The first of the new year is a time for new beginnings, for setting goals, and for pursuing dreams. It’s exciting…and also terrifying! Sometimes it feels like we’re being pulled in every direction at once, especially when we’re trying to accomplish more than one thing (or many things) at once. But balance is key: having too much focus on one thing can result in burnout or frustration if you don’t maintain a healthy balance between all aspects of your life—family, friends, work, etc.
Many people see the new year as a fresh start.
The new year is a time for reflection and change. Many people see it as a fresh start, and the perfect time to make resolutions or try something new. But sometimes, too many changes can be overwhelming—especially if you’re a perfectionist like me! In this section of my blog post, I want to share some tips on how we can find balance as we pursue our dreams without sacrificing our happiness or sanity along the way.
I think balance is especially important in our lives today because we live in a world that seems designed to drive us mad by constantly demanding more from us: more productivity at work; more “likes” on social media; more engagement with friends; etc., etc., etc. We’re told that anything less than constant workaholism means that you’re lazy or unproductive (and probably eating Cheetos for breakfast).
It’s easy for all this pressure to get to us sometimes…but there are ways we can manage it so it doesn’t overwhelm us completely! That’s why I’ve written this post about finding balance as we pursue our dreams (or any other goal), which includes some general tips about how best do so successfully.
Many start the year with a list of goals that relate to fitness and health.
Many start the year with a list of goals that relate to fitness and health. These can include things like running a 5K, beginning a new diet, or taking a yoga class.
As you embark on your journey, it’s important to remember that setting intentions is different from setting goals. Goals are what we want, intentions are how we get there. When we set an intention instead of a goal, we shift our mindset from focused on achievement to one that is more open and accepting of where life takes us next.
For example: If your intention was “I want to run five miles,” but then on week two you were met with pain in your foot or shin splints that keep you out, it might feel like failure has set in if you let those obstacles derail your progress towards completing those five miles.
On the other hand, if instead you said “I am committed each morning to at least moving my body,” then even if something comes up or doesn’t go as planned (like injury), this doesn’t take away from your commitment over time.
(Want more guidance? Check out Mark Sisson’s book The Primal Blueprint.)
When you set out after your goals (intentions), make sure that you’re doing so with a balanced mindset.
When you set out after your goals (intentions), make sure that you’re doing so with a balanced mindset. This means focusing on what you can control, not what you can’t; staying focused on process, not outcome; and making sure that you have a plan for dealing with setbacks. A balanced mindset also means remembering to “fail forward”, as the saying goes—accepting failure as part of the process—while staying flexible and spontaneous.
Lastly, remember how to play! Be open-minded about new ideas and experiences, even if they seem far removed from your original intent or plan.
Play brings us joy and makes us feel alive.
In addition to making us feel alive, play also has the potential to help us achieve our health and fitness goals. When we are having fun, we are more likely to participate in physical activity. For example, if you’re going for a walk with your best friend or playing tag outside with your kids, you’ll enjoy it more than if you were doing those things alone because there will be something else contributing positively toward your overall well-being.
It can be easy to get so caught up in being productive that we forget about taking time for ourselves or having fun—so make sure that you don’t let this happen! If possible, try incorporating some type of play into your daily routine each day (even if it is just taking five minutes out of every hour). This might mean going dancing with friends on Friday nights instead of watching Netflix at home while eating takeout all weekend long; maybe go hiking with family instead of bringing work home every day; perhaps even attend an improv class once a week instead of hitting the gym solo each morning before work? Whatever it is that makes sense for YOU individually will probably benefit both physically and mentally!
Maintaining balance can help keep you motivated, which will help you keep your resolve.
It is important to develop a balance between being a professional and having a normal life. You can start by following some simple rules:
- You can’t work all the time, so make sure you set aside some time for fun and relaxation. This will help keep your stress levels down and help avoid burnout, which can lead to quitting or giving up on your dream altogether.
- Set goals for yourself that correlate directly with the project at hand; this way, it’s easier to stay on track without getting distracted by other projects or tasks (which may not be as important at that moment).
- Take breaks regularly throughout the day; don’t keep working until you hit a wall!
We all have dreams and goals. As we try to pursue these dreams, it’s easy for the day-to-day grind to get in the way. It’s easy for our priorities to shift from what makes us happy, to what makes others happy. But when we focus on doing what brings us joy and fulfillment too, rather than just making money or meeting expectations, we can find that sweet spot between passion and reality—and balance in life!