The alarm goes off. No time for the snooze button today.
You hit the shower, get dressed, grab some breakfast (if you’re lucky) and head out the door.
After a stressful commute you’re finally on the job. Bouncing from project to project, meeting after meeting, you fight through the day just trying to keep afloat of all your responsibilities, without any time to think about eating healthy or taking a few minutes to clear your head and manage any stress that comes up.
You get home, eat a quick dinner and hit the couch for a few minutes of TV, only to get to bed late knowing you’ll have to do it all again tomorrow.
Phew, life can be exhausting!
But even with all the responsibilities and distractions of modern living, there are ways you can have a balanced lifestyle. Here’s a few ways to do it.
Tips to Have a Balanced Lifestyle
1. Define What Balance Means to You
Is it important that you spend lots of time with your family? How much time do you really want to spend on your hobbies or interests outside of work? How about exercise?
Achieving a balanced lifestyle looks different for everyone, and the only way you’ll be able to get it is to understand and define what balance looks like for you.
One way to do this is to create a simple pie chart. Cut the pie in sections and label each for the area of your life you want to focus on. You’ll probably want to include things like health, family & friendships, work, hobbies etc.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll be ready for the next step, which is to…
2. Set Your Goals
Having a balanced lifestyle doesn’t just happen, you’ll have to make it happen. To help you do that you’ll want to create a plan that can guide you to the balance you desire.
How can you do it? First, set your goals for the upcoming year. Do this by asking yourself a few questions.
Where do you want to be this time next year?
What do you want to have achieved?
What progress do you want to make in the most important areas of your life?
3. Create a Plan
Once you have the answers to those questions, work backwards and create a plan that will get you to those goals. This should include monthly and weekly targets, along with steps you’ll need to take each day to help you get there.
For example, if you want to lose 20 pounds in the next year, you should set a target to lose two pounds per month.
To lose two pounds per month, you’ll want to take certain actions each day. So in this case, that could mean eating vegetables with every meal, exercising for 30 minutes each day, and starting your day with a healthy shake.
Follow this same process for other goals you’ve set for yourself. After you’ve got your plan in place, it’s time to act on it each day. Your next step is to….
4. Make a List
If you want a balanced lifestyle, you’ll need to plan each day so that you’re able to spend time on every area of your life that’s important to you. Otherwise, the odds are that you’ll just end up spending time based on distractions that come up.
But you’re better than that. So here’s what you’re going to do.
Each night before you go to bed, write down the five to ten most important things you’ll need to do to get you to your goals. These should come from the work you did in the above step.
This list may include things like exercise, important projects at work, or preparing healthy meals for the next few days.
Once you’ve got your list, prioritize each. You’ll wake up the next day more relaxed, knowing you’ve got your most important priorities set in stone.
Then tomorrow, when you do wake up…
5. Work Your List
After the alarm goes off, you’ll wake up easier knowing that you’ve got your plan for the day ready, including items you’ll work on for each important area of your life. So get up, get ready, and get to work on the most important task for the day.
Once that’s done, move on to the next one.
And then the next.
The longer you can stay focused on your list, without getting distracted, the more progress you’ll make. And the more progress you make on your list, the easier it will be to have a balanced lifestyle.
That’s because as you knock off your most important items, you’ll be able to free up time later in the day for the stuff you enjoy that’s less urgent.
Related: How to Plan Your Day
6. Cut Out Distractions
It happens to the best of us.
A coworkers sends you a funny meme with a cat falling off a bicycle. A quick check-in on Facebook turns into 45 minutes looking at your friends vacation pictures of his latest trip to Mexico. Or, you just get lost in any of the distractions that the internet, mobile apps, and social networking can easily offer today.
If you want to have a balanced lifestyle, you’ll want to cut out the stuff that doesn’t get you to your goals. Otherwise, your time will get wasted and you won’t be able to spend time on the things you really enjoy.
7. Review Each Day, Week and Month
At the end of each day, think about what you’ve accomplished.
Did you do everything that was on your list?
Are you closer to each of your goals, based on the work you did today?
Each week, ask yourself if you’ve made progress in all areas of your life? Did you spend your time in a balanced way? Sometimes you can spend more time on one area during a day, but over a week you should make progress on all. Do the same thing each month.
8. Adjust & Adapt
If you’re not making the progress you need, just make some adjustments so tomorrow, next week, and next month will be better. The beautiful thing about tracking your progress consistently is that you’ll be able to make changes so you’ll get to where you want to be before the year is over.
Having a balanced lifestyle isn’t something that just happens – you’ll need to work for it. But if you define what balance means to you, then set your goals, create a plan, make a list and work it, cut out distractions, and review your progress, you’ll achieve a balanced lifestyle in no time.
Featured image by peddhapati