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.