What am I?  Who am I?  What defines me?

I am a mother, I am a wife, I am a friend, I am a family member, I am a business owner, I am a teacher, I am a doctor, …. I am many things.
Every person I know can claim a list similar to my own.

If each of us has a list this long or longer, is it ever really possible to find balance between all aspect of our lives? 

How do I balance work, family and social obligations?  

With New Years resolutions fresh on everyone’s minds this has been a popular question.  Honestly I’m not sure that I do! I suppose if you look at a 12 month period, eventually it all balances out.  On a day to day basis, however, it’s a very up and down, chaotic thing, but so am I!!  

I believe the most important aspect to life balance is finding the balance within yourself.  Finding how you operate.  Discovering your natural rhythm to maintaining balance. 

Just as the body has a sleep/wake cycle so to a natural balance of when we work best.  This is where terms such as “morning person” or “night hawk” came from.  I myself think the clearest in the morning to early afternoon.  Please do not ask me to use my head in the evening!  I structure my day to have intellectual or creative activities such as writing in the morning and my “house keeping” (things like accounting, book keeping, actual house cleaning, duties early afternoon with the evenings best served to family and fun.

Going against this natural rhythm creates feelings of unease, or being “out of sync”

So how to get “in sync”?

1) Take an emotional “snap-shot” of your day.
What does this mean?  Choose an average day; upon waking how do you feel?  Rested? Tired, like you need another hour?  Excited to begin a new day?  Or annoyed that it’s morning already!  

Then every hour or so throughout the day check-in with yourself.  Ask yourself “What am I feeling?”  Are you anxious, excited, happy, frustrated…?  For any emotion that you are experiencing ask yourself  “How am I doing?”  Are you handling the emotions well? Is this emotion interrupting or adding to your day?

2) Take an energy level snap-shot of your day.
Throughout the day, especially after snacks and meals, check in with your energy level.  Do you have tons of energy? Hyper? Are you sleepy? In need of a nap? Anywhere in between?  

Charting this for a week or more will give you a good backdrop of how your emotions and energy levels wax and wan throughout the day.  

Once you have this “snap shot” you can start to adjust your schedule accordingly. 

Certain things will be unchangeable, like what time you have to get up in the morning to get ready for your day, however you can make these things easier.  If you are groggy in the mornings have everything prepared the night before, from making lunches to what you will wear, so that you don’t have to get up and think! 
Learn to delegate!  Delegating tasks during your off hours will go a long way to helping you find emotional and energy balance.  Energy and emotions often go hand in hand.  When we are low energy we are more likely to become frustrated, angry and stressed.  If you know its coming and are prepared the reactions will not be as strong.  Look ahead to what your day may bring, leave the more difficult tasks to the hours when you feel most alert.  Trust me; they won’t feel as difficult then 🙂
To really become in tune with yourself keep track of energy and emotional changes for  a month or more.  Just as we change throughout the day we also change throughout the month and even with the seasons!  
Stay tuned my next blog post will discuss how to set intentions to meet your goals while maintaining family and work balance.

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