9 steps to find your balance

Fit & Training door thijs

Most of my time I struggle with the this hectic thing called life. I have got the habit of adding another fulltime job to my life and challenging myself to put 32 hours in one day and nine days in a week. Somehow I’ve been managing this lifestyle for quite some years now. But even when I overcome these time challenges and accomplish my to-do list, I don’t feel like I have a balanced life. Sounds familiar? Keep reading for the following 9 steps. If we can become Fit Girls, we can definitely find our balance back and stay zen.

In my research towards this subject, since I am as clueless as you are… ;) I came across this quote:

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” – Thomas Merton

What does life balance really mean
Perhaps more time? Or less stress? Many people see the importance of work life balance, since we work for the longest part of our lives. Or a work-out life balance, when you are working on a healthy lifestyle? Whatever you seek, trying to schedule an equal amount of hours to each of your work, study and personal activities is usually unrealistic and unrewarding. It is nearly impossible to timeframe your life because your life is what’s happing in the moment and can’t be scheduled by every hour. And sometimes we need to deal with unexpected events which never fit into our timetables.

According to Jasmin Tanjeloff, a licensed psychotherapist, a balanced life means: “To handle on the various elements in your life and don’t feel that your heart or mind are being pulled too hard in any direction. More often than not, you feel calm, grounded, clear-headed, and motivated”.

Read on the next page what this could mean for you.

Jasmin Tanjeloff divided balancing into two categories: Internal and External. We can explain this as following according to a Fit Girls mind ;)

1. Internal:
Mind: Challenging yourself intellectually vs. creating opportunities for your mind to go on a vacation
Heart: Giving love vs. receiving love with cherries on top
Health: Eating, drinking, exercising on a regular base vs. resting and treating yourself to a jar of peanut butter

2. External:
Work / Study: Pushing yourself to achieve goals vs. seeing the bigger picture and enjoying this ride on a unicorn
Social: Satisfying your social needs vs. having ME-TIME in your sweatpants
Family: Fulfilling your familial responsibilities vs. creating healthy boundaries like you do with your cheat meals
Fun: Take time for things you enjoy doing vs. making sure you don’t go flamingo-crazy in this department ;)

Internal vs. External focus
Oftentimes, we focus on one more than the other. For example, when you are only focusing on the external things in your life and you are busy working, studying, going to the gym several times a week, running errands, meeting up with friends and family, going out, cooking healthy meals and snacks. Or in other words, managing this hectic thing called life, we focus on the external. While being this badass-can-manage-anything-at-the-same-time girl, we don’t pay attention to what is going on inside our heart and mind.

But it could also be the other way around, when you only focus on the internal and spend a lot of time reflecting on yourself. And we tend to miss out on the experience of living and become couch potatoes in our unicorn sweatpants eating peanut butter all day.

Perhaps you've already have balance between these two categories but might like to balance out some specific element in your life more. As you could see on the previous page, both ends of the categories Internal and External, are positive; BUT if either side is taken to an extreme, your life could end up out of balance. The next two pages are 9 steps on how to find your balance :D

How do you find your balance?
Jasmin Tanjeloff explains the following 9 steps to help us Fit Girls find balance in our lives besides only practicing our yoga moves without falling on the ground ;)

1. Acknowledge Take some time to really look at your life, your state of mind, and how you’re feeling. Be honest with yourself and notice the areas of your life that you’re neglecting.
Tip: Writing down your state of mind could help you acknowledge. It gives you the opportunity to read back your thoughts and see what is keeping you so busy besides your healthy lifestyle.

2. Examine Notice if you’re leaning more toward an internal or external focus, or if there are areas within each category that you would like to be more balanced.

3. Set goals Look at the outline to help you decide which ways you want to balance your life. Make a list.
Note: This is not one of your to-do lists. For example, the webshop 'My Lovely Notebook' has the Carpe Diem Journal were you can write down your goals and keep track of them. It’s on my wish list for sure ;)

4. Plan Tasks Make a list of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that you will need to do to achieve each of these goals.
Tip: While planning these tasks, ask yourself the questions: What have you tried in the past? Did it work? If not, what can you do differently?

5. Reflect What is the most important thing you’ve accomplished in the past? How did you stay focused towards this goal? How did you handle your fears, doubts, anxieties, worries, and negative self-talk? How does it feel to know that you’ve accomplished the goal despite of these parts of yourself?

6. Prepare What is your inner “stuff” that will try to keep you from sticking to your plan (fears, worries, doubts, negative self-talk)? Can you specify the things you will say to yourself to push you off tracks?
For example: “If I ever bring myself to get my ass off this couch, I will be unstoppable” :D

7. Empower What do you need to remember in those times? What are things you can say to that self-sabotaging part of yourself? BUT be kind to yourself. Balance won’t feel good if you’re cruel to yourself in creating it!
For example: Write a note to yourself, like; "Dear Self, I know you're doing the best you can. I believe in you. I love you! Love Me <3 ;)

8. Connect Is there a person, like your BFFF (Best Fit Friend Forever), to support you, motivate you and keep you focused when you have got hard times? Jasmin Tanjeloff highly recommends that within this step we connect and share our inner processes with someone. To help us when we are facing a challenge and also to celebrate when we have accomplishments.

9. Plan Just like accomplishing any goal in life, it takes time and effort to overcome your old habits and patterns and create new ones. Like not eating the whole chocolate bar at once like we used to do, but one bite at a time ;) The key to this step is to acknowledge your old habits and patterns, but really acknowledge and be honest towards yourself. Then you create new habits step by step, like we did when we started our healthy fit journey, to enjoy a more balanced life going forward. YEAH! :D

If us Fit Girls follow and rock these 9 steps, like we do working our asses and abs in the gym, we will find balance (back) in our busy, fabulous and beautiful lives!

Need our support? Leave a comment below! We can support each other :D SUPERYEAH :D :D