I am currently on the road in Nashville, and loving every second of it. I’ve met so many talented artists and incredible people, all the while getting the chance to perform in front of new fans and friends. All of it makes Music City feel like a second home to me.
While things are getting really busy with my music, I do find myself being pulled in many directions at the same time. Don’t get me wrong: I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to play my songs in front of more and more people. But I am also increasingly aware that I must balance my music career with my family life and other personal relationships.
Living a balanced life is absolutely essential for achieving peak physical health, peace of mind, and personal and professional effectiveness. Whether we work, attend school, raise a family, or do some combination of the three, we all have responsibilities.
The challenge in life is to properly balance the things we must do with those things we want to do. Failure to reach a balance can cause unnecessary – and unhealthy – stress, some of which can have long-lasting effects on us and our personal relationships.
I’ve put together a list of 5 helpful steps we can take to ensure a more balanced life. I hope these simple, yet effective, steps lead you to the happiness, peace of mind, and good physical health you deserve.
1. Take care of yourself.
A balanced lifestyle is nearly impossible to attain if you are constantly unhealthy. Make sure that you are getting plenty of quality rest, exercise, and nutrition. So often we think we can eat junky food and put off exercise and still accomplish everything we want. We are usually dead wrong.
Our bodies (and our minds) are finely tuned machines that need to be maintained on a daily basis. If we neglect our physical and mental health, we are practically begging for these machines to break down. If that happens, it becomes nearly impossible to get done the things we need and want to.
The best way to ensure your physical and mental health is to set aside time each day for an activity that you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, or working out. Find a quiet place where you can truly relax, and then commit to going there at least once every few days.
2. Prioritize your priorities.
Remember: Balance does not mean that we should try to cram in every possible activity. I strongly believe in focusing on the quality of our tasks more than the quantity. Trying to do every single thing that you are able to do is a foolproof way to do none of them well. Examine your activities, and decide what is important to you.
Think of it like this: is it really more important that you skim through your email for the tenth time today instead of calling your grandmother? In the big picture, which one of those two activities is going to most enrich your life and, more importantly, hers?
After you have decided which things are most important to you and the success of your relationships, prioritize them. Figure out which ones need more of your time and attention, and act accordingly. Again, don’t try to do everything. It’s more than okay if you can’t do every single thing, every single time.
3. Embrace an organized lifestyle.
An organized life is most often a balanced life. While there are times when it is best to have nothing planned (lazy Sunday afternoons come to mind), mapping out your weekly, and even your daily, activities can only help as you seek a balanced life.
Take time at the beginning of each week to assess what needs to be done. Focus on the must-do things. Get them scheduled first. Fill up your planner or calendar with your week’s appointments, meetings, and calls. Then, knowing that all work and no play is no good at all, plan the fun stuff that you and your family want to do.
Keep in mind that these are the most important items on your calendar, as they will allow you to bond with the people who are most important to you. Don’t just plan to “spend time with little Johnny this week.” Set aside a specific time and place on your calendar for Johnny. Both of you will be better for it.
4. Expect the unexpected.
As John Lennon wisely said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” There will always be unexpected events, both good and bad. Rather than getting stressed about them, learn to roll with them. An early morning traffic jam, a random computer crash, or a suddenly sick child will throw a monkey wrench in your immediate schedule, but they should not drastically alter your big agenda.
Once you accept that anything can happen at any time (and most likely will), you will be better mentally prepared when it does. You have a game plan, so expecting the unexpected will allow you to adjust your game plan.
Don’t forget that there are certain unexpected crises that will make a balanced life impossible. A sudden death or injury to a loved one will become an all-consuming event, demanding your immediate and undivided attention. Don’t be afraid to give that situation the time and energy it deserves. Rest assured that life will, however improbable it seems, eventually return to normal.
5. Stay positive.
This one is sometimes easier said than done. The trials and tribulations of life can make it extremely difficult to stay positive. But I can attest to the benefits of starting each day with a positive approach to life.
Things may not always go as planned, but you’ll soon find that contentment and happiness are a state of mind. We often wait for good things to happen before we can discover happiness.
The reality is that once we take on a positive mindset and actively choose to focus on the brighter side of life, we will feel happier and more content. Learning to savor each and every moment is a conscious decision, and it is one that will help lead to the well-balanced life you so desperately want and need.