How to Have a Balanced Life?

Swing Ice Dance Snapshot

Swing Ice Dance Snapshot

Many want to have a balanced life, but have no idea what that would look like, let alone reaching it.

I have made a good deal of progress towards having a balanced life myself, starting from just the opposite: in my previous careers, I was a workaholic. You could call this post the “Epilogue to the Story of a Recovering Workaholic.”

I didn’t get to have a balanced life in a day: it took years to build it from the workaholic starting point of my old past. It was very much worth the effort, and I want to encourage you to find inspiration to make changes in your own life from taking a look at my example.

My Weekly Schedule

In this modern era, most of us lead very busy lives. It can feel very difficult to fit in all that one wants to do in a day, and of course one needs to prioritize.

I enjoy working my own hours from home, and this makes it much easier to achieve balance in this way. However, it is not required, and you can take my girlfriend’s schedule as an example: it is quite similar to mine, but she also works two jobs that she enjoys, including a full 9-5 job and her part-time job as a figure skating coach.

The Morning Routine

Every well-balanced life should begin with a morning routine. Every morning, about 30 minutes after waking up, my girlfriend and I go through the 5 Tibetan morning routine, having missed perhaps only 1 day every 3 months.

It takes only 10-15 minutes of your time every morning, but gives all this time all back to you and more thanks to your better alertness and liveliness in the morning and throughout your day.

I highly recommend this routine, and if you know of anything better, please do let me know.

Physical Activity

Physical activity is so much important for well-being and for creativity, as I emphasize in several of my posts, see for example my recent article on dance improvisation.

We do figure skating 3-4 times per week, usually Mondays 5-7 PM, Wednesdays 8-9 AM, Fridays 7-9 PM and/or Saturdays 3-5 PM. This adds up to 4-6 hours on the ice per week.

We do acroyoga 2-3 times per week, e.g. one evening (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday) and during the weekend. We also go running 2-3 times per week, for about 5 km, on dry days without skating or acroyoga.

Sometimes we have dance lessons in the evening, or practice the dances over the weekend, taking time away from the other activities.

Finally, nearly every day, for 1-2 hours, I do a variety of stretching exercises, yoga, Pilates, which I feel I need in order to relax and stay in shape.

Artistic Activity

I practice the piano for 2-3 hours from 3 to 6 PM on weekdays, except Wednesdays or skating days, when I am lucky when I can manage to squeeze in an hour of piano. Also, we have fun once in a while singing to lyrics from music on YouTube.

Family and Relationships

After skating in the morning, I give my Wednesday to my mom, from about 10 AM to 5 PM, to help her with moving out of her house. This can include some gardening work, which I enjoy, especially the part about taking pictures of flowers.

I visit my dad every other weekend, and visit some of my girlfriend’s large family, or my own, on most weekends. We also find a bit of time for friends.

Entertainment

About once a week, we try to have one good experience out of a broad spectrum of potential activities: a dance, music or theater show, a movie, a restaurant, a spa, etc.

Work

I’m working about 20-30 hours per week.

Most weeks, that means 4 blocks of 5 hours from about 9 to 3 PM, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. For me, this work consists of blogging, building and maintaining my websites. If that’s something that appeals to you, I strongly recommend you sign up to build a website at Wealthy Affiliate by creating a free account. You can go a long way with having your own websites for free.

I also do a bit of follow up on my websites nearly daily, including the weekends. I’m rather undisciplined, so that I sometimes end up doing other things during my 9-3 blocks, but I make up the time elsewhere, thanks to the flexibility this work entails.

Sleep

We aim for 8-9 hours in bed every night, typically from 10 PM to 7 AM.

Meals

Our breakfast consists mainly of fresh fruit, from 7 to 7:30 AM.

Fresh Fruit for Breakfast!

Fresh Fruit for Breakfast!

Lunch on weekdays is a bag of nuts and dried fruits, see our post here.

Dinner is varied, usually something from the Mediterranean diet or Asia, and contains a lot of vegetables.

Chores

There are a number of chores needed to support all this lifestyle. We live in small flats that don’t require too much time to clean. During the week, we live in my flat downtown, since that’s convenient for my girlfriend to get to work. During the weekends, I joke that we live in the “countryside”, in her flat that is far from the city center, yet convenient and close to our main ice rink.

We have plenty of driving to do, to go from one flat to the other, or to the skating rink, or to family members, or grocery shopping. But most trips are 20-30 minutes long. Thus, we don’t waste a ton of time in traffic jams.

Conclusion: How to Have a Balanced Life?

This was my portrait of what consists a well-balanced life for myself, at this period in time. It is surely very different for you, if only because everyone is truly unique.

Some questions you may want to ask yourself:

What gets in the way of you living a well-balanced life?

What can you do about it, right now?

Looking forward to hearing your stories and happy to answer any question!

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10 Responses to How to Have a Balanced Life?

  1. Tammy kuppinger says:

    Thank you for sharing your story.  It is so important to have a well balanced life.  I like how you offered clear ideas on how you have a balanced life and it offered creative ideas, like playing the piano and figure skating.  Those ideas, in themselves, are calming and peaceful.  I can imagine that you sleep better because of that routine.  I think so many people think that changing one thing in their life (like eating healthy) while still running the rat race is all they need to do.  It’s not, they have to change the way they live.  Very nice post.

    • Lyne says:

      Thank you Tammy, and you are right concerning the rat race… As we know, changing habits in our life is not always easy but changing them one by one seems to be a good strategy if one moves on to a second one while keeping the first improvement alive, and so on!

  2. Sondra M says:

    I am glad that I got to read your “Epilogue to the Story of a Recovering Workaholic.”  It was interesting to see how you are balancing so many things that are clearly important to you.   It sounds that you have achieved a sense of balance.  

    I appreciate the reminder that physical exercise is important for well being and creativity.    Unfortunately, I have tended to skip physical exercise on way too many days because it seemed more fun than anything else.   Then, I complain that I feel like I have not been very creative.  

    I shall think of this post when I am tempted to skip exercise so I can work a little longer.   

  3. Aabidah Ahmed says:

    You and your girlfriend seem very organized I must say. I’m a good organizer myself, but I never get around to organizing beforehand these days. I’m a stay at home mom working from home.

    I try to get activities in and I do have a routine, but my husband finds it difficult to follow.

    So I should ask, how do you actually do it to live such a balanced life and not having issues with your partner not following you? 

    • Phil says:

      Thanks Aabidah, Lyne and I are lucky to have many common interests. It sounds like you are already having some success with having a balanced life that includes a husband and an infant. Perhaps the question is: what would be one small change that you could make that would improve your life balance?

  4. Snigdha Alam says:

    Hi Phil,

    I really enjoyed your post. My life is not a balanced life. I do any type of work at any time. I know that is a very bad lifestyle. I am very heartly want to change it and want to do everything in time to time. By reading your post I come to know how can I get a balanced life. You nicely share your working schedules and daily routine. Your amazing post will be helping me a lot for making my life a balanced life. Is it so easy to make life a balanced life?

    Thanks a lot, dude. 🙂 I will share your post to others.

    • Phil says:

      Hello Snigdha,

      Actually, it is not easy to have a balanced life, but it’s really worth it. Maybe you’re not at a stage where you very much need one, but that may change.

  5. Gillian says:

    Hi, Thanks for sharing this article. It will surely motivate and inspire readers to start focusing on having a balanced life. I can say that I am half-way on attaining a balanced life. I do morning yoga, physical activities with my daughter abd sleep enough at night. But my only problem is my eating habit. I am eating a lot of unhealthy food and I have meat diet almost everyday. I am always failing to follow a healthy diet but I am trying, really trying to control my cravings for good health sake.

    • Phil says:

      Hello Gillian, sounds like you have many important elements of having a balanced life in place. Sorry to hear about your difficulties with keeping a healthy diet. Have you considered getting professional help about this?

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