We all strive for a ‘balanced life’. Although we may not all be able to achieve the myth of balance, we can focus on three areas of our life to help us be more productive in other areas of our life. By managing our heath, knowing our wealth and seeking wisdom in what we do – we can achieve amazing things in our life.
Get checked. Make an annual appointment for a medical and dental check up. In less than a couple of hours per year, you can ensure that your body is functioning well and get advice on any niggling health issues before they turn into big health issues. Don’t put this one off – make that appointment this week.
Eat well. Self-explanatory, isn’t it? We all know what we should be doing, yet in the daily rush we eat on the run, consume way too much take-away and don’t slow down to really enjoy the pleasure of preparing and sharing meals with loved ones. Learn more about nutrition and enjoy the unique pleasure and feeling of wellbeing that comes from really eating well.
Get comfortable with yourself. We only get one body – and we need to make it last a lifetime. We can choose to make a commitment to helping it work as efficiently and last as long as possible – or, we can dislike it and get upset that it isn’t the one we want. How do you think about your body? Do you stand in front of the mirror despising certain parts of it? Or do you stand in the front of the mirror proud of your curves, muscles and general physique? You can choose to celebrate your body or condemn it, but remember you only have one, so why not choose to marvel at what a miracle it is and make the most of the body you have.
Daily exercise. Schedule at least four or five exercise sessions each week, even if you miss one, you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to look after your body. Make exercise fun and interesting by including a variety of activities, including walking, boxing, running, Yoga, weight lifting, Pilates or martial arts. Recruit an exercise buddy and make exercising a great opportunity to catch up with each other.
Don’t forget that incidental exercise can be just as effective as other workouts – so take the stairs, get off the bus a couple of stops early and walk the rest of the way, park your car at the far end of the car park and take every opportunity to get up and move, even if it doesn’t seem like much, every little bit really does count.
Early to bed, early to rise. Sleep is vital for renewing our body and mind and yet we often forfeit sleep time in order to do other activities. Get into the habit of going to bed and getting up at the same time each day – and unless you have a good reason (such as if you are a shift-worker) try to make sure you’re in bed by 11.00pm and up by 7.30am – depending on whether or not you are a morning person that might seem early or late to you…the important thing is to discipline yourself to get a good night’s sleep and rise early to make the most of the day.
Unplug. Schedule one TV-free night each week. Switch off the set and instead listen to your favourite music, play a board or card game, read a book, enjoy a quiet meal by candle light (alone or with someone whose company you love), go on a date or soak in a bath. Start being aware of your television viewing habits and make a point of only watching programs that you truly enjoy and stop wasting precious time in front of the TV.
Switch it off. Protect your time (and your sanity!) by turning off your mobile phone and setting your landline to voicemail when you are trying to complete an important task, or enjoy a relaxing activity. Change your message (if it makes you feel better) to let people know when you will be available again and when they can expect to hear back from you.
Get your house in order. You will feel more in control of your life when your home is a retreat rather than an obstacle course or a constant reminder of things that need doing! Spend some time spring-cleaning – remove the clutter, tidy problem areas, create storage solutions and eliminate the mess – it could take you weeks, but the results will be worth it, and once your house is in order make a commitment to keeping it that way.
Read well. Reading is a wonderful pastime, it can transport you to incredible places – both real and imagined – and improve your mind, memory and conversational skills. Make a commitment to read widely and look for a variety of books, both fiction and non-fiction, that interest you and enjoy escaping with a book every day. There’s usually plenty of downtime in most people’s days which is ideal for reading, such as on public transport, on your lunch break and before bed. If you’re not a keen reader, try listening to audio books on cassette or CD instead.
Keep learning. It really is true that if you don’t use it, you lose it! Keep your mind active and interested by enrolling in a part-time course at your local college or community centre. You could choose something to help your career or something just for the pure fun and interest of it. There is an enormous variety of courses offered in most areas, anything from learning a language, updating your IT skills, learning how to make sushi or how to scuba dive to updating your presentation skills, completing a train the trainer course, or even learning about the mechanics of your car.
Save money. Getting your finances in order is a great stress-saver. It can be confronting to get real about your financial situation, but until you do there’s no hope of getting your finances under control. Seek help if you need to from a financial planner or even a friend, colleague or relative who has their finances together. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that your spending is under control, you have money in the bank and can pay all of your bills. Start by keeping track of where you spend your money for a month (every single cent) and review it at the end of the month to see where your money really goes. Like most people, you’ll probably find that there are plenty of ways you can save simply by eating at home more often, taking your lunch to work and avoiding impulsive purchases.
Make a good start. Set aside a day at the start of each year (or more regularly if that suits you) to visit a favourite place (it could be a café, hotel, beach, park, city or even country) and sit and reflect on your life, on what’s happened and what is yet to come. Spend time thinking about and setting your goals (either alone or with your partner) for the year and review your goals for the previous year. You might decide to return every few months, every six months or next year to review your progress and look ahead again.