"You can have it all!" This one statement alone is responsible for causing a whole nation of over-achieving Baby Boomers to operate daily with dangerously high levels of stress and Generation X-ers to live in a constant state of overwhelm.
While it may seem the norm to feel stressed out these days, this isn't the way it's supposed to be. Instead of simplifying and letting unimportant things go, people just get busier, trying to get ahead by doing more. This is taking its toll on the U.S. as a nation as well as on individuals physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Finding balance in today's frenetically paced world is no simple task. Yet it can be done. And it begins by asking yourself one question: Even if you could have it all, would you really want it? After all, the drive to have it all is what got you into trouble in the first place, right?
The path to restoring balance in your life begins by taking eight decisive steps each and every day. These eight steps will not only reduce the amount of stress in your life, they will also help put you in control and make balance a way of life naturally and simply.
Eight Ways to Restore Balance in Your Life
Step One: Set your positive intention for the day.
First thing each morning, set your intention for the day ahead. Make sure it's a positive one.
Step Two: Set a “balance goal” for your mind.
Right after you set your positive intention for the day, spend the next five to ten minutes mentally picturing your life the way you want it to be. Clearly see and experience how it feels to be perfectly balanced, centered, and whole. By doing this you will have set a goal for the mind and a feeling state for the body to achieve.
Step Three: Simplify.
After you've set both the balance goal for your mind and the feeling state for your body, look over your week and see what you can do to simplify your life for the next seven days. Be very Zen about this. Invite simplicity to be your new way of life.
Step Four: Let things go.
As simplicity becomes your new way of being, you'll find that many of the things you compulsively thought just "have to get done" no longer need to be done. Do you really have to stay up late putting the final touches on that report or can you do it in the morning after a good night’s sleep? Does the car really have to go in for detailing or is it OK to just go through the car wash for now? Begin today to recognize the things that don't really have much impact on your life, then allow yourself to let them go.
Step Five: Set priorities and create boundaries.
When you begin living more simply and letting things go, you'll find yourself coming quite naturally into alignment with a more balanced lifestyle. You'll feel in charge again. You'll be eager to set priorities. You'll find yourself wanting to create healthy boundaries in order to maintain balance. The key here is to figure out what you want your priorities to be, not what you think they should be.
Step Six: Learn to say no to others.
The more balanced you become, the more you will come to appreciate and utilize the word "no." Saying no helps you to maintain the balance and equilibrium you so crave. Quit doing things you only do out of guilt or a negative sense of obligation. Instead, make more room in your life for the activities that are meaningful to you and bring you joy.
Step Seven: Practice saying yes to you.
Now that you've learned to say no to others, it's time to practice saying yes to you. In order to restore balance, it's important to experience fun and relaxation as essential to your balanced life and lifestyle. Therefore, make sure that you set aside time each day for an activity that you enjoy, and set aside one night each week for something special you know will rejuvenate you.
Step Eight: Protect your private time.
The final thing to do as you go about living your balanced life is to fervently guard your personal and private time. There are very few things that actually warrant a necessary and urgent intrusion into your personal time. Let no one and nothing distract or intrude upon you. Turn your cell phone off.
While you can have what you want, it must certainly be clear after reading this article that the quest to have it all is what's causing you and your life to be out of balance. Balance doesn't mean doing everything. Balance means having equilibrium in your life and ease in your lifestyle. Follow these eight steps to restore balance in your life to help reduce stress and put you back in balance naturally and simply.
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Dr. Susan L. Reid is a business coach and consultant for entrepreneurial women starting businesses. She is the award-winning author of “Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Journey to Business Success,” and has a free chapter PDF of her most popular chapter: “Doing What You Love: Multiple Streams of Passion” for those who want see how persistence, patience and practice can really pay off.