5 Steps to Start Balancing your Life

Source: Wang Xi on Unsplash
It is easy to make a list of all the aspects of our lives that require our attention, but it is far from easy to make it happen. I would say it is one of the most challenging things to do. It requires a change in thinking, and not necessarily in the way you would plan your life. Balancing all seven aspects is impossible, but it doesn't mean that you need to. Some aspects of your life may already be satisfactory, and in those, you can carry on as usual. What about the rest?
There is no one recipe (I wish there were, then it would not be so challenging!) that works for everyone, but there is a process that you can use to figure out your way.
So let's get right to it then.

Step 1

Make a list of all seven aspects (for a reminder click here) of your life, and then give yourself some time to reflect on each of these aspects. Don't rush through the list because at first glance you will only remember the last few days and then your assessment will not be an accurate reflection of that aspect.
You can choose your own scoring system, but a simple 1 for very bad, 2 not so bad, 3 passable, 4 more than okay, and 5 for satisfactory/happy, will do the trick.

Step 2

You need to figure out first which areas of your life you are satisfied with. Remember we cannot be happy all the time with everything in our lives, so your assessment needs to be from an overall perspective. If you are healthy and taking care of your physical wellbeing (for example) on a regular basis, then you might feel that this aspect is working for you and you can list it as satisfactory.

Step 3

The positive aspects are always easy to identify, but it is those 'not so okay' items on the list that you truly need to work through in some detail. What about those aspects are not working for you? Where do you need to work on yourself to improve that aspect? Where do you need to work with a child/spouse/partner/friend to make a change for the better?
Relationships, especially need a good hard look. Remember, you cannot change anyone except yourself. You cannot make choices for other people, but you can choose to change something in your situation.

Step 4

If you need professional help with some aspect, get help. It is your life, and hoping that something is going to change without doing something about it, is an ostrich with its head in the sand approach. Nothing will change unless you take decisive action to make it change.
Don't wait. Delaying to get help, will invariably make it worse. Do it today!

Step 5

If nothing specifically stands out as an immediate need for professional intervention, then it is time to prioritise. You only have so much time. You only have so much time on this earth, in this life, to do the things that you need to do to live a fulfilled and happy life.
At this point, it is time to know your core values. These values will help you to prioritise.

Take this week, take two weeks, but spend enough time to work through the seven aspects (here is a reminder of them again in case you need it) so that you can see where your life is in and out of balance. You cannot take the next step forward if you don't know where you stand.

I will be taking a break in November because of NaNoWriMo, but the next post will be in December where we will take that first step together to assist you in bringing your own life closer the balance to leave you happy and fulfilled.
Until then, spend some time to reflect on your life, it is your only one after all.

πŸ’œ Lizette

Balance Your Life...

Welcome to the Seven Areas of Your Life - some areas may need a little more attention than any other area. Click the caption under the picture to take you to the post to find out more.

Physical Wellbeing

Financial Wellness

Mental Wellbeing

Giving Back

The list looks overwhelming, doesn't it? Next week we will take a look at how you can figure out where to start.
Until then!


How to figure out that Elusive Balance in your Life: Part 7 - Giving back

The Life Coach Comic Strip
Welcome to the last item on our list of life areas: giving back. Now I know you know what that is, so I am not going to be all over you on how what, or when you have to do this. Let's have a quick look at why. Why do we give back? The reasons are endless, but they are also different for everyone.
Do you care about the environment? Then that is the way for you to give back.
Love kids? Why not get involved in activities with children that do not have a home.
Love animals? If you are like me and have a whole bunch of pets (three German Shepherds in my case), then you could volunteer at an animal shelter or rescue centre.
If you are close to retirement, or even after you have left a formal career behind, you might take up the mentor mantle for the next generation of people in your field.
The Life Coach Comic Strip, Giving back, Muses and Broomsticks
The Life Coach Comic Strip (Giving Back)
All of these options and they are not the only ones out there, provide us with a legacy. Something we can leave behind when we leave this life. It is an option to allow us to get involved in something bigger than ourselves. So lastly, it is something that can make us happy and fulfilled.
The Life Coach Comic Strip
(time to choose)
You don't have to wait until you retire to get involved. Look around you. Find an organisation or charity in your area that needs your help and your time. Few of us get to leave a legacy behind in our careers. If you are such a person, then wow, good on you. If you are like me, just an average person living a life to be the best version of yourself, then giving back is the ideal opportunity to create a legacy for the future.
Be that person, create your legacy today!
Next week will be a summary of the seven life areas we dealt with so far. Until then, think beyond your current existence: leave a fantastic legacy behind!
πŸΉπŸ§πŸ¦…πŸ¬πŸƒπŸŒŠ Lizette

How to figure out that Elusive Balance in your Life: Part 6 - Mental Wellbeing

The Life Coach Comic Strip
Few people make time to look after themselves. We are not talking about going to the gym or relaxing with a book and a cup of coffee or tea. Although physical exercise is good for you, as is reading, looking after your mental wellbeing is not a brainless exercise at all. Looking after our mental wellbeing requires active participation in the activity of being alone.
Social media, and always checking our phones for messages or email, leaves us with no active reflection on who we are, and who we are becoming. If ever these concerns cross our minds. No, this time of personal reflection needs to be conducted beyond the mindlessness of electronic devices and the constant sucking at the milk of mother internet.
People run through their lives, and often the faster, the better. The monster chasing them are the fears of their own minds. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of non-acceptance. Fear of fear. Fear. Because running away will make it go away, right? Sadly the answer is no, running away, chasing after endless pleasures, mindless things, or even more money is not going to help you at all. Because the fear is you.
A hero is not someone who overcomes fear. A hero is someone who faces fear, despite their limitations. The fear of finding ourselves, and facing ourselves, to become the person you really can be, takes courage. Real gut-wrenching, acid-churning, heart-pounding courage, in spite of the fear that eats away at your insides.
The Life Coach - Mental Wellbeing
Facing yourself, finding yourself, and becoming the best version of you, requires a commitment of quiet time. Daily will be best, but if it is not possible, book time for yourself once a week. Close the door if you have to. Go away somewhere if you can't.
Reflect on who you are today. This is not about what you have achieved in your career, or relationships, or academic accomplishments. This quiet time is to figure out who you are deep down, in that deepest place where you have locked away all those fears.
Find out where do you need to work on yourself - to be a better human being. To care more. To be present when someone talks to you. To be silent when you feel overwhelmed. To be mindful of the way you are rocketing through life with little regard (if any) to what you need to be a happy and contented human being. Do you know what will make you happy? Have you thought about the things you do (and think about) that are poisoning your mind? Negative thoughts. Thoughts and actions that cut you down before you have even started. Sound familiar? The frightening part is that everyone lives with these thoughts. Everyone is a victim of the society where perfection is the only acceptable standard, however fake or wrong these so-called perfect people are. Nobody is perfect. And it is insane to expect that perfection of yourself. It causes stress and distracts you from finding your own path.
Open your calendar and book time for yourself this week. Take a pen and a notebook (stay away from that smartphone or computer, they will only become excuses not to do this) and write down who you are right now. Write down who you want to be. Take note of all the negative things you tell yourself and note the impact those thoughts have on your wellbeing.
The Life Coach - Time to make a choice
Decide then and there to stop and choose a path that will help you to be a happier and more content person. If you cannot do that on your own, talk to someone who can guide you. Pick a friend, or find a life coach, whom you know can be that guide.
Remember, that person is only a guide; you have to take responsibility for the life that you want to become the best version of you.
Take the time to care of yourself this week, and I will see you again for the last part of this series where we will deal with giving back to others.
Until then!
πŸ˜€ Lizette

How to Figure out that Elusive Balance in Your Life - Part 5: Money, money, money

the life coach comic strip. Muses and Broomsticks
The Life Coach is in
I recently had a discussion with an independent financial advisor, and he had the most interesting thing to say about retirement planning. According to him, financial advisors had no interest in taking on clients younger than 45 (approximately). This was a surprise to me, but upon further reflection, it made perfect sense too. So why do the financial slash retirement planning advisors ignore the younger generation of adults? Money.
Yes, I know it doesn't sound right. Financial advisors not interested in money. However, if you think about it, you will understand why they only target older people, and mostly people close to retirement. Young people who have just started working don't have money. They are setting up a home, maybe they are newly married, or just starting with a family. It doesn't take a genius to understand that money to plan for retirement still thirty years or more into the future is not a high priority. The problem is that it should be a priority, but few understand it until it is almost too late.
the life coach comic strip, Muses and Broomsticks
The Life Coach - Financial Wellness
Waiting until a financial advisor is interested in helping you plan your retirement, is going to cost you a lot more than it would have if you had started much earlier in your life. Savings and investments (including those for retirement) need time to be worthwhile. Presently, in South Africa, it requires approximately R40million to retire today.
The most significant financial expenses we face as we get older are not the expensive car, or the mortgage, or even the cost of living (although increasing on a weekly basis in the current economic times!) - it is our medical expenses. The illnesses that plague us as young adults or even in midlife are not nearly as severe or expensive as those that hit us in our senior years.
I am not a financial advisor, and nor do I claim to know what is best for you, but I do know one thing: start saving for your retirement as soon as possible.
Source: Liberty.co.za
The above example might make you laugh, but the point is that saving should be a habit as much as any good practice should be. You do exercise regularly, don't you? You do make a habit of eating healthy, don't you? Saving for your retirement should also be a regular habit. In South African terms, for (not having) four cups of coffee each month and investing the money you can already work on not saying “I don't know how I am going to afford to retire?” as many people I know do right now.
The people who are saying these words have been relying on their employers' pension funds alone. Don't make the same mistake, because even the most competent investment houses cannot guarantee that you will have enough money to retire. 
the life coach comic strip, Muses and Broomsticks
The Life Coach
(making a choice)
Consult an expert to assist you in drafting a retirement plan, so that you can understand what you need to do when you need to do it and how you can gain the maximum benefit from your available income.
Here is a tool that can help you determine your retirement status. You don't have to be a client of the company to utilise the app. Click here to register.
Now is the best time to take responsibility for your financial future; if you already do then make sure that you regularly check your financial status.
Until next time, when we take a look at our inner wellbeing.

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