Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Now here's something to think about.

Some of the most interesting emails I get come from the smart women whose blogs and newsletters are delivered to my inbox (on a daily basis). Now mind you, I am usually reading these emails in bulk one morning while the kids are at school, trying to cram all the knowledge sent out over the month into a tiny window of opportunity. But somehow I seem to glean incredible tidbits about how to improve my life.

The following recent post from Kathy Harman at Real Results, Inc (kharman@realresults.us.com) resonated with me and the work that we do at Momentum. Can you live up to the challenge? I am going to try.

Finding Balance

BalanceWe hear a lot about Work-Life balance these days; everyone seems to have too much of one and not enough of the other. I think that there is a lot more to balance in our lives. There's the balance between achievement and fulfillment. Let's face it, you probably work just as hard in your non-work life as you do in your work. With all you do and accomplish, when do you ever take time to simply 'be'? To sit and meditate for a few minutes, letting the stresses and demands of the day shed off of you like water. How about time to read more than ½ chapter of a book at one time? Or to simply gaze out the window for a few minutes, appreciating the beauty of nature? If you find yourself way overbalanced on the 'doing' side, work to bring the balance back by starting small: set up an appointment with yourself every day at the same time to sit for 5 minutes of silence, or one hour several times a week to read. Start saying "No" when saying yes means doing more than you need to be doing right now. Even stopping in the middle of chaos to take 3 long, deep breaths will help you to balance

Then there's balancing your attention. Do you even realize how much attention you give to the different areas of your life? Try this: Rate each life area in this table from 1 - 5 with 5 being the highest, for how important this area is. Then rate from 1 - 5 for how much attention you give it:

Life Area




Significant Other



Personal Development




What did you find out? Are you balanced between the importance of that life area, and the amount of attention you give to it? If not, what are some things you can do to bring it into alignment? Again, start small: if you would like to give more attention to your family, how about making an appointment each week for a family fun hour? Or create a new habit of a 5-minute morning appreciation ritual, where each person states the 3 things they appreciate this day.

If all this seems overwhelming, make it simple: improve your balance between doing and being. Give yourself permission to let go of being perfect, of doing it all, of being responsible for the world. Create calm moments each day to simply be aware of all you have, to experience gratitude and joy for what's good in your life. These moments bring such fulfillment that you'll find yourself arranging more time for them. Use a trigger, such as an alarm on your cell phone, or 'each day after I take the kids to daycare', to remind you to experience your calm moments. As your fulfillment increases, your positivity increases, affecting not only your own peace of mind, but that of those around you.

This year, make a commitment to yourself to balance the scales.

My guideline from this: When I balance my doing with calm times of being, my well-being flourishes!

Your challenge for the month:

Determine one small thing to increase your 'being' time, and practice it regularly. Remember that you can create a habit by doing something for 21 days straight, so set yourself up for success by creating a new 'fulfillment' habit. You don't need to suddenly set aside 1 hour a day to do this; start small and experience success. At the end of the month, look back to see how well you adjusted your life balance towards fulfillment.

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