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 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.
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.
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.
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.
We aim for 8-9 hours in bed every night, typically from 10 PM to 7 AM.
Our breakfast consists mainly of fresh fruit, from 7 to 7:30 AM.
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.
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!Social tagging: Self-coaching