Finding Balance in Life

by Emily McBride
(last updated October 8, 2009)

It's all too easy to get caught up in one good part of life and lose focus on the other parts. It's important to have balance in your life and spend enough time with each different aspect. You will be a lot less stressed, a lot more at peace, and much more happy if you live a balanced life.

The different things you do in your life fall into different categories. For example, exercising falls into physical while attending a church service falls into spiritual. The four categories of health are Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual. To be truly healthy, you must be paying enough time and attention to each of these categories in your life.

To break these areas down further and into more realistic ways of how we spend our time, we can use the Life Balance Wheel. This wheel is a variation of eight categories: Mental, Social, Spiritual, Physical, Family, Professional, Financial, and Community. You should spend adequate amounts of time in your life in each of these categories in order to be truly balanced.

Knowing what areas in your life is important, but what exactly should you do to get your life balanced?

  • Evaluate. Get a weekly schedule and fill out exactly how you are spending your time for the whole week, hour by hour. Then, at the end of the week, categorize each of your activities and your time into one of the six categories. Add up the hours for each category and see how they stack up. Not every section requires the same amount of time, but make sure that you are spending at least some time in each. Sometimes it's surprising to see how you've been spending (or wasting) your time, so it's helpful to do this every few months or so.
  • Meditate. Set aside part of each day (even if it is only a few minutes) to have some quiet time to think and meditate. Think about how you are spending your time. Take notes on what is going well in your life, and also take notes on what categories you haven't been spending enough time in.
  • Learn to say no. You aren't magic—you won't be able to take advantage of every opportunity and say yes to every request. Learn to say no, and realize that you don't need to do everything—you just need to do your best.

Remember that having a balanced life is a continual process and has no quick fix. Be patient, continue setting goals, and don't give up!

Author Bio

Emily McBride

A senior majoring in English and editing at BYU, Emily hopes to enter the field of professional editing upon graduation. Emily has done humanitarian work in Africa and studied in London. She enjoys blogging, foreign films, and playing the piano. ...

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