My motto is BALANCE. Balance for me = Success. Balanced emotions, work-life, relationships, energy, deep focus with time for pondering or dreaming, free play, days planned to the hour and days completely unplanned, relaxing can be planned into my month or unplanned if I'm dialed into my body's needs. I encourage you to define what success means to you, or how balance can look and feel like for you.
The wheel of well-being encompasses 8 key areas of life. Consistently bringing your awareness to this tool, weekly, monthly or at least seasonally. No- I will not say yearly. This is not a New Years resolution to be forgotten Feb 1. This is a tool to create and more importantly sustain a high quality of living.
You see, with personal development or a growth mindset, there is a desire for continued learning, refinement. Consider a yoga practice- at first, it is focused on gross movements- making a shape, then as time went on the position, the breath, the awareness, the inner focus all become aligned, refining the rotation of bones and muscles to support joints and breath, syncing the rhythm of breath with movement. Heightening for lightness when in the beginning it would have seemed counterproductive, now it enhances the experience.
Imagine your life as this wheel or a spinning top. If it were too heavy on one side it would topple over, be clunky, and not move freely in motion, eventually, it may halt altogether.
This will help you to evaluate where you are, and where you would like to go so that you can begin to conceptualize how it is that you need to get there. What mindset you need to adopt, the skills you need to cultivate and so forth.
The only thing that is permanent is change - Heraclitus
The tides in your life are bound to change, sometimes directed by you- other times not, but regardless of the origin, you can see where it is that you need to direct energies toward to allow for unforced, free-flowing movement.
Have you felt like you've been putting in a lot of effort in one area only to find out had you put the same amount of effort in another area you would have yielded a better outcome? Say for example you spend 5 min every morning putting away dishes but often feel rushed and get out the door a little edgy. Instead, you could spend 5 minutes reading a positive development book that would allow you to prime your mind for the day. Feeling uplifted throughout the day, rather than exhausted, you manage the dishes while you prepare dinner.
Do you ever get that feeling where you're firing on all cylinders? You're rocking it out at work, communicating well with your partner, mediating consistently, you moved your body more often than not (exercise:), your cooking dinner at home, you had fun with your friends, the list goes on. Those are the times when your life wheel is in harmony, in perfect alignment with your truest values, when you are in balance.
So how do we get there on purpose?
Take a look at the wheel of well-being. You can download and print this exercise from my resources page.
Place a dot where you would rate your level of satisfaction in each of the different areas of your life.
Then connect the dots along the different areas and see how in or off balance you may be.
Place another dot, using a different color pen, of where you would like to be.
I recommend doing this activity alone, with minimal or no distractions. Better yet- be outside where the horizon is as far as your eye can see.
We can become stagnant, stuck in our ways, thought patterns, behaviors, when we spend too much time in the same environment. Reconnecting to your deepest values means sifting through layers of built up stuff. Sometimes its material goods, other times its memories or negative energy. Allow yourself a couple hours even to clear your mind, and come into a state of being that will support you through this process. I want you to dig deeper each time you sit down, lay down, open up to doing this. Really think about what these areas mean to you and as you develop in them how can they look different in order to improve the way you experience your life. If you haven't given much thought to your financial picture the book The The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey got my gears turning.
When you begin to do this exercise more regularly, you will close the frame of reference and yourself questions like 'how did the past week go, what do I want next week to look like, how do I want to FEEL next week?"
Continually refining, this is not the 'nothing is ever good enough' mindset- beware of that trap! Practice contentment, praise, and gratitude for how far you've come, the efforts you are putting forth, offering self-compassion and understanding when the need arises for an unbalanced focus of attention while committing to re-balancing. If you become ill, certainly this takes priority, its when you don't get out of the rut once you are feeling better where it can get sticky. People feel stressed and overwhelmed in all areas of life when often the overwhelm is from one or a few areas of life.
High Performers engage in this practice weekly.
We are what we repeatedly do. Therefore excellence is not an act, but a habit. -Aristotle
I want to reiterate is the importance of adopting a mindset of developing practices, habits, or routines that support your wellbeing. Creating an environment that supports you. If you are trying to quit smoking, it will not serve you to continue to do the same things that you did when you habitually smoked like go to parties or take breaks with other people who smoke. It's not to say that you'll never attend another bbq, because you will, once you have kicked the habit for good and you can trust yourself to be around the environment that used to (like Pavlov's dogs) trigger a craving. Understanding that neither the habit or the environment can exist without your guidance.
I often use 'practice' as a leading term because we are practicing in life as a doctor practices medicine. With the ambitions to master certain aspects of our lives while accepting that should a practice end, so shall the results.
"If you don't use it- you lose it."
An age-old saying with reference to anything from muscle atrophy to communication skills.
So with a practice, be it mindfulness, meditation, yoga, exercise, typing, communication, personal development, setting intentions and goals etc. The last key I'll offer is consistency. It is far more beneficial to practice this regularly throughout the year, month, to whatever duration you see fit. The more often you do practice the easier it will become, you will begin to see this wheel in your head, feel it in your heart when the scales tip, before you even sit down for your 'on purpose' day of inventory and setting intentions.
If you are serious about changing the trajectory of your life, an in-depth one on one coaching partnership could be right for you. If you aren't familiar with what a coach can do for you take a look here and schedule an introductory discovery session to ensure that the fit between coach and coachee is a suitable fit!
Much love and hugs -R