Balance is the New Black

How I Redefined & Achieved Personal Success in 2015 

I often think about what success means to me and it doesn’t reflect one of materialism or vanity. Success for me looks like an internal win by achieving balance and overall progress in the areas of life that are important to me. But I didn’t come up with this conclusion on my own; it took years of reflection and the questioning of my intentions behind the ideas that I pursued. Whether I was seeking to maintain financial stability, increase personal discipline or just simply get better at something, I learned to ask the question “WHY?” – and that helped me break down what success really meant for me. I’ve put together some steps to help you break it down for yourself:

REALIGN YOUR GOALS | The first way to achieve balance for me was to realign my goals. Its easy to say but harder to do. In this situation you have to ask yourself what a valuable life means for you and of course, why. Is it owning your own business? Is it public speaking? Is it teaching or leading a movement? In one of my recent posts with Hope for Women Magazine, I introduced this idea by starting with a few reflection questions to determine how goal setting can quickly turn into failures. Most often this is a result of one not diving deeper into the purpose for setting goals. You shouldn’t pick goals simply because it makes you feel good to say you’re reaching towards them. They have to really make sense for you, and only you. The best book I read to teach you how to realign goals was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Read it!

REMOVE THE CLUTTER | The second way I learned to achieve balance involved removing the clutter in my life. For me clutter can happen in a variety of ways: mail on the kitchen table; bags collecting in my car; too many events on my calendar; too many checklists to devour. In this situation, I call it all clutter because it eventually clogs the mind and this is a detriment to my creative flow. However when you decide to get rid of things, you shouldn’t go chucking everything in to the trash or acting out of frustration. The action of removing clutter involves having some sort of control factor – if you do it right. For me the control factor is again asking the question: Why is this item/event/issue important for me? If I can’t provide a justifiable reason for me doing it in the first place, than it should no longer create clutter in my life and I REMOVE IT.

FIND OTHER BALANCED PEOPLE | Many of the successful people I follow say that the quickest way to the top (whatever that means for you) is consistency and company (by surrounding yourself with likeminded people). The latter is one that I’m still learning to do but essentially it allows me to reevaluate who I hang around and how long I decide to do so. The trick to surrounding yourself with other balanced people is to know how to recognize balance in the first place. Balance does not look like a person who is at every party or someone who is always trying to dominate a conversation or “be in the know.” A balanced person has ambitions, morality, accountability and most importantly a realistic viewpoint. A balanced person can hold a conversation, but know when to be quiet when it’s time to learn. A balance person can prioritize their time to know when it’s time to party and know when it’s time to chill. A balanced person invests in themselves before they allow someone else to control how they spend. These are the people I chose to be around in order for me to learn better habits of self-control and productivity for my life.

REMEMBER TO DECOMPRESS | Lastly, the way I often achieve balance is by taking breaks from the busy times in my life. I do this by scheduling breaks after long meetings; Prioritizing meditation & relaxation; Knowing with to stop responding to emails, phone calls & social media tags; and resting when I need to rest. Also, if you’re an ambitious busy-body, it’s important to know when to delegate things to someone else. So how do you plan to decompress this week?

For the final record I want to clarify that achieving balance is a lifestyle. It cannot be achieved over night and it’s something that I am always working on. I just decided over a year ago that I wanted to be more conscious of how my time was spent and develop a sense of purpose for my life. It’s really important for me to achieve balance because it provides a sense of value and self-worth to know that I have peace of mind before anything else. This peace of mind is what I call success and nobody else can influence me to think differently.


One comment

  1. Achieving balance is something that I am doing also and you’re right, it’s a lifestyle. Last year I struggled with this due to a few things. The main reason was not knowing when to say no and feeling guilty for wanting to say no. Towards the end of the year I saw the negative impact of not saying “no” when it mattered. I was sick and fatigued most days out of the week. Thank you for sharing this. I am going to use the questions to help realign myself this year.

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