The other night I felt like a complete failure at the end of my day. I had worked from 4:30am – 8:30pm. I worked hard. On activities that take a lot of concentration. I learned new stuff; I created new documents that will make the rest of the year easier; I did good work and got done what I set out to do for work. But I mainly forgot to eat and walked less than 4,000 steps. So at the end of my productive work day I was a failure in my eyes because taking care of myself is supposed be my main priority. I was a failure in my eyes by working non stop, when I was in the zone and succeeding at it, because that meant not prioritizing myself that 24 hour period.
And this is why Balance is bullshit. Some days I am a rockstar at getting in my steps, exercising, and eating healthy. Other days those things simply aren’t the priority. There, I said it. In my life I am not always the priority. I know all the self help books and memes tell you to take care of yourself first but reality is that needs to be an overarching THEME in your life that may or may not be the main point of any given day. Some days you may not be able to prioritize yourself. Some days you may need to choose to prioritize something else like work, your a family member, or your dog. That is life. What matters is that your keep coming back to the priority of your health so when you fail to walk 4,000 steps one day (and your daily goal is actually 7,000) you make sure to prioritize walking the next opportunity.
Note I didn’t say “the next day”. I said “the next opportunity”. Because maybe the next day it isn’t possible either and that doesn’t make you a failure. You need to get back onto your priority as quickly as possible. But “possible” DOES factor in. Some days it is simply NOT possible to reach your health and wellness goals. Or your work goals. Or your friend goals. And every day it isn’t possible to reach all of them. So you have to pick and choose which is going to be your focus of any given day. Hit that day focus out of the park that day. Then regroup and choose for tomorrow. Continue to rotate your focus as needed so all the important pieces of your life are supported at some time in the foreseeable future.
Balance is not striving for better time management. You cannot focus on it all at the same time. Balance is better boundary management. Balance is about making choices and being happy with those choices.
Hot tip: it’s ok if those choices change based on what is going on in your life. Just remember to keep choosing yourself as often as possible.