I aspire to be the best me I can be. I am committed to being the best me I can be! Being the best YOU is all you can ask of yourself. But this still takes work. To be the best version of you means working towards your full potential in all areas of your life.
Reaching your full potential in all areas of your life only really works if each area is in harmony with the other, which requires balance. One area cannot be sacrificed at the expense of another if each is equally important to you in your quest for happiness. Work and family, fun and adventure, health and fitness – all important – but too often we let one or more aspects be sacrificed due to the pursuit of another, invariably leading to discord or conflict.
I’ve been through times in my life where I have let work take over to the detriment of everything else. I’ve been so busy in my job that I have neglected the things that matter most. I have also been in a job that just made me miserable. I was not necessarily busy but unhappy is an understatement. I felt like I had taken a giant step backwards, I was not using my creativity and I was getting wrapped up in the negativity of a toxic environment. For the first time in my life I let my fitness regime slip and would race home for a glass of wine instead of racing to the gym for a workout. My health suffered, my relationships suffered, all because my life became completely unbalanced.
Work / life balance is always thrown around but achieving ‘life’ balance is a complex challenge in itself before ‘career’ is even thrown into the mix. I have been carried away with my social life at the expense of my health and wellbeing – OK we’ve all been there…think late night tequila shots, 3am kebab, and beer to ease the hangover the next day at 11am before backing up the next night and taking three days to feel human again (it takes even longer the older you get, trust me). On the other end of the spectrum, I have let my obsession with the way my body looks in a bikini take over to the point where I’d avoid dinners or catch ups with friends because it would interfere with my clean eating plan or my exercise schedule. None of this is balanced and none of this helps you to live a fulfilled life.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have days at work that make me want race home for a glass of wine, the odd girls night that ends with tequila shots, and weeks where a detox or exercise commitments take precedence over social events. The important thing is that I am conscious of not allowing any one thing to take over and anything that does not serve me in my quest for happiness always takes a back seat.
The first challenge is identifying the things you do out of necessity – we all have those – and the things you do, or wish you could do more often, because they make you happy. The next step is prioritising. Time management forms the foundation of a balanced existence. Plan your time and make sure you allocate space for all the great stuff, the stuff that you are passionate about, the stuff that feeds your soul. Then there are the things that don’t necessarily serve us but sometimes we need to indulge to preserve our sanity – back to the tequila shots. These things are great in moderation. Enjoy them but just make sure you balance it all out.
Striving to be the best you means never trying to be anyone else. It is about being authentic and pursuing the things that bring you the greatest happiness in life.
When the ‘necessities’ get in the way of you enjoying your passions, or the indulgences start to interfere with the elements in your life that are central to overall wellbeing, take a minute to stop and re-evaluate and re-direct your energy towards the things that help you be the best version of you.
A balanced life is a fulfilled life. Honour your commitments, pursue your passions and enjoy your indulgences and I guarantee you, your life will have the right mix of ingredients to be truly sweet.