Work / family / exercise / social commitments / children’s schedules / meals / household chores / attending church / finding time to relax
In our busy world, we are pulled in so many directions and this stress can be overwhelming. There are an endless list of items demanding our attention and everyone struggles with maintaining that magic word: BALANCE.
PRIORITIES: One of my favorite quotes on balance is: “Saying you don’t have time for something is just saying it’s not a priority.” Achieving balance begins with establishing priorities. Following priorities can help you create time management rules. For example, exercise is a top priority for Katie and I. Even if it means waking up before dawn or sacrificing social time on the weekend, Katie and I make sure we are reaching our workout goals by ensuring this is a priority over other activities.
Busy is a decision. When asked “How are you?”, many of us now have a default answer of “Busy!”. Whether it’s a form of bragging or a complaint, the truth is that busy is a decision. Setting priorities may involve deciding which activities will be a part of your life. Too often we say yes to new activities or another event on our calendar, when most of the time it would help us to maintain balance by saying No.
FLEXIBILITY: Like anything that requires discipline, practicing balance is an on-going process. It often involves the need for re-alignment, flexibility and understanding that there will be unexpected changes. For example, our daughter Clare is playing tee ball this summer. A sudden addition to our Saturday morning schedule certainly requires quite a bit of realignment and flexibility to stay balanced.
SUPPORT: Balance is not about your strength as an individual, but about sharing the load with a partner or group and drawing strength from each other. If partners don’t share the same priorities or fail to support each other’s personal goals, achieving balance may be impossible. Katie and I always strive to recognize if we are pushing too hard and falling off the tight rope of life. When one of us seems overwhelmed, the other is there to step in with the kids or give the other person some time to reset on their own. This constant support allows us to achieve balance both as a family and as individuals.
Much of our daily stress can derive from simply not maintaining a balance between everything that is required of us in the modern world.No one is perfect in this regard, but a deliberate plan can be put into place to deal with all of our varied commitments. If you focus on a schedule that is structured by priorities, flexible enough to deal with changes and nurtured by a supporting partner, a life of intentional balance can be achieved.
Cheers to dental health,
Dr. Cliff Moore