Sometimes I feel unbalanced. This image is how I can best illustrate the feeling.
The black straight line represents me feeling balanced, obviously. Feeling balanced means my actions align with my values. The blue curved line illustrates me feeling unbalanced caused by my actions not aligning with my values.
For example, I value my health. If in one week I go to happy hour four nights, this means I forfeit my post-work routine of cooking dinner, reading and getting to sleep in time for a solid eight hours. Going to happy hour four nights a week does not align with my value of health.
Moderation and planning ahead is key. I can go to one happy hour – meeting my “social goal” of the week – have one drink and leave early enough to achieve my prized eight hours of shut eye (which is vitally important per Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker and The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington, two influential books I’ve recently read). To allow for this, I can plan my workwear in advance, pack my gym bag and organize meals the day before. Or I could plan catching up with friends over the weekend.
When actions that aren’t aligned with my values begin to accumulate, I feel unbalanced and not myself. I’ve spent 26 years honing who I am (still evolving) and establishing my value set. So, it’s not a pleasant feeling being unbalanced. Symptoms include crankiness, agitation and uncertainty.
Your Turn! Grab a pen and paper. Write down your values. Write down your current actions, not the actions you tell yourself you’ll start doing (e.g. signing up for a gym membership; opening a savings account; asking your boss for a raise).
Do your actions reflect your values? If the honest answer is no, then write down what actions do reflect your values and start acting on those right now. I talked about starting a blog for a very long time before I decided to take action. Instead of having the mindset of, I want to or I plan to, JUST DO IT. Many thanks to Nike for this handy motto.
I hope you partook in the activity. Please realize that this isn’t a one-and-done reflection. Staying balanced and intentional in your actions requires regular checking-in.
Thanks for stopping by,
This post is dedicated to Rocío García for reminding me to write.