It’s something almost all of us have in common. The desire to live a more balanced life. As wives and mothers, we wake up each morning with a thousands things on our to do list. We are pulled in so many different directions. Sometimes it feels like we’ll never be able to get it all done. Often have I said, “There’s just not enough time in the day.”
We all get the same 24 hours to plan and live the way we see fit. The problem for most of us is that our daily actions and our priorities don’t always line up. We fail to live with intentional purpose. The Bible says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12.
Each day we are faced with a myriad of choices. From the moment we wake up, we are faced with choices:
- what kind of attitude we will have
- whether we will spend time in prayer
- what to eat for breakfast
- whether we will do our chores or check Facebook
- and so on…
You will have times during your life when things are stressful – you have a newborn baby, elderly parents to care for, illness, or struggles at work. Maybe you are going through a hard time right now and you are craving balance.
Today I wanted to share 6 tips to living a balanced life to assist in guiding you forward in creating a more balanced life for happiness and true personal peace of mind.
6 Tips for Living a Balanced Life
Know Your Priorities
Living a balanced life isn’t about cramming as much as possible into your daily life. A balanced life is about knowing what your priorities are and how to rank them from highest to lowest. Your first step to living a balanced life will be to remove anything that is not a priority. Be certain to remove extra tasks or activities in your life that are simply keeping you busy but not helping you to maintain balance. Learn to say no to anything that isn’t a priority and yes to your top priorities.
Setting priority based goals will help you create a balanced life. Determining your top five priorities will help you create balance and allow you the freedom to say no to those things that don’t get you closer to your goals. Saying yes to the best and no to the rest allows you to create margin in your life and take care of your top priorities.
For instance, for me, my top five priorities are:
- my relationship with God
- my marriage
- my children
- my home
- my ministry
Everything else needs to take a back seat to these five things. At this time in my life I don’t have time for extra obligations beyond those. Perhaps when my children are grown I will have time for other things. But right now, I know that I can’t do it all and do it all well.
Take Care of You
So often we as wives and mothers neglect to care for ourselves the way we should. Some of the important ways you need to take care of yourself are:
- get enough sleep
- eat a healthy diet
- do something you love
Sleep is a vital part of making sure you feel balanced and complete. It’s important to go to bed at a decent hour so that you get enough sleep. I’m currently working on trying to get to bed earlier and get more consistent sleep. Most adults need 7 – 8 hours of sleep to feel fully recharged. Also, the hours before midnight offer the best sleep and if you go to bed by 9:00 or 10:00 and get eight hours of sleep you’ll feel so much better. I promise!
Not only is sleep important but eating a healthy diet is key to creating balance in your life and helping you feel your best. Switch out some of your preferred snacks for healthier options like nuts or fruits to balance your body using food. When you switch to fruits and nuts, you will find that your energy level will naturally increase as well as your mood.
Just as eating a healthy diet is important to maintain your good health, so is getting enough exercise. Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly not only have better overall health, but they also feel happier. Exercise releases endorphins that elevate your mood.
And speaking of happy – participating in hobbies or activities you love on a regular basis allows you the time you need to recharge, have margin in your life, and lessen your stress. I was in a minister’s meeting earlier this week and the speaker talked about how important hobbies were to our personal happiness. If you don’t have a hobby, it’s time to get one!
Expect the Unexpected
I used to really struggle with wanting things to be perfect. I didn’t even realize that my expectations were so high until one day I realized that I wasn’t living a joyful life because my expectations were unrealistic. This life is full of disappointments, accidents, and other unexpected events.
Don’t expect that everything will always go perfectly. When you allow yourself to embrace imperfection, you give yourself and those around you grace. People will disappoint you – even when they don’t mean to. Family members have grumpy days. Cars need repairs. Laundry will always fill up a basket… or three.
Just remember, one moment does not equal a bad day or a bad life. Embrace imperfection and choose happiness and you feel more balanced overall.
Maintain a Positive Attitude
Next up on the list of 6 tips to living a balanced life is to practice a positive attitude. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of negative thoughts, complaining, and grumpy attitudes if we aren’t careful.
I was sitting in a church meeting a few days ago, listening to the many prayer requests and once again I thought about how discouraging this life can be. How hard and harsh life can be. I want so much for all of this pain and suffering to end!
And while life is hard, we can still find joy!
“You love Him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see Him now, you trust Him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.” 1 Peter 1:8 NLT.
Our joy comes not from the world around us, but from Jesus, whom we love and who will one day soon put an end to all of the sorrow of this world.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4 KJV.
Just like any habit, being grateful and having a positive attitude just takes practice. The start to a positive attitude is to be more aware of your thought patterns. Redirect any thoughts that consume you in a negative way and turn them over to God and ask Him to help you overcome your negative attitude.
Organize Your Day
Creating a balanced life isn’t possible if you go through each day without a plan. Have you ever gotten to the end of a day and wondered where the time went? Or maybe you got to the end of the year and realized that you didn’t accomplish the goals you had wanted to achieve?
I use my Purpose 31 Planner everyday and it keeps me on track. I don’t have to wonder what’s for dinner or what I need to get done tomorrow. I don’t have to wonder if I completed my chores or remembered all of the details each day. Inside the pages of the Purpose 31 Planner is everything I need to organize my day, my week, my month, and my whole year!
Writing down all of the details – to do list, appointments, chores, meals, etc. – means I free my mind to focus on the moment and create a life that is more balanced.
Do what you Love
Last, but not least the key to living a more balanced life comes down to giving yourself permission to do those things that add a little bit of fun and joy to your life. I remember back a few years ago feeling so overwhelmed and overburdened by life. There were so many things going on that were out of my control. I felt like I had lost my joy. I made the decision to cut out everything I could from my schedule that was weighing me down and I gave myself permission to laugh and do something each day that made me happy.
I make it a point to stop what I’m doing and spend time with my kids everyday just talking and laughing. Do this helps me feel less stressed and gives me time to live fully in the moment and enjoy my kids who are growing up way too fast!
Determine what is lacking in your life that could bring you more joy and pursue it. You may not be able to make changes immediately, such as leaving a job you hate or not earning enough income, but you can work towards the goal of making the positive changes and give yourself permission to enjoy life a little more.
Living a balanced life is about making time for those things that really matter so that each area of your life – faith, relationships, work, and home all have their place.
What ways do you struggle with finding balance in your life?
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