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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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« Wanting More & Less | Ask the Expert: Dan Thurmon »

6 Ways to Shift Your Balance

While mindfulness is part of my daily practice, these days I find myself in more of an anticipation mode. This distracts my attention away from now. I feel the pull between my desire to be present and my thoughts about planning for next year. These rumblings mess with my sense of balance. I’m teetering on the seesaw going up and down between now and later. Is it just me, or is anyone else feeling this way?

One of the magazines I enjoy reading regularly is Real Simple. The January issue is about life balance. It has an assortment of interesting articles, statistics, and viewpoints. What struck me most was the cover, which had a variety of words that suggested the promise of “how to live the balanced life.” I thought it would be interesting to share them, but alter the context. Instead of specifically focusing on gadgets, wardrobes and diets as they did, let’s instead use the verbs to concentrate on what’s most important to you.

Are you ready to experiment? Read the list below. Fill in as many blanks as you wish. Declare the changes you want to make for the coming year.

1. Reduce - If I had less (__), I’d feel more balanced. Letting go can propel us forward, help us feel calmer, and be less stressed. Overabundance can lead to overwhelm. What do you want to less of? What will you reduce?

2. Increase - If I had more (__), I’d feel more balanced. This might be about the stuff, but more probably, it’s about time, people, and growth. What do you want more of? What will you increase?

3. Improve - If I improved (__), I’d feel more balanced.   Is there an area you’d like to challenge yourself in like eating more nutritiously, learning a new skill, or honing one you already have? What area do you want to tweak? What would you like to improve?

4. Simplify - If I simplified (__), I’d feel more balanced. We live in a complex world. How can you rethink your days to remove the layers of complexity? Can you change your routines, commitments, or schedule? What can you streamline? What will you simplify?

5. Make - If I made (__), I’d feel more balanced.            The act of creating something can infuse us with energy, joy, and satisfaction. Creativity comes in many forms from writing to singing to cooking to dancing to painting and more. Where do you want to channel your creative juices? What do you want to make?

6. Solve - If I solved (__), I’d feel more balanced.              Do you have a challenge and feel stuck? Sometimes we need help figuring out the next step. Can you reach out for brainstorming or delegation help to find a solution? Who can you ask? What will move you forward? What would you like to solve?

Was this exercise useful? Are there any additions you’d like to add to the list? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Which words resonate with you? Come join the conversation.

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Reader Comments (11)

This is a great experiment Linda. I did it mentally and now I'm going to do the same writing it down so I can have a reminder of things to modify from now on..

Thank you so much for sharing and to all have a fantastic holidays season, my best wishes from Mexico.

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNacho Eguiarte

@Nacho- So glad you liked the experiment. I thought it was a good way to help us move purposefully into 2014. Fantastic how you tried it "mentally," but will take it further by writing down your ideas. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!

December 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Love this new perspective of balance with action! If I reduce commitments, I will feel more balanced. That is my 2014 perspective.

Wishing you a well balanced 2014!

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

Very clever idea fior a post, Linda! Thanks for giving your readers some great questions to consider. Interesting how I was able to answer a few very readily and with great confidence. The rest, I am writing down and will definitely give more thought to. Hugs and happy holidays!

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea Sharb

@Ellen- Nice one. Looking at the things you say "yes" and "no" to as a way of feeling more balanced for 2014. Balance is a constantly moving target. We've got moments of balance (when that seesaw is level) and other times when one end is up, the other down.

@Andrea- Thanks so much for the positive feedback. OK, so you've got me curious. Which ones were you able to answer "with great confidence?" Wonderful too that you're not stopping there. Great to forge forth to create the mix that's right for you.

Happy holidays to you all!

December 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Linda, YES I am feeling EXACTLY the same way as you! Great minds think alike, lol. I'm a bit behind keeping up with the FB posts so I apologize that I'm late in responding.
I love your creative way to pose the important questions we all need to address to grow, and perhaps, change in the new year. I'm still working on the answers :)

December 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNancy Borg

@Nancy- I just read your post, which I very much enjoyed, about the state of "flux" that this time of year brings. As is often the case, we're on the same page. How fun!' No apologies needed about being behind on social media. It's normal to ebb & flow with our activity in response to what else is happening. And sometimes, we just need a break.

Like you, I too am still working on the answers to these questions (and more.) I need quiet time internally and externally to write, process, and design 2014. It will happen, but not before the end of this year. Patience.

December 26, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I think this would make a great conversation around a New Year's Eve dinner table! And since balance is something you have to fight to maintain, it can certainly be an ongoing conversation!

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

@Seana- What a great idea! I can tell that your New Year's Eve dinner conversation will be a fun one. Interesting choice of words that you said you have to "fight" to maintain balance. I too find that it's a constantly moving entity…very much like the seesaw. Wishing you a fabulous 2014! It's been lovely to get to know you this past year and appreciate all that you've shared.

December 27, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

This is a wonderful post! I wish I'd read it before answering your "more" and "less" question - it probably would have helped me come up with my answer more easily! :)

January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

Janet- Glad you found the post, even if it was after the fact. These are good prompts to use anytime (beginning of the year or later.) They can help to get us back on track when we're feeling out of balance…even if we only focus on one of the prompts.

I thought you did a great job on the "Wanting More & Less" post answering the question, "With the arrival of the New Year, what do you want more of and less of to create your desired balance?

January 9, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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