Life balance. In today’s 24-7 wired world, it can seem elusive. We long for healthy, balanced living, but despite our best efforts, we run from morning to night, day after day and week after week. We keep telling ourselves it will be better next week or next month. But it never is.
Balanced living doesn’t just happen; it requires intentional planning and choices. But before we talk about how to achieve it, let’s first define what it is.
What is Balanced Living?
“It’s so easy to be scattered, distracted, spread too thin, with too many balls in the air,” explains Chris McCluskey, founder of the Professional Christian Coaching Institute in an interview with Gary Collins. “A balanced life doesn’t look like that.”
A balanced life allows you to be fully present in whatever you are doing. If you’re working, you can totally pour yourself into it, and then when it’s done, it’s done. You can wipe your hands, go off and play — without being distracted by things at the office. . . A balanced life allows us to be where we are when we’re there.
Balanced living is healthy living. It is Christ-centered and encompasses the whole of who we are — spirit, soul, and body. A balanced life enables us to enter fully into God’s plan and purpose for us in each season of life, stretching, yet honoring, our physical, mental, and emotional capacities and limits.
It is not about keeping all the balls in the air as much as it is about learning to drop some of the balls we are juggling to align ourselves with God’s purposes in each season of life.
A Christ-Centered Model for Balanced Living
As Christian, who we are and all we do must flow from the core of our being — relationship with Jesus Christ. Therefore, by definition, balanced living for Christians must start with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It then unfolds in daily conversation with God.
Once the core piece is in place—a personal, intimate relationship with God—we can then work together with clients to define and create life balance. McCluskey suggests building on these three pillars:
- Purpose: Life balance is about making intentional choices that align with God’s plan and purpose for our lives, which each of us must discover on life’s journey.
- People: Because God calls us to love others as we love ourselves, life balance is lived in light of relationships—loving our spouses, children, and those God places in our path.
- Play: True play restores health to your soul. Although play looks different for everyone, it can involve such activities as reading a book, playing sports, canoeing, hiking, horseback riding, and more.
Life balance doesn’t happen over night. It requires planning and intentionality. And it changes and evolves as seasons and circumstances evolve. Yet, it’s a worthy pursuit, one that yields tremendous peace once achieved, for both you and your clients.
How do you keep your life balanced?