As I’m sitting here typing this in my mom’s kitchen with the smell of homemade pie in the air & the sound of wedding music flowing from the living room (don’t worry, the future wedding isn’t for me), I cannot believe an entire year has passed already. Life truly happens in the blink of an eye no matter how slow some of the days may feel when we’re going through the motions. 2022 was definitely one for the books. Being completely transparent, it was truly a difficult year with many lessons learned. Of course there were moments of pure joy, happiness, & success in between – but this was most certainly a tough one. For the sake of this particular article, I’ll save those stories for another time.
Of all the lessons I’ve learned in 2022, I believe the most valuable one has been the importance of finding balance in life. I’m no “karate kid” (though I take Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes now, hehe), but Mr. Miyagi was definitely onto something with those bonsai trees. Around this time last year, I published an article on my website titled “A Finished Something” centered around my personal struggles with perfectionism. Though I didn’t hold myself as accountable as I’d hoped with sharing stories on my site, I can proudly say that it wasn’t due to perfectionism – so that’s a win for me!
While I don’t know all of the secrets to living a well-balanced life, I can pull from my personal experiences to offer up some advice that may help you shape your bonsai tree into a better balanced life. Now, I don’t want to force you to read a novel from me (yet, lol), so I’ve narrowed down my list to a top 3 to share with you. They likely aren’t anything new that you haven’t already heard somewhere else before, but maybe they’ll resonate with you in a different way.
- Get brutally honest with yourself. What are your overall top 3 priorities in life? Don’t overthink the question – typically the first ideas that pop into your head BEFORE your mind begins to wander are your most honest answers. Once you have these answers, ask yourself if your daily, weekly, & monthly actions are in alignment with these priorities. The key here is true honesty – you must be truthful with yourself. I won’t sugar coat it for you – this will NOT work if you refuse to be 100% honest with yourself. This one is so important – probably THE most important – because everything after this will flow from the 3 you choose.
- Track what (& who) you’re spending your time on. I know this one sounds boring & it feels like micromanagement, but believe me – it’s insanely eye opening. I’m not saying that life should be all work & no play… but you’d be surprised at how much excess time we spend on mindless activities. Everyone gets the same 24 hours in a day, but not everyone spends their time in the same way. Time is the most valuable thing we have; once it’s spent, we can’t make it back. So why wouldn’t we want to track it as if our life depends on it? Because it does.
- Cut out/limit distractions. Be willing to part with things (& people) who hinder your progression towards your goals & priorities. I won’t lie, this one is tough… but I highly encourage you to stay firm with it because it can benefit your life in ways you’d never imagine possible. Start to analyze these things/people objectively; see them for what they are as opposed to what you want them to be or think they could someday be. Life is too short for shouldawouldacoulda. Take off the rose-colored glasses & peer through the lens of reality; I guarantee you’ll see things a LOT differently & it’ll make your decisions much easier.
To be completely transparent, I had a wonderfully structured closing paragraph/statement right here. Once I published this piece the first time (about 25 minutes ago), over half of my work was somehow deleted & I had to pretty much retype the entire article. Now, for the life of me, I can’t remember everything I wrote here previously, but I’m sure it’ll come to me at some point. If it does, I’ll be sure to edit this & replace it with the proper closing statement! For now, I’m going to cut my losses & accept that sometimes it’s better to have a finished something than a perfect nothing.
I hope this helps you (or someone out there) to find better balance in your life. Maybe in the near future I’ll share my results from using these tools to create balance within my own life. Until then, if you’re interested in reading shorter stories, feel free to connect with me on Instagram: @kaitlynalexisorth. Hope to see you there!