The past few weeks, I’ve been finding a new balance in my life. I decided to tip the scales a bit and re-examine my priorities.
It all started with a decision to be hired as an intern for an amazing female power coach that I connected with recently. I knew that if I were to seize this amazing opportunity, something would have to change. I’ve been a bit overloaded with my school workload a constant pressure, and my growing attention to my business as I prepare to officially launch and pitch through the Young Entrepreneurs Program. If I were to take something else on, I knew something would have to give.
So, I took a look at the list of extracurricular activities I made in the beginning of the year, which was ranked by priority. I started at the bottom and started knocking things off. I ended up deciding to drop HELP (a community serviced based club that didn’t do much for me), Student Council (which I didn’t see myself having a future in, since the club will be eradicated next year), and The Perspective (school online newspaper). My partner and I also decided that we wouldn’t be starting the Coffee Club as we originally planned for this quarter – a mutually good decision. These sacrifices were not easy for me – I like to “do all the things”, and I needed to realize that my “all” capacity was decreasing.
The interesting part is that with this adjustment, I gained a new outlook on my sense of choice and balance. I got the urge to run one morning when I got up, and so I decided to put on some leggings, running shoes, and a hoodie, and I headed out the door. I ran halfway to the local park and walked the rest (not very good with cardio, yet). I stopped at the lakeside, and took a deep breath. I found myself feeling a sense of calm, peace, and balance that I seldom feel in the hustle-bustle of getting ready for school. I ran back and to my surprise, I was able to get ready at about the same time I usually do, and arrived to school at the normal time.
The next day, something even more interesting happened. I got up, put on my clothes, went for my jog/run (already running a bit further than usual), and when I got home, I opened the freezer to grab my usual waffle to put in the toaster… and I put it back. I decided to cook eggs with toast. This decision did have a sacrifice – I didn’t wear makeup that day, and it was SO worth it. I realized the power of my morning choices, and how they affect me. When I went for a jog/walk, I felt calmer. When I made and ate a good breakfast, I felt fuller throughout the morning.
This all ties in to the concept of balance. Every choice we make tips the balance a little bit in whatever direction that choice lies. People often talk about living a “balanced life”, but there are an infinite number of balances you can create using your schedule and your knowledge of yourself to create that balance. There’s no one-size-fits-all for creating balance in your life. I’m not telling you that you need to take a walk every morning, or make a great breakfast – I’m describing my process of discovery so that you can build your own balance.
So don’t look at others and their “balanced lifestyle” and try to copy it. A true balance will look completely different for every person. Of course, experiment with different aspects of things you see in others, but don’t try to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Balance is a tricky thing – it’s a constant process of experimentation and adjustment. Your balance for one month, week, or even day, may not be the same for another. The solution to this need is mindfulness – observe when you’re feeling that “ugh, I don’t want to do this” and weigh the effects.
What is your balance like?