Fearless Friday: How to Create Sustainable Balance All Year Long
Morning! Today I'm bringing on my first guest writer for my Fearless Friday series. YAY! It's a new year with new goals and I couldn't think of a better candidate for the first FF of 2016 other than my doll of a friend, Sarah Baker. She's got the brains + the beauty plus she's incredibly likeable! We met at a media preview and something just clicked. Another reason why I love social media - it brings wonderful people into your life.
With that said, Sarah is here to teach us a little somethin' about balancing our new goals with this thing called life. Novel principle. Grab a seat and your green juice won't you?
Hey Babes! My name is Sarah Baker and I am the founder of BalancedBabe.com. I specialize in plant-based nutrition and realistic holistic health coaching for busy women who seem to always be on-the-go. I’m suspecting a lot of us are already stressing about starting our New Year’s resolutions for 2016.
While we’re already stressing out about what goal we are going to tackle first, we may also feel the general pressures of what *we think* we need to accomplish this next month or so. Just this alone can throw us out of whack and cause us to lose our balance before we even begin.
So the big question is: how the heck are we going to balance all of these new goals with our existing lifestyle habits, our job, our family, and our own well-being and happiness? It seems as if once the end of February rolls around, we start to become uninspired and just let ourselves give up on this new type of vision we had for our future.
Well guess what? It doesn’t have to be like that. With just a mindset shift, we can achieve our goals and achieve life balance by looking at tasks and our dreams as an ongoing journey that never ends versus checking something off of the list.
Yes, if you look at life balance as a never ending thing, you could be stressing yourself out. A lot of us like to feel accomplished. BUT - switch it around and look at your life as a journey. Because that is exactly what it is. It’s always changing, always evolving, and always in motion. We don’t achieve something and then say, Ok I reached my goal now I’m going to stop living. No! We go on to our next goal and so on- I don’t think anyone has ever finished achieving all that they’ve wanted to and then just become idle. (Unless that’s really what retirement is like? Who am I to know).
So with this in mind, let’s go into more detail on how we can achieve sustainable balance for the year of 2016!
First ask yourself, what does it feel like to be balanced? To me, I feel calm and centered, and not pulled in one direction over another. I feel passionate, happy, grounded, and content yet driven. When I don’t feel balanced, I feel stressed out, frazzled and anxious. So ask yourself what does being balanced feel like to you? Let these feelings that you note be your guide.
Second, analyze the different components of your life that you would want to balance. For me, this is my mind and health, family, fun and work. All of these are important to me, and I can tell when I’m feeling pulled to one extreme or another in each area.
So analyze yourself and be honest. Ask yourself these questions:
How do you currently feel?
Think about your work and ask yourself if you are pounding the pavement with a driving force to get things done, or if you are enjoying what you are currently creating?
Are you allowing yourself enough time to be alone and put your mind at ease, or are you constantly stimulating your mind through social conversation or technology?
How many days a week are you being social? Do you go out regularly, or are you the type that likes to stay a home?
How is your health? Do you feel tired and fatigued and rest quite often, or do you work out regularly and eat a clean diet?
Third take note of your self analysis and write down some intentions. These intentions could be:
To say no. No to new projects, new partnerships, coffee dates, actual dates (unless he’s like..really cute), or any requests that don’t truly create an impact for you or the requester.
To spend time alone. Reflect on daily accomplishments, doodle on a piece of paper, or read a book, or *gasp* do nothing. Spending time alone helps you rest your mind (if you are overworked) and will help bring on creativity and productivity when it is truly needed.
To become a minimalist. This could mean, minimize your daily task and to-do list to 2 priorities a day. Organize and declutter your home regularly and keep your spaces tidy. Simplify what your desires are. Focus on experiences and feelings over materialistic wants and perceived needs. Stop trying to experiment with 5 new recipes a week and cut down to a meal plan that is nutritious, simple, quick, yet still yummy. Keep-it-simple.
To step out of your bubble. Maybe you’ve been spending too much time alone, too much time reflecting, and too much time saying no. If you are on the opposite side of the balance spectrum, it may be time to open up and connect with those around you. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, visit your family and stay up all night talking on the couch, join a new club.
To be mindful of all that you come in contact with. Practicing mindfulness is an ongoing process, just as it is with balance. When I say to be mindful with all that you come in contact with, I mean it. Every time you make the decision to eat, think about what you’re choosing and the benefit to your body. Every time you come across a new opportunity, think about the thrill of possibility and the surprise of the unknown.
Expand your interests. Try something new. Go on a vacation alone, or take yourself out on a date. Not only will change stimulate your mind, it will give you a new experience to balance out the habits of day-to-day constants.
Finally - analyze again. Since we touched base above that balance is an ongoing journey and that goals never stop arising or changing, we need to constantly check in with ourselves and analyse all the components of our life.
Thanks so much Sarah...you've inspired us to live a fuller, more balanced life in 2016!