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“Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air” – Brandi Fitzgerald

You know that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you’re doing something you enjoy? The satisfaction of completing a painting, mastering a new trick, or laughing your arse off with your pals.

Whatever makes you happy, are you getting enough of it?

Every now and then it’s important to take a step back from everything and ask yourself this question. That way you can find out whether you’re getting the balance right, or toppling over.

I like to think of life as a pair of scales:

  • Obligations are on one side (things you have to do e.g. eat, sleep, work)
  • Options are on the other side (extra things that bring you joy e.g. hobbies, well-being, leisure, relationships)

So if you work too much, that side will be too heavy and you’ll need to compensate by doing more of the things you enjoy. On the flip side, if you spend your whole time at leisure, you’ll have no purpose.

Make time for what you love

I recently had a bit of an epiphany. I realised that I hadn’t done any of the things I used to enjoy in a long long time. I hadn’t blogged, sketched or been to a yoga class in god knows when. I hadn’t read, gone running or seen my friends and family as much as I would have liked. I was just going through the motions: Eat. Sleep. Work. Repeat.

But once I figured out that my obligations were outweighing my options, I did something about it to balance the scales…

Hello Groupon yoga deals. Also this 30 day yoga challenge has been awesome. I’ve started reading The Secret, which is blowing my mind. And, oh look, I’m blogging right now (and it’s my 100th post) – go me! I’m starting to feel like myself again 🙂

How to get the balance right

It’s not easy. It involves a lot of willpower and sometimes sacrifices have to be made, but here’s how you can start to give your life a bit more balance.

1)  Consider

Think about the different parts of your life such as work, fitness, hobbies, well-being, family, friends, other halves.

2)  Examine

Are you happy with how much time you spend on each aspect? Are you spending longer on your obligations than your options or vice versa?

3)  Decide

What’s most important to you? You should focus on these things and if something’s not important to you, don’t waste your time on it.

4)  Plan

Come up with a plan of action for getting more of what you enjoy into your life. Schedule in gym classes, make plans with friends, re-visit that hobby you thought you had no time for.

5)  Do

Follow your plan and make any adjustments to your routine so that your life is balanced. And stick to it!

Don’t forget

  • Your priorities may have changed

When I was little, my life goal was to be a mermaid with long flowing hair. Obviously that’s changed a bit – but I still try to keep up my swimming! Check in with yourself and decide what really matters to you NOW.

  • Your job isn’t everything

Yes it’s important, and you should make sure you’ve done your full day’s work, but anything more and you’ll be missing out on time for yourself. Make sure there is a divide between the two. Work to live, don’t live to work.

  • Those ZZZs

If you’re like me and you don’t want a waste a single second of the day, so you stay up late getting stuck in a YouTube loop – think again! It’s so important to get those 8 hours. I know it’s lame, but give yourself a bed time. You’ll thank me the next day when you’re feeling spritely and focused.

  • Variety is the spice of life

Do something different every day. Go running one day, binge watch Netflix another day (because your legs ache like hell), see friends the next. You don’t want to get bored. Heck, why not try something new every day. Wear something you wouldn’t normally wear. Take a different route home. Try a new food.

…to make each day count!