LIVE: Ok, so I’ve been slacking on this blog post thing 😉 Not intentionally, life has just been crazy busy! But things have been good! Crazy to believe the first month of 2016 is nearly over, where does time go? I’m sure many of you have made some new years resolutions, I’m all about that Not because we make goals once a year we hope to keep and beat ourselves up if we don’t ha, but because it’s a great way to evaluate and reflect on what we want for ourselves, our families, in the days and months ahead. And yes, for making goals too
LEARN: What have I accomplished this last year in 2015? What am I willing to work for in 2016? 2015 was a life-changing year for me for sure. I got engaged to my best friend, married, traveled (a lot!), moving to a new area, found new passions, was challenged and tested in new ways, and was also able to reach some of my health and fitness goals. It’s crazy to think how each of our decisions lead us one thing to another… Ok, maybe it’s not THAT crazy haha. But I feel so grateful that through each struggle, through each hard time, through each decision I’ve made I’m here today. I’m sincerely thrilled for this new year, for 2016. To be able to mentally, physically, and spiritually prepare for new adventures, challenges, and experiences. To continue to grow, to develop increased faith and courage, and to be a little bit better each day.
BECOME: This year, 2016, I want to be more loving towards those around me, to help others, have success, continue to focus on my health and well-being, to develop friendships, to become spiritually stronger in the gospel, to be more Christlike really. Listening to General Conference talks in the car recently there was one that I really enjoyed, centering our lives on Christ. Amidst all the craziness and things I can do in this life, I know that blessings, success, and increased happiness will come the more I focus outward than inward, the more I strive to think about Him throughout my everyday actions. Less talking, and more doing! New year, new opportunities to BECOME a better version of ourselves. Here we go!
LIVE: So I was driving to work the other morning, turned on the radio briefly, flipping through stations. The radio hosts started talking about the three main things people need in their lives to be happy (according to a study). #1 – To have close relationships. Whether that is with your spouse, friends, family. #2 – To be financially well. Meaning that you are not stressed out constantly by your finances, that you are not worried about having to pay next month’s rent, buy groceries, and so forth. #3 – That you know your purpose in life.
LEARN: It was interesting listening to this being discussed, made me self-reflect
#1 – Close relationships are everything. Some relationships we have to work on more than others, but in the end I think we are better off because of the people we associate with and the lessons we learn from each other. We experience all the ups and downs of life – together! We have a support system, close people who help build us up and keep us moving forward.
#2 – If I’m stressed about finances it’s hard to find happiness when my mind is constantly worrying about how I’m going to make a payment and make ends meet. Money is not everything in life. I do believe in the power of self-reliance however – financial independence. If we can financially provide for ourselves, families, and help others – what happiness and peace that can bring and to help relieve any unwanted stress and anxiety.
#3 – Discovering our purpose in life. No big deal, easy peasy right? Haha 😉 This is something I’ve pondered over and over again for myself. And I will always ponder this as a means of continual self-discovery and growth. I thought it was interesting when one of the hosts was sharing that he thought your ROLE is different that your PURPOSE. He was saying, for example, that if you’re a parent, that may be your role but is that your purpose? I’ll leave his comments out there for you to decide; however, I personally think this concept is more intertwined. I’m grateful for my faith and the sense of PURPOSE it gives me in my unique ROLE as a woman on this earth, as a wife, daughter, sister, friend, and contributor to society. I’ve always liked the saying that happiness is a journey, not a destination. I think that this can be applied to discovering our sense of purpose as well. I think it is a journey sometimes, and I’m grateful that I can learn through my unique ROLES in life and find purpose and happiness in them
BECOME: Not to sound cheesy basing all this off a radio talk show conversation 😉 haha…. But I do believe great joy can be found in developing relationships with not only close family and friends but those I interact with in various settings. Also by being financially responsible and self-reliant – what am I doing TODAY to support my family, community, others – not only today but in the FUTURE?! I will continually reflect on my unique role and purpose here on this earth, throughout the various stages of my life. I want to BECOME a little bit better each day, I want to live more meaningful and purposeful days Because by doing so, I believe true happiness and joy is found. For me personally, that resolves so much around my faith and my family.
LIVE: Many of my family and friends know that I am constantly striving for that perfect balance in my life in all aspects – spiritual, physical, mental. I want to be super-woman, do it all, be it all! haha. I want to have a successful career, a great family, be a great wife, be spiritually growing in the gospel, live an active lifestyle, travel (a lot!), help others, be a friend to all, and still get some sleep now and then ha ;), and the list goes on and on! We all have the same amount of hours in a day, how do we find that balance with day to day activities? What IS life balance, is there such a thing? ha.
LEARN: Many times, I have to check myself and realize that I can only run so fast! In talking with some of my family and friends about this I’ve learned that if my priorities are the gospel and my family, then everything else will fall into place! I have to set priorities, is it more important that I get the dishes done one night? Or that I talk with my family I haven’t spoken to in a few days? Now, many times for me I feel like things have to get done, right then – right there, and maybe they do depending on the scenario, BUT what I’ve been learning is to not sweat the small stuff. Do your best, get your priorities in order, and you will live a balanced and fulfilled life. Sounds pretty easy huh? haha 😉 jk.
I felt as this is a topic I am so intrigued by, I would share some insight. Excerpts from this message are from a BYU – I commencement address by Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints back in July. He says, “Leading a balanced life is difficult for many. There is not an exact pattern for everyone, and even our own blueprint may change during different phases of our life. However, seeking balance—giving adequate time and effort to each of those things that really matter—is vital to our success in mortal probation. There are certain fundamental responsibilities we cannot neglect without serious consequence.”
He later shares four essential aspects to focus on in our lives.
1. Love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. He says, “Love for Him is the supreme motivation to keep ‘in the right way.’ Every other aspect of our life is enhanced when we truly love our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, as we will love ourselves and others more completely. Answers to our most challenging problems are found only when we love and have faith in Them.”
2. Care for family. “For many, properly caring for our family is the first area of compromise when other demands arise, as the results of neglect are not always immediately apparent,” he said. “Nurturing the husband-wife relationship and building a spiritual home requires men and women of vision and commitment.”
3. Service to the Lord. “Our time spent in Church and community service may vary during different periods of our life depending on specific callings we may receive and our family circumstances. However, our desire and our availability to serve should never waver.”
4. Life’s temporal work. “Although temporal work is temporary, it is still important as a support to the other, more long-lasting aspects of life and provides valuable service to others.”
Another resource I found online is from WebMD. Here are some of the points made that I really liked –
1. Build downtime into your schedule. “When you plan your week, make it a point to schedule time with your family and friends, and activities that help you recharge.” I like the example shared of the actor and TV producer who would wake up three hours before leaving for work to exercise and spend time with his wife and baby. That’s awesome! My mom often did that with my sister and I growing up, I think that’s a valid point. Wake up early and get started with your day!
2. Drop activities that SAP your time and energy. “Take stock of activities that don’t enhance your career or personal life, and minimize the time you spend on them.” Examples such as spending an excessive amount of time on social media websites or browsing the internet, we should be more conscientious as to what we are doing and how we spend our time.
3. Rethink your errands. “Consider whether you can outsource any of your time-consuming household chores or errands. Could you order your groceries online and have them delivered? Hire a kid down the street to mow your lawn? Have your dry cleaning picked up and dropped off at your home or office? Order your stamps online so you don’t have to go to the post office? Even if you’re on a tight budget, you may discover that the time you’ll save will make it worth it.”
4. Get moving. “It’s hard to make time for exercise when you have a jam-packed schedule, but it may ultimately help you get more done by boosting your energy level and ability to concentrate.” I know this to be true! Some days are super hectic and when I don’t make an honest effort to get my workout in, I can tell. Exercise, exercise, exercise!
5. Remember that a little relaxation goes along way. “Don’t assume that you need to make big changes to bring more balance to your life. .. Set realistic goals, like leaving the office earlier 1 night per week. .. Slowly build more activities into your schedule that are important to you.”
If I could add anything to this it would be that finding life balance takes energy, good nutrition, and being aware of what we are consuming. My parents have always provided my sister and I with nutritional products that helped us live well and be the best version of ourselves. It’s hard to find life balance, and DO things, if we are not feeling physically, mentally, spiritually well! Whether it’s exercising and consuming the right foods and nutritional products for physical and mental health, or praying a little bit more for our spiritual well-being, whatever it may be – we need to take ACTION. Nothing in our lives will change if we are not willing to change a little bit ourselves.
BECOME: Pondering this topic, learning constantly, I am going to strive to live a little better each day. To make changes and improvements in my life, because that is how I know I will grow and move forward. I need to remember whats REALLY important in my life and in the decisions I make. I’m so grateful for the opportunity we have to learn throughout the course of our lives, to learn from others and to share those moments with family and friends, to educate ourselves, and to just do the very best we can. I know life balance is something that I will always be working on as the seasons in our life change, but to know where my priorities lie should always be constant
I need to remember that I can go-go-go but that I also need to take a breather now and then for myself, I need to re-sharpen the saw! I remember a story shared by a co-worker about “Sharpening the Saw.” I’m going to do my best to re-phrase it, may miss parts of the story and this will be very brief – but this is what I got out of it! … So one gentleman was sawing a piece of wood and the blade of the saw just kept getting duller and duller. He had a lot of work that needed to be done, he was working long hours, and he felt like his progress was getting slower and slower for some reason the faster he tried to saw. One co-worker suggested he sharpen his saw, that if he took a break to do this he would cut the wood faster and more efficiently. .. Sometimes, I think we do just need to take that step back and see that we need to take a quick break for ourselves – and by doing so, we will accomplish so much more!
So now I ask, what does life balance mean to you? What do you do to help you find that overall balance in your life, what are your priorities?