In our busy lives it’s easy to get out of balance. We may focus too much energy on a particular aspect of life, whilst not paying enough attention to the other important areas of life. This is known as our ‘life balance’
This week’s blog takes a peek at the warning signs when life balance is not in play, and gives a practical tool for you to check your own life balance, with an easy first stage activity to getting it back on track
When we are out of balance for too long we feel this through emotional and physical states. Do any of these sound familiar?
- Your energy levels are low
- You become easily frustrated
- You are prone to crying or getting upset
- You feel a sense of sadness that you can’t explain
- There’s a longing for something to be different
- Feelings of anxiety are creeping in
- You feel overwhelmed
- You keep wishing you had someone else’s life
- Your immune system is low
- The health of your skin and/or hair has diminished
- You are struggling to sleep
- You are more argumentative
- Your mood is low
- You dread going to work
- You feel over committed
When Your Stuck
It’s easier than you may think to get stuck out of balance, and whilst the willingness is there to do something about it, the mind can sometimes sabotage our good intent.
The first thing to do is assess your wheel of life as it currently stands, we’ll come to that in a moment. Then enter the good old ‘life goals’. Goal setting helps you to focus your mind, and activity, on where you want to be. You may have heard the saying ‘you get what you focus on’? This is not just a glib saying, it relates to the way our brains are wired. If we focus on the negative that’s what we’ll experience; if we are stuck focusing on what isn’t working, that’s where we’ll stay. having a positively stated goal or goals, keeps our minds on track.
A Practical 1st Step to Getting Back on Track
This exercise that follows is a shortened extract from my coaching programmes that I use with clients. You’ll start by self assessing your current balance against 8 core dimensions (based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs). From there you can explore the current reality of each dimension before setting goals to improve those areas that are out of balance.
What does your Wheel of Life look like?
image (c) 360 Flourish
For each area ask yourself ‘how happy or satisfied am I with this dimension?’. If you are totally satisfied, i.e. it doesn’t get any better than this for you, score 10.
If this dimension is rock bottom at the moment, score it 1.
Use the 1 to 10 scale to get the scores right for you. Score from gut instinct and then ask yourself ‘is this the right score for me? Once you’re happy with all of the scores join the dots from each dimension around the wheel so you make a type of radar graph.
Now make 2 lists as follows:
- Things I will START doing to regain balance in my life
- Things I will STOP doing, re-prioritise or delegate to regain balance in my life
Now choose 2 specific goals you want to work on first. When setting your goals use the SMART technique as described below.
Specific – Define your goals into a very specific positive statement.
Measure it – Define how you know you’ll get there
Achievable – In stage 2 (above) you answered if it was within your control to fulfil this, reflect on that answer and define what you can achieve and what you may need support with. You may also wish to put a waiver in of what you’re are willing to accept you can’t or may not achieve (because it is out of your control)
Realistic – Make you goal realistic. Break it down into manageable chunks and plan the time so you don’t set yourself up to feel like you’ve not achieved your goal.
Check in With Your Goals
- What is the current reality for this goal?
- What are your fears around this goal?
- What might distract you?
- What will it be like to have achieved this goal?
- What will it be like if you don’t achieve it?
- Visualisation of achievement
- What reward will you give to yourself for achieving this goal?
I hope you find this helpful on getting back on track. If you are interested in working with me on a deeper level feel free to get in touch for an informal chat about our healing programmes that use coaching and psychotherapy techniques to help people get back on track.
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