Tag Archives | balance

Why You Need to Make a Life Plan

life plan photo

Do you have a life plan? Have you ever thought about how to make a life plan? Most people haven’t, but they should.

We are not talking about a 50-page business plan with maps and checklists. A life plan is really just meant to be general summary of where you are now in all the areas that matter to you, where you want to improve and what you’d like your life to look like in the future.

Don’t be scared off by the title. It may sound ominous, but creating a life plan does not need to be a difficult or lengthy process. It’s worth an hour to get the life we want, instead of chasing the wrong things and working hard, only to find that we have been following the wrong path.

How would you rate your life? – Are you satisfied with the way your life is right now? Somewhat satisfied? Not at all satisfied? The answer is for your eyes only. No one else needs to know. Be honest.

What is going on in your life now? – Briefly summarize the current state of your life. Consider your health, career, relationships, finances, spirituality, and emotional well-being. Add any other areas of life that are important to you. Don’t take too much time with this. Just write down what your life is like right now.

What makes you happy? – Think about what you enjoy. Think about things that are going well in your life. Include activities, people, and situations that bring you joy, satisfaction, or just make you laugh.

What are the happiness drains? – Pinpoint the drains on your energy and happiness.Determine what people, behaviors, choices or situations cause stress, anxiety, or a negative mood. We all have life toxins; people or things that suck the life out of us like vampires draining our life force.

What isn’t working in your life? – Think about where you want to improve. Identify your obstacles to living a fulfilling and happy life. Consider the lingering challenges in your life; health, fitness, weight, lack of organization, an unsatisfying or dead-end job, a difficult or damaging relationship. Perhaps, you simply need to manage your stress better, get more balance, or just learn to laugh again.

What would your ideal life look like? – Describe in detail what kind of life would truly make you happy to get out of bed in the morning. Describe what you would be doing, whom you would be with, and how you would be feeling. Be honest and be clear. It’s important to be really clear about what you really want in your future.

What do you need to do to get that life? – Think about what needs to happen for you to get from where you are now, to where you want to be. It doesn’t have to be a detailed action plan right now, just some general goals or ideas to work toward. You can get more detailed later, but you need to define a target. Consider what habits you’d like to adopt or whatways you might change your attitude or environment.

More food for thought

What do you really want to accomplish in this life?

What kind of person do you want to be?

What is most important to you in life?

Why do you want whatever it is that you want?

How would you like to be remembered?

What will your life be like if you never change the way it is right now?

Post originally written for lifehack.org

Photo by TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³

Comments { 0 }

10 Simple Ways to Find Balance and Get Your Life Back

1balanceLife balance seems to be the topic on everyone’s mind of late. We have discovered that maintaining a healthy life balance is not only essential for happiness and well-being; it can be a tremendous boost to your productivity and career or business success as well. A well-balanced person has a far greater ability to focus their attention and energy on attaining their goals, taking productive actions and moving forward in a meaningful way.

The big question is…What does life balance really mean? What would a balanced life look like to us? And most importantly, how do we go about achieving it in the midst of our crazy schedules?

There are steps you can take to change what isn’t working and get back some control and balance in your life. And once you start seeing results you’ll be better equipped to maintain that new-found equilibrium. The key is not to try to change everything at once, but to make small adjustments over time to determine what works for you. Eventually you will have a whole new set of positive life habits and you’ll never look back!

  • Turn it off – Disconnect on the weekend. I hear the excuses already, but try it, at least for one day or even a few hours each night. Put the phone down and turn off the computer. Give your work brain a rest. Bonus: Spend the extra time actually interacting with your family and friends!
  • Trim, trim, trim – It’s a given that if your life is overflowing you will never be able to achieve balance and manage it all. It’s just not possible. Say no to everything that is either not essential or doesn’t add something valuable to your life. Be ruthless!
  • Pay attention to your health – We hear this over and over again, but usually only give it lip service. We know what we need to do, but it isn’t a priority until we have a health crisis. Our health really does affect the quality of our lives and our work. We are far more productive and happier when we get enough sleep, eat a little healthier and fit in some type of activity.
  • Minimize toxins– By that I don’t mean chemicals (though that might help too.) Minimize the negative influences around you. Avoid toxic people (complainers, whiners, poor attitudes.) If you can’t completely avoid them, at least minimize contact and tune them out as much as you can. Surround yourself with positive, supportive, can-do people whenever possible
  • Spend time alone – Making time for you is probably the hardest thing to do for the typical overworked and overwhelmed person, but it is crucial for lowering stress, increasing happiness and encouraging creativity. Some things to try; meditate, write, sketch, do some yoga or simply sit quietly for a few minutes each day and do absolutely nothing. You can do it!
  • Relationships do matter – Set aside quality time with your family and friends. Don’t just sit in front of the television, really connect and pay attention to those you care about. Make a date with your significant other, have coffee with a friend, play a game with a child. Really get to know the people around you.
  • Treat yourself– Get a pedicure or a facial. Better yet, schedule a massage. It doesn’t need to be costly; a glass of wine, your favorite coffee or tea, a delightfully scented candle or beautiful flowers will make a huge impact.
  • Explore the world - Take a walk and pay attention to what’s going on around you. Take a new route, visit a new town or try being a tourist in your own. Attend a local performance, play amateur photographer or go to the park and watch children play. They really know how to enjoy life!
  • Expand your awareness – Take a class, learn to paint or try something new that you’ve always wanted to learn. Read a book that sparks your interest or try listening to uplifting music. Find what interests you.
  • Remember fun – Laugh, joke, play, find your sense of humor, subscribe to a daily joke or get a tear-off calendar. Nothing makes the feel better as fast as a good old-fashioned belly laugh.

This post originally written for Lifehack.org

Comments { 0 }

Did You Know That Healthy Relationships Have A Magic Number?

 

Did you know that healthy relationships have a magic number? This magic number I’m talking about is the 5:1 ratio of positive versus negative interactions that research has shown correlates to a happy, stable, positive relationship.

So the next time you’re tempted to criticize, blame, dismiss, or ignore…make sure you’ve already given lots of positive interaction…

Show affection

Be caring and considerate

Pay attention

Be a good listener

Express appreciation

Give praise and compliments

Forgive without blaming

 

How can you tell if the magic ratio in your relationship is unbalanced? Notice how you and the other person in the relationship interact with each other. For every negative interaction that takes place, are there several positive interactions?

It’s interesting to note that the relationship ratio is the most accurate predictor of divorce…it might also be the best predictor of how involved your children will be in your lives when they’re adults…so it’s worth paying attention to.

Do you have thoughts or suggestions for upping the positive ration in our relationships?

Comments { 0 }

Have You Ever Tried Eating For Balance and Stress?

food

Did you know the food you eat can affect you life and health balance? That was the topic of my morning meditation and it got me thinking. I try to eat for health - some days I have greater success than others – but I never considered eating for balance.

Eating for balance is more about…well, balancing the kind of foods you eat…not just protein, carbs, and fat, but including a variety of colors and tastes; Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter, Pungent, and Astringent (from Ayurveda, but still a good description of flavors.) 

By choosing a variety of those different foods we automatically eat a variety of nutrients and a nice mixture of all of those healthy substances we’re always hearing about. And that helps to not only keep our health in balance, but our energy and mood as well.

Something to consider…

How do you feel when you eat fresh, healthy food?

Food may not be the first thing we think of when it comes to balance, but we have to eat anyway, so we might as well try to use that food to help us function better!

Thoughts?

 

Comments { 0 }

Mini-Mission: 3 World Views – Which Is Yours?

Sun shower

Have you ever thought about how you see the world? I don’t mean visually…well, part of it may be visual, but what I’m really talking about is the perception you have of the world and how it operates. Your view of the reality of life.

You probably haven’t really considered it, because we tend to believe that the way we see the world is…the right way, maybe even the only way. But from what I’ve observed – I am as you can imagine a constant and curious observer of human behavior – there are three distinctly different ways people tend to view the world, and the people, situations and experiences in it.

3 Ways To See The world

Through yellow colored glasses (I like yellow better than the oft cited “rose”, because it sounds brighter,) which some would call a Pollyanna way of looking at life. I like to call this the sunshine perspective, because it can be a pleasant and sunny way to see the world. Life is good, things work out for the best, there’s always a silver lining…We either envy these people or want to strangle them…

Through gray colored glasses, which many would call a Negative Nancy view. I like to call this the rainy perspective…not necessarily cloudy, just rainy…a slight mist for some, downright stormy for others. Tend to look for pitfalls, notice imperfections, spot the bad apple, calling all worriers…It’s not necessarily a bad thing though…We may be quick to judge these people as bad, but truth is we need them for great planning, security, quality control, etc.

Through clear lenses, which I like to call a Balanced Betsy perspective. Some might call it pragmatic, or realistic, maybe even-handed, but it could also be non-reactive as well. I like to think of this as the equal opportunity, all season perspective…or maybe a “sun-shower” approach (yes it’s a real thing…go look it up.) There may be sun and rain and clouds and a rainbow, but these people probably notice them all, and perhaps more importantly give them all attention…

A very simple example is the sun shining in the window:

  • Sunnys will notice brightly shining sparkling sun.
  • Rainys will probably notice the streaks that are now visible on the window.
  • Sun-showers may revel in the warmth of the beautiful sun, but make a note to put clean the windows on this week’s chore list.

Another example is our tendency towards trust:

  • Sunnys believe people are basically trust worthy and are quicker to trust
  • Rainys tend to be more wary of trusting people, feeling they have to first prove their worthy of trust
  • Sun-showers believe many are people are worthy of trust, and many people aren’t. Try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but hold some things in reserve and watch for warning signs.

All are valid.

This week’s mission: Consider Your Word View

Answering honestly, which view most sounds like you?

*Hint: if you really want to be honest, you may have to ask a close friend or family member for their opinion – One who you trust to be completely truthful!

Then, the important question is: Are you content with that view of the world? Does it make you feel happy? Safe?

If you are okay with your worldview, fabulous, embrace it. There’s room for everybody.

But if you’re not, it’s time to think about making a shift in your thinking.

  1. Notice when you have a thought or judgment about a person or situation.
  2. Stop for just a second and question that immediate reactive thought. Where did it come from? Are you seeing things through a filter? Good or bad. Are you spending the situation to suit your view?
  3. Try on a different Thought. Maybe try making an argument for the opposite perspective. How does that feel? It may feel odd, a bit awkward, foreign even.

Try this process for a while, see if it becomes more comfortable. It may take a while to shift firmly ingrained patterns of thought, especially ones we’ve held since childhood.

But it is possible… With a little bit of determination, and practice!

Your thoughts? I’d love to know what you think! Leave a comment or share on our Facebook page! 

Just joining us… Find all of the Mini-Missions here…

Comments { 0 }