time. Planning our days, weeks, months, and years require our attention and action. Life needs the right kind of time and action if our efforts have the impact we want.
The foundation of values and balance provide the inner strength to act with integrity. Choices we make no longer have judgement or shame attached to them. They become either suitable for the situation — or not. Life becomes simpler, even if not always easier.
Invest some intentional time structuring your life. Take a personal retreat if you need to. You’ll not only feel balanced and deeply in control of your life, you’ll establish a structure that defines you, allows others to see who you are, and supports you in your mission in this world.
How do you know when you’re in balance?
When you’re in balance, you’re at peace with your life. You may still move fast but your days are filled with joy. You’ll have an equilibrium in your life that results from filling your life with deep meaning and purpose, building from your core foundation.
Equilibrium includes a deep peace of mind and confidence, clarity, increased enthusiasm, and energy. All that provides the fuel for living an intentional, joyful life.
If you’d like individualized help in establishing balance, with a personalized toolkit of alignment to support you, please consider my Life Balance coaching. Not interested in that but still want more guidance? I have several books you might find helpful: It’s Not That Complicated: How to Create a Personalized Template of Alignment, It’s Not That Complicated: How to Create a Personalized Template (the Toolkit), and Toolkit of Alignment