When I think balance, I think exercise, sleep, healthy eating, financial peace, and organization. These are the things that contribute to my inner peace and the flow of my day. When I’m out of balance, the stress surfaces. Maintaining life balance is a collection of good daily choices and habits that don’t actually take too much time. Maintain the following 5 categories of your life, and you will achieve balance:
- Let’s start with exercise. Humans are typically awake 16 hours per day, yet the most common excuse for not exercising is not having the time. We have time. We have time to create a Facebook post, watch that T.V. show, post to Instagram, read, etc. Would you ever consider leaving your home without brushing your teeth? Probably (hopefully) not. Make exercise non-negotiable. It will contribute to a healthy mind and body, which in turn gives you more motivation to keep other areas of your life balanced. Need help sticking with an exercise regimen, check out our article Exercise and Be Happy and our podcast Exercise and Be Happy Podcast.
- Sleep. Sleep. Sleep! Sleeping is more important than you realize. It’s likely even more important than diet and exercise. There are so many health benefits of getting the recommended amount of sleep (for most ages 7-9 hours per night). All you have to do is lay there so why wouldn’t you make it a priority?!
- Eat healthy! Stop eating crap. There is a lot of food- like products to consume but you’ll pay for it later. Stick to as much whole unprocessed food as possible. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s likely I can prepare brown rice, boneless chicken with steamed broccoli cheaper than buying fast food for a family of five.
- Spend some time on your finances. I consider myself the CEO of my family. As the CEO, I have many responsibilities including finances. I spent 15 years of my adulthood without a budget because I didn’t really know how to do it. I tried many different programs and finally found a program that worked for me, called YNAB. Creating a budget improves my balance at home because in addition to the bills being paid, money for future expenses are set aside. My budget also allows me to stay prepared at home. For example, setting money aside for home supplies allows me to keep the home stocked with necessary supplies to prevent multiple trips to the store. Plan for it! When I started budgeting, I was doing it daily. After a couple of months, I started budgeting weekly (25 minutes). Check out our article Why You Need A Budget.
- Organization. Organization has two main parts in my household. Number one is laundry! One load a day keeps the stress away! No more searching for socks in the morning, trying to wash a baseball uniform 1 hour before game-time, hearing your daughter say “I can’t find any clean jeans,” a few minutes before the bus arrives, etc. This will take you about 10 minutes per day (seriously..I’ve timed it). Not only will your mornings be more pleasant and stress-free, you won’t have to dedicate one of your days off to laundry. The second most important daily maintenance for staying organized is paperwork (5 minutes per day). Deal with your mail daily. I shred the junk mail before it lands on my counter. I have a bin for action items. For more tips on paperwork organization, check out our podcast on How To Manage Your Paperwork.
Let’s think of balance as a simple formula:
30 mins of daily exercise+check your finances/budget at least weekly+ sleep 7-8 hours per night+ eat real food +15 mins organizing= HAPPY BALANCED HUMAN
Do the math.
30 minutes of exercise
4 minutes budgeting (25 mins weekly)
15 minutes per day organizing (laundry and paperwork)
Total: 49 minutes.
If you sleep 8 hours and work 8 hours, that leaves 7 hours 11 minutes for life. OK, you probably have a commute or maybe you work more than 8 hours per day. Let’s say you’re gone 10 hours per day, then you have 5 hours 11 mins left to enjoy. I see your eyes rolling right now because tonight you have to run your kids to their games, cook dinner, and help them with homework. Yes..you do, but you will be able to manage those responsibilities more efficiently with less stress if you get a good night’s sleep and spend 49 minutes per day maintaining. Try it. Get balanced with us.