Finding the Balance

by Susan on November 9, 2014

Balance

Balance! It’s a quest many of us crazy busy moms are on for what seems like eternity.  We’ve got our kids’ school projects, carpool schedule, sports practices, meal planning, grocery shopping, endless laundry, and more while trying to keep up with all our other responsibilities as well.  What’s a mom to do!?

I don’t know about you, but this is an ongoing struggle for me.  I feel like I’m just getting one part of my life under control when I realize I’ve let another area slip.  But here are a few pointers in starting in the right direction to finding a balance.

Begin by taking a good hard look at every area of your life and think about how much time and effort you put into each.  Here’s the ten general categories that all aspects of your life will fall under: (in no particular order) ~ You may find some of these categories overlap! Which ones do for you?

  1. Health & Wellness ~ this covers your nutrition (are you eating right?), general well-being (how do you feel most days?), and sleep needs (are you getting enough each night? Too much?).
  2. Fitness ~ this covers your physical activity levels.  Are you active? Sedentary? Somewhere in between?
  3. Spiritual Life – What kind of spiritual life do you have, if any? Do you have a true relationship with God?
  4. Personal Development ~ covers any time spent working on improving YOU, such as education, personal development reading or audio, seminars or workshops, etc.  What are you doing to learn and grow as an individual?
  5. Career ~ Obviously if you work full time, this is going to be a great chunk of your day time-wise. But are you just showing up at work to get a paycheck or do you truly have a passion for what you are doing? Do you love what you do? Or do you always find yourself dreaming about doing something different?
  6. Finances ~ What is your financial situation like? Do you have a savings? Investments? Retirement plans? Budget you follow? Are you struggling from paycheck to paycheck? In what areas can you cut back with spending?
  7. Social Life ~ if you’re a stay at home mom in the midst of diapers and laundry, you may laugh at this one and say, “What social life!?”  But regardless of your situation, social interaction with others is important (and preferably with “others over the age of 3” 🙂 ) It may just mean a quick coffee date with a friend or joining a moms group in your area, but think of some ways to get out and interact with others! (Yes, this IS an area I struggle with!)
  8. Family Relationships ~ What kind of relationship do you have with your immediate family members? With extended family members? Do you make time for your spouse? Time for your individual children? Time for your own parents and siblings?
  9. Home Life ~ This can overlap with Family Relationship since the two are so closely entwined but here I’m referring more toward the physical atmosphere of your home.  Is it neat and tidy or does it look like a war zone?  Does your family like coming home? Do you feel comfortable inviting friends in?
  10. Recreation ~ Do you take time for fun?  Do you have hobbies? Do you make time for creativity in your life?

Ok, now that you’ve taken a look at each area, take some time to rate where you are in each category.  Use the chart below to gauge where you are.  I call it Mountains and Valleys since the peaks are when we’re on top of things in an area and the lows are when we’re down in the valleys of struggling.  I’ve also included a PDF version that you can print out and use, as well as document areas you are doing great in or struggling in.  I recommend doing this activity monthly to keep an eye on what needs help and reward yourself for what you are doing well. Look at each category, then place a dot in that column across from the rating you’ve given it ~ 1 for not so great, 10 for excellent.  Then connect the dots!

Mountains & Valleys Chart imageClick here for the PDF version ~ Mountains & Valleys Chart

Once you’ve identified the areas you need a little extra work in and the areas where you are flying high, you’re on the right track to creating a balance in your life.  Now determine the action steps you will take to improve these valley areas.  What will you do this month? This week? Today? Right now? Write them down and keep them somewhere you will see them regularly.  Check of these actions steps as you go and don’t forget to cheer yourself on!  As moms, we’re so often our own greatest critic; learn to be your own greatest cheerleader as well!

Finding a balance is an ongoing effort on our part.  There will times when we’re completely on the mountain top in all areas, and there will be times when we’re dragging through the valleys.  But I encourage you, don’t give up! This journey called Life is so worth it!

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