Something was definitely wrong with my car. It wobbled, shook, and vibrated. I could hardly keep it on the right side of the road as I traveled down the two-lane road leading out of the Mountains for a shopping day in the City.  The faster I went, the worse the situation grew. You guessed it, the tires were out of balance – not an unusual situation considering the narrow winding roads (that are great fun on our motorcycle, but treacherous on our tires at $125.00 a pop.)

Anyway, I began thinking how similar this situation closely resembles how most of us run our life – totally out of balance and wonder why life is wobbling, bumping, at times almost impossible to control.  Sometimes we don’t even recognize it until we end up in the ditch. Balancing our life between businesses, marriage, personal health, family, community, and church activities and at the same time, taking time for pleasure and fun seems just way too much to manage.

I am painfully aware that one of the most difficult tasks facing independent business entrepreneurs in their quest for financial independence is organizing a plan to balance life and keeping it all together. That is why I emphasize so often in the workshops and seminars to prioritize your time.  One internet article (author unknown) indicated that people who enjoy long-term success in all areas of their life have instigated a balanced program for their life. It is important to feed your own spirit, mind, and body and then time – quality time, for family, and include friends and community as well as leisure time and fun time.  Ask yourself, what is most important to me?  I often overhear Tom saying “he has never seen a U-Haul behind a hearse” – which brings into perspective our overemphasis on the importance of material things.

Here are a few tips others suggest to keep yourself “on balance”.  Write things down and schedule all your priorities. Consider writing goals daily, weekly, and monthly.  Set personal rules with respect to the number of nights your plan to work or overtime hours you currently do or plan to do. Create a “Sacred time” for yourself to do whatever you enjoy. When people call for an appointment, tell them you “have a prior commitment”.  Yes, with yourself!  Here’s a great rule: Create pockets of time for family, that cannot be compromised. We used to call it “family night”.  All our married life (over half a century) we set aside a “date night”.  Then when our four sons left home, we didn’t look at each other and say: “Who are you?  Or, I don’t even know you. Or worse yet, I don’t know you and I don’t like you, either” Yikes!!

Get in Balance and Keep in Balance.  Maintain your body as you would your car. It needs nutrition and exercise.  Include spiritual and personal growth. Do not neglect family and friends. Take time for fun and pleasure and of course for your professional life and finance.  Even with a good plan for balance in your life, there are still times life will begin to wobble, vibrate and shake. It happens to the best of us. No one is perfect. Cut yourself some slack, and then get busy getting back on track.

This article was modified from an article originally written by Roberta Standen and posted to this site on 2008/08/24.