Many of us have lost sight of what matters. It’s a cliché, but for a good reason. These days, too many of us feel “balance” in life means simply splitting our time between Facebook and Instagram! Yet, true imbalances in life may pertain to the following areas:
…and much more. As a result, few of us are living an optimal life.
How do we know we’re out of balance?
Achieving balance is not as easy as it seems. Imbalance creeps in slowly. One day, you look around and realize that things have been off kilter for a very long time.
What are some of the tell-tale signs?
- Difficulty sleeping
- Digestion issues
- General feeling of dissatisfaction
You may feel too tired or overwhelmed to get anything done. A social invitation seems like a threat. You can’t get rid of that nagging injury or chronic sniffle. Making a career move seems exhausting. Soon, hiding under the covers sounds like the solution to, well, everything.=
An imbalanced life may also feed a vague sense of emptiness. We may eat to fill the void. Perhaps we binge on social media. Usually, the choice involves empty calories—real or metaphorical. Finding your way back to balance starts with taking stock. Who are you? What are your values? How do you want to live your life? Get out your pen and paper and get busy!
5 Ways to Identify What Matters Most to You
1. Keep a diary for at least one week.
What did you eat? How did you spend each minute of each day? Where did you spend your money? Be brutally honest.
2. Study your habits.
Intentions are great but what are you doing? Awareness is key. Study that diary and identify patterns. Look for patterns.
3. Take a social media break.
You don’t need to know what your cousin ate for lunch. That long political flame war is also not urgent. Unplug and see where your thoughts take you.
4. Stop multitasking.
De-clutter your mind. Focus on one task at a time. See how it feels to observe and pay attention to one thing at a time. Accept what it teaches you.
5. Set goals.
Balance isn’t an accident. It requires planning and action. All of that begins with a list of goals—both short and long term.
5 Ways to Achieve a Balanced Optimal Life for Yourself
The optimal life exists in the present moment. Be mindful in all you do. Stay present. Appreciate each moment.
2. Plan daily tasks
To make the most of every day, break it down into a series of tasks. Then methodically work your way through this list. Little by little, the goals you’ve set become more attainable.
3. Practice self-care
To live an optimal life means to be the best version of you. Exercise, healthy eating, regular sleep patterns, and some form of stress management create a nice foundation.
4. Guidance of others
When life sends us questions, guiding others often supplies answers. Balance is impossible if we’re only thinking of ourselves. There is so much that needs to be done. Where will your individual gifts lead you?
5. Stay active
Challenge yourself. Avoid the quick fixes. Detach from procrastination. Take your daily task list and your goals list very seriously. When you feel yourself drifting into a counterproductive place, return to the present. Complete a task. Bask in the progress.
In a world of information overload, priorities get blurred. When our attention is always distracted, we can lose sight of what matters most to us. This is when one-on-one counselling becomes so important. You and your therapist will work as a team to guide and identify what matters. From there, you can devise a clearer path to your optimal life. Sometimes, the best first step is to ask for help.