Thursday, 3 October 2013

Simple Living and Balance

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane/

Just as mindfulness was a buzz word for me a couple of weeks ago, this week it is balance. I'm not talking about the stand-on-one-leg type of balance, but rather life balance. We all have many roles and facets of our lives that need to be balanced in order for us to achieve peace, and apparently that's a fact that many of us are finally waking up to, in particular Australians.

I read an article on yesterday (Work/life balance) based on a report from recruitment firm Randstad. Their findings were that Australians are more concerned about achieving work/life balance and having an interesting job than climbing the corporate ladder, and that Australians are the least aspirational workers in the world. Only eight percent of us are strongly focused on promotion, compared to 24 percent of people in the US.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

So, Aussies really are more 'laid back'. Hardly surprising I guess, considering the lifestyle and opportunities that are offered here. This statistic certainly sums me up. I had a high-paying corporate career in Adelaide for many years. I am degree-qualified in business and when I finally reached the top of my corporate ladder I found that I did not want to be there. This was mainly due to the fact that I had three kids by then, but also because I realised I did not want the pressure associated with my high-paying job. It was interfering with the rest of my life.

So...I moved to Queensland and became a beach bum. Well, hardly, but I can still dream, can't I? I still have to work to pay my mortgage, but I realised I could forgo the extra income and the flash house and cars, to have the lifestyle I have now. My current exploration into the concept of simple living is helping me continue along this work/life balance path.

It was only last night that I was talking to my mentor at Curves and saying that being fit and eating healthily has led to other positive changes in my life. I want to be in control of everything and not on the roller coaster I was. She mentioned she used to be a counsellor and gave me a piece of paper with a 'wheel of life' to complete, similar to the one below: (Wheel of Life)

You basically give each section of your life a rating from 0-10 in order to identify and document those areas of your life that require some work. I thought, oh yeah, that's obvious...what do I need this for? But I must admit I found the exercise rather interesting because it not only showed me where I wanted to be but also showed me, on paper, how much I had already achieved.

For example, I have improved my health by giving up smoking and eating healthily. Exercising at the gym increases my fun and recreation (and all that gardening!). I have increased my satisfaction with my physical environment through adopting simple life principles. Learning about new things and starting this blog has assisted with my personal growth. Minimising my alcohol intake has improved my personal relationships. Writing my blog is putting me one step closer towards my career goal of being a writer. So, in essence, I am working towards that life balance. The areas I do need to work on with this wheel are money and...should I say?...well, romance. Topics for further blogs I am guessing.

During the Women's Health Week (where I discovered the goji balls) I came across an initiative by Deborah Hutton called Balance. She takes the balance wheel one step further and tailors it for women, I believe, as she includes areas such as body, beliefs and emotions as well. She has programs you can join but I just found the information on her site interesting and if you like her Facebook page then you get all sorts of tips.

So, basically I wanted to share how my current discoveries with regards to simple living are helping me to achieve not only self improvement, as discussed in an earlier post, but also life balance...this benefits not just me but all of those around me. That's got to be a good thing right? If I am happy within myself and my work/life balance is optimum then there is nothing stopping me from reaching my goals. The sky is the limit!

I will definitely be working towards turning those 5's into 10's. How about you?

How do you set your goals? Have you ever thought about life balance before?

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