Until I started dissecting my balance issues, I had no idea how many subconscious expectations I placed on myself.
I had a mile-long list of things I’d try to accomplish every day, and they all seemed equally important. Some of the things were expectations I placed on myself. Some were expectations others placed on me. Some were expectations I perceived other people placing on me. And some were things I saw other people doing that I assumed I needed to do also.
Then, I’d take all those expectations and things and try to “balance” them. As in, I’d try to work them all into my life every single day with equal measure of time and effort.
That’s not a definition of “balance.” That’s a definition of “nervous breakdown.”
I think this is where most people get tripped up on pursuing balance. We start with a definition of balance that sets us up for failure. We (wrongly) assume balance means “doing All The Things every day.” And when that doesn’t work, we get frustrated and conclude, “balance doesn’t exist.”
I agree. Balance by that definition does not exist.
But I do believe there is a very real level of balance we can achieve–today and forever.
As we begin this series of Finding Your Summer Balance, let me offer you a word (literally–one word) that will release you from the ridiculous list of tasks and expectations you are trying to cram into your life:
It’s the word “YOUR.”
As in “Finding YOUR Summer Balance.”
Balance has nothing to do with fitting it all in every day. It has EVERYTHING to do with knowing YOUR priorities and then living a life consistent with those priorities.
I cannot tell you what your priorities are or what they should be. Only you can do that.
You (As in you! Not your mom. Not your husband. Not your Facebook feed. Not me. )must clearly define your priorities. You must define what a balanced summer (or life!) means for you. You must recognize the temptation to look around and compare yourself with others. You must realize other people have opinions about what you do and what you should do.
You must have a vision for what you value, where you are going, and (most importantly) where you are not going.
Then you must become an expert at tuning out all the voices contrary to your priorities and push forward.
So what are your priorities this summer?
Quality time with your kids? Your spouse? Your friends?
Finishing up that work project?
Finding a new job?
Moving to a new house?
Getting out of debt?
Decluttering the closets?
Hanging out at the neighborhood pool?
Taking good care of your aging parent?
Reading the five books on your night stand?
Trying some of the recipes you’ve pinned on your Pinterest board?
Working on your tan? (Actual priority of 20-something Sandy)
I don’t know.
Only you know.
Every well-balanced person I know is a master of living out her priorities. It all starts here.
This is the first principle of living a well-balanced summer and life. If you want to know the other seven things Well-Balanced People Do Differently, you can enter your email at the end of this post or in the header of the blog and you’ll get a free (and pretty!) printable. (If you are reading this via email, you should have received the download last week.)
By entering your email you’ll also get weekly bonus material on this subject! This week, I’ll be talking about how your definition of “success” affects your balance.
And Friday around noon EST, I will be doing a brief Facebook Live discussing priorities and balance. (I say “around noon” because it may be “around a different day.” Ha! You know…it’s summer. And my priorities that day may or may not involve Facebook.)
Be sure to follow me on Facebook to attend live or watch the replay.