One Key Step to Finding and Maintaining Your Balance

I talk a lot about balance on here and I wanted to talk a little more today about how I achieve that in my daily life.

A healthy lifestyle involves a balance of all facets of health: physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental. Everyone has their own definition of balance which means that these sections don’t necessarily have to be split up into an even 25% of your life. Some people may find balance with more energy spent on one or more of these categories than the others, so figure out which ones make you happiest and most at ease.

Whatever your balance looks like, it’s probably not something that comes naturally. It takes trial and error to find what makes up a balanced life for you, and once you find out what those are, you have to work to maintain them. In my experience I’ve found one step to be crucial in making things run smoothly.

There's one important step in finding and maintaining your own personal balance and that's to learn how to plan. See some of my tips for getting the most out of your time!

LEARN TO PLAN

There are a number of steps that fall under the heading of planning, but ultimately that’s what it comes down to. If you are continually flying by the seat of your pants, it’s going to be much more difficult to establish and set a healthy routine. If you’re having trouble planning, here are a couple suggestions and steps to take:

1. Prioritize

Figure out what your priorities are. For me, exercise is always a big priority. On top of the obvious health benefits, it helps me mentally and emotionally as well. I regularly interact with people who I call friends which prevents me from existing too long in isolation.

Because of this, I make sure to take a look at my week and find where I can fit in workouts. I’m fortunate in that I’m able to set my schedule with my clients and freelance work, but even when I worked a desk job, I made sure to set aside extra time to get workouts in so that I was never able to say “oh no the day got away from me.” I’m a big morning workout person, but find what works for you and make time for it.

2. Vision Boards

If you’re not clear on what things you want to make room for in your life, try making a vision board. It may seem silly, but it’s actually pretty enlightening and a fun thing to do. Simply get a piece of posterboard or even a piece of paper and look through magazines, newspapers, and whatever other publications you may have on hand and cut out things that speak to you. These could be inspirational quotes, vacations you may want to take, exercise pictures, goals you want to reach, etc. This will help you get a clearer idea of the things that you aspire to do or want to achieve in life.

If you’re not a physical paper and pen person, you can always create a separate vision board on Pinterest. Simply find online posts or images similar to those mentioned above and pin them to your board. You can even make it private if you want so that it’s only visible to you. For some inspiration and ideas for what to include on your vision board, check out these ideas on Pinterest.

3. Make a list (or lists)

I do like visual reminders of things, but I’m also a HUGE list person. I have a million lists going at one time and should probably consolidate some of them. If I’m ever feeling overwhelmed and unbalanced, I take a step back, look at my schedule for the week, and start writing down everything I have to do in that time frame.

Being able to see what needs to get done allows me to notate when I want to get things done and also prioritize what needs to be done first. I often find that once I make the list, I actually have more time than I thought I did when I was just ruminating over things repetitively in my head.

4. Schedule

Once I know what things are important in my daily and weekly life, I make sure to schedule them. I mentioned exercise is important, but so is eating well during the week, spending time with Neil, and writing this blog. To make sure I eat well during the week, I make a list of groceries to get every Monday so that I never find myself hungry with only a giant bag of gummy bears to grab. I try not to see any clients late into the evening so that Neil and I can spend time together, and I always have time scheduled in the afternoon to dedicate to blog work.

It takes time and foresight to plan out my schedule and my priorities, but I know that when I do, things tend to operate much more smoothly. It’s also not an art that I’ve perfected, but I’ve gotten much better about it over the years. Tell me about how you balance in the comments!

Questions:

  • What other suggestions do you have for staying balanced?
  • Are you a morning or evening workout person?
  • Have you ever made a vision board?
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18 Comments

  1. March 1, 2016 / 5:15 am

    I am a firm believer in working out in the morning. It’s just too easy for the day to pass by otherwise. Funny thing is I never used to be but my job forced me to switch to the mornings and now I love it. As for lists, I have a ton of them. Prioritizing them seems to be my biggest challenge.
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted…A Day In A Healthy & Active LifeMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 1, 2016 / 4:04 pm

      I totally agree. I can’t do night workouts for the life of me.

  2. March 1, 2016 / 5:54 am

    I have literally been dissecting the topic of balance a lot the last couple of weeks. This post was so appropriately timed! I am forever working on balancing (or juggling really!) all areas of my life.

    Definitely a morning workout person otherwise my head starts filling up with all of the items on my never ending to-do list. And I have several vision boards lined up in my workout room. They are perfect visuals for treadmill runs.
    Stacey recently posted…February Book Review: The Confident WomanMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 1, 2016 / 4:04 pm

      I’m glad you got something out of it Stacey! I love that you a) have vision boards and b) have them by your treadmill!!

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 1, 2016 / 4:05 pm

      Yes girl, yes. Perspective is a huge one.

  3. March 1, 2016 / 10:55 am

    Planning my meals is the ONLY way I’ve been able to eat healthy! It’s a huge pain to do but it works!
    Sana recently posted…Corriander Chutney Turkey WrapMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 1, 2016 / 4:05 pm

      I know. I always feel so much better after I do it though!

  4. March 1, 2016 / 11:53 am

    I hate actually sitting down to plan exercise and meals, but the weeks that I carve out the time to do so are much more productive, I eat better, and don’t spend a ton on groceries, so I know it works.
    Ange @ Cowgirl Runs recently posted…Hello March! My Goals for the MonthMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 1, 2016 / 4:05 pm

      Totally. It’s just actually sitting down and doing it haha

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 1, 2016 / 4:06 pm

      Exactly! I always feel so overwhelmed until I write everything down and then I can see that it’s much more manageable.

  5. March 1, 2016 / 10:52 pm

    TO DO LISTS = that’s how I stay “balanced”. Without to-do lists and schedules/planners, I would go completely bonkers and always feel like a chicken without a head.
    GiGi Eats recently posted…Don’t Do That! Do This!My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 3, 2016 / 3:53 pm

      Man I love to do lists so much.

  6. March 2, 2016 / 12:03 pm

    Setting priorities has been big for me. I used to sacrifice time spent with Ray to blog more frequently, and I’m learning to prioritize relationships (not just Ray, but friendships too). Great tips!!
    Jess @hellotofit recently posted…How to Get Past a Workout PlateauMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 3, 2016 / 3:55 pm

      Oh that balance. Good times.

  7. March 3, 2016 / 9:21 pm

    I struggle with balance as well. For me the best tool is to remind myself that the pendulum swings both ways. When I am super overwhelmed at work and doing extra hours, I remind myself that soon work will slow down I will have more time to do fun stuff!
    Luv What You Do recently posted…March On InMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 7, 2016 / 4:43 pm

      That’s also great advice. Right now I’m slammed bc I’m trying to get ahead of things so I can go on vacation next week and I have to remember that it won’t always be like this every week!

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