The first step to staying balanced is to decide what is and is not a priority. Here’s how I do it: I make a list of my responsibilities, goals and tasks, and then I evaluate how much time I spend on them and what matters most. I remind myself of my mission in life—to be able to stand before God knowing that I fulfilled my call to love and be faithful to my husband, children, family and friends—and determine my priorities based on this statement. Putting this step into practice has helped me learn how to live purposefully.
Eliminate Non-Priority Demands
Second, evaluate and eliminate the things in your life that don’t contribute to what matters most to you. Cut out projects, demands or requests that others may have persuaded you or pressured you to do. Stop taking tasks merely to please people. Avoid people who drain you or offer only negative energy. Keep your social networking interactions and television viewing to a minimum. Make fewer trips to the store. Make your time with friends worthwhile, not just a gossip fest.
For myself, I learned to cut back on my children’s outside activities. I had made the mistake of overcommitting them to sports and other after-school activities because I wanted them to have a variety of experiences. My motives were good, but when I became involved to an unrealistic degree, it caused undue stress on our family as a whole and a lot of time mismanagement on my part. I’ve since limited my children’s activities to what they are passionate about and what is realistic for the entire family.
Take Time for You
Third, find out what makes you a “better you” so you can focus on and accomplish your priorities. Life can be tough. We all need to find an outlet to recharge our internal batteries and regain our strength. For some people, this means regular exercise, a hobby, reading or attending a weekly get-together with uplifting friends. When you make time to do things you enjoy to unwind and recharge, you are better equipped to serve others in and outside of your family and to meet your priorities.