Pursuing Balance in the New Year

Guest Post by Deepa Kumar
January 27, 2023

Whether it be at work or in your personal life, January is a time where people set their New Year’s intentions and goals into motion. For many, those goals might include being more intentional in your time management so you can find a sense of balance. February is just around the corner, though, and we all know what tends to happen – you taper off. This often involves saying “yes” to things we never intended to, leading us right back into an unbalanced lifestyle and the stress that comes with it.

What can we do to avoid this?

If you follow me on LinkedIn, you’ll see that I’m BIG on striving for a balanced life. I say ‘striving’, because I know it’s not always possible to be balanced in all areas of your life all the time, but it should be something to work towards.

We are constantly getting pulled in so many directions and obligations. Even if we love our jobs and cherish every moment with our loved ones, it can sometimes feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to spend on other things that can restore us. How do we grow spiritually, or spend time getting lost in a hobby when by the time we’re done with work, have made dinner and are done the daily chores it’s already 9pm and we’re exhausted?

This cycle can continue endlessly if we let it.

What really helps is spending a few minutes each day looking inwards, gaining awareness of the things that light us up, reminding ourselves that these things provide us with a key to our true selves and core values, and keeping these in our focus as often as we can.

Once we make this a habit our minds subconsciously look for opportunities to adhere to our core values, whether it be at work or play. And this in turn starts to influence the choices we make when we are being asked to do something we do not have the time or bandwidth for or simply do not want to do. Saying ‘no’ is so hard, but through this practice it becomes easier.

So – what do we mean when we say to reflect and “look inwards”?

Here are just few questions you can ask yourself to get started on this journey of balance, not only in your career but your life as a whole. Keep in mind – this is not an exhaustive list, but you’ll get an idea of the types of things to ask yourself to unveil your core values:

  1. Remind yourself what you loved to do as a child. What games did you play, and what were your favorite toys and activities?
  2. When you think of your ideal day with zero obligations, what does that look like for you? 
  3. When you’re dreaming about your future, what are you visualizing?
  4. In social settings, what topics do you find yourself chatting about with friends?
  5. If you had all the money in the world, what would you spend it on?
  6. If you had an endless amount of time to learn a new hobby or skill, what would it be?
  7. What achievements have you been most proud of?
  8. Who do you find yourself following on social media or TV – are there people out there doing the things you have always wanted to do,  but you can’t seem to figure out how to get started?

Answering questions like these gives you a clue into your authenticity. When you take a look at how you’re spending your time in the present moment it gives you further insight on how near or far you are from being authentic to yourself and your core values.

When you’ve answered these questions, I suggest doing the following as a next step:

  • Seeing if there are any patterns or themes in your answers – categorize them as such. Have some fun with this – if you’re a visual person, get creative and, for example, make your themes into word art.
  • Put this somewhere where you can take a look and remind yourself. These themes encapsulate all that is important to you. Having an eye on them reminds your subconscious mind what you should be really be saying ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to.
  • When you find yourself being pulled in a direction that overwhelms you, look back to your themes  – is this thing you’re being asked to do align with what is true to you? 
  • Now you have a choice to make! Will you say no? Or will you say yes? 

If you are interested in learning how to do more exercises like this to uncover what’s most important to you, use that as a focus for a balanced life, and use a number of proven tools to get you there, I would love to hear from you!

Reach out to me at [email protected]  – send me a note to say hi, and let’s see how I can help you get there!