2011 Will Be All about Balance


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  94 comments   :  19,352 Views

There's always something special about new beginnings. Whether it is the ushering in of a new season or new year, new beginnings allow us to let go of the past and see hope in the future. It isn't about wiping the slate clean, but using this time to make the necessary changes needed to keep us moving in the direction we are meant to be heading.

I am not usually one to make New Year's Resolutions per se, but I do like to sit down at the end of the year and re-evaluate what I have accomplished and areas where I need to work on. The one area I would like to focus on in the new year is having more balance in my life. For some reason whenever I put my mind to something, it is as if I put blinders on and all I can do is focus on that one goal. This was precisely what happened this past summer when I was in the midst of marathon training.

One Saturday after finishing an 18 mile run on a sweltering hot, Texas morning I was not feeling the joy. I found myself having to turn down invitations with my friends due to my long runs and subsequent naps that I was beginning to despise my runs . While I loved the emotions of crossing the finish line at the Chicago Marathon last year, I had to remind myself that I feel that same joy whenever I cross a finish line of any race distance. I do not have to be a marathoner to call myself a runner. I do not even have to cross another finish line to call myself a runner.

A few weeks ago while reading Richard Benyo's poignant book Timeless Running Wisdom his wise words set heavily on my heart. The first chapter had me reflecting on my own running. He stated that when running becomes more important than friends and family and the only subject one talks about is running then it's time to put this journey into perspective. Running is meant to enhance our life, not become our life. This is true about everything that we do, whether it is running, going to the gym, even spending hours on Facebook. When we become too fixated on one area of our life, then our balance is shifted and we no longer have peace.

If you think of life like a scale, giving too much time and effort in one area of our lives means we have to forgo other things, therefore our life is thrown out of balance. This isn't always a bad thing when you are working toward a goal, but when one is never satisfied with reaching his/her goals, we fail to find the joy in the journey. It isn't the destination that makes us who we are, but enduring the journey that gets us to our destination that does.

In the new year I will continue to run, but I also have a plan to get back to my Pilates class as well as take some classes I have always wanted to explore, but never had the time. I may even spread my wings and don a swimsuit and take swimming lessons. I can swim, but let's just say, it ain't pretty. But I look forward to trying something new and different.

This new year I am going to strive to have more balance in my life. I don't have to be great at everything I do. In fact being mediocre is just fine too, especially if I have peace and joy in my life. That doesn't mean I will not get out of balance from time to time, but when I do, it's OK to stop and re-evaluate where I am and bring myself back to center, after all we only get one shot at this great journey we call life and I have way too many friends to share it with me.

I wish you all a very HAPPY and HEALTHY 2011!

What will you do to achieve more balance in your life? Is there anything new you would like to try in 2011? What are some of your goals for 2011?

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  • 94
    SP is so well balanced, offering so much information, in so many areas. Makes me really think and plan well, what I will accomplish. - 2/12/2011   11:50:03 PM
  • 93
    Terrific blog! I need to remember this. - 1/9/2011   3:08:26 PM
  • 92
    Balance is key - 1/6/2011   8:52:12 AM
  • SHEREE16
    I have been told, too, that sometimes "good enough" is just fine!!! I am so glad you helped me remember this! I, too, feel I'm always beating myself up for not doing enough or not doing what I am doing perferct enough! So glad I saw your blog and read it. Keep helping us keep ourselves in check!! - 1/4/2011   3:16:41 PM
  • 90
    Nancy, I feel the same way about my first full marathon coming up on Sunday. I keep saying I can get back to a more normal life afterward. Seems all I've been focusing on for the last couple weeks is Marathon, Marathon, Marathon.

    I need more balance too!

    And I'm going to have to look around for that book you mentioned! - 1/4/2011   9:50:59 AM
    Without balance you can't truly enjoy all that life has to offer. - 1/4/2011   4:44:12 AM
  • 88
    Balance is my plan, "a balanced lifestyle change", but not just for this year. I feel like I've gotten on the obsessive side of weight loss/lifestyle change over the past couple of years. Especially over the past year though, I feel consumed with it all. I crave balance in all aspects of life in general. Work tends to come first and it's the most energy-draining, stressful aspect of my life. Then exercise, planning, preparing, and tracking are next. Then the rest of life. God and devotions should be #1, but I've let the most important area of my life slide. I've been fitting this in when I can and have set aside the studies I have been wanting to partake in, because I just don't want to rush through it.

    I want my bible study time to be meaningful and a time to grow.
    I want time with my husband to be meaningful and fun.
    I want my exercise time to be beneficial, but not all-consuming.
    I want my meals to be healthy, nutritious, tasty, with room for experiments.
    I want to fulfill my goals.
    I want to succeed in my lifestyle change.
    I want to continue shaping up and reducing my size (loving new clothes!).
    I get overwhelmed with planning, counting, tracking which ends up being a downfall too, for lack of time.
    I also want to participate with my teams and in challenges.

    My main goal is to have a "balanced lifestyle change". After all, a lifestyle change is something you need to be able to live with and continue from now on. In my opinion, "balance" is key for success.
    - 1/3/2011   10:37:38 PM
  • 87
    Interesting point in this article. I was considering shortening my 3 hrs. on the exercise bike, so I can do the rebounder during the day, lol. Could just shorten the bike time, no one would know or care but me, really. - 1/3/2011   9:21:10 PM
    Makes a lot of sense. Yoga is helping me restore balance to my life. - 1/3/2011   5:37:27 PM
  • 85
    Thanks for the wonderful blog post. It put things into perspective for me. - 1/3/2011   5:00:12 PM
    I think finding balance is a life-tme goal. - 1/3/2011   4:17:17 PM
  • 83
    Nancy, I'm SO glad you discussed this topic. I have been struggling with myself for the past few months, wondering if I should ramp up my running from 5k to 10k, and actually attempt a 10k race. It made me pause, because I know a little bit about marathon running (from a colleague at work, as well as running books I've read), and it turns me off of racing to think that I have to plan my days AROUND THE DAILY WORKOUT. Is that fun? Is that enjoyable? Is that...what I want? I really don't know. Until I figure out that answer to Is That What I Want, I don't know if I'll be running any more than 5k. And I still consider myself a Runner. - 1/3/2011   3:36:48 PM
  • 82
    Perfect! -
    Me too! - 1/3/2011   12:57:41 PM
  • 81
    Great Blog Nancy. This is exactly why I really don't see myself ever running a Marathon (at least not more than once). It's not the race itself, it's all the hours spent training and how much I'd have to give up to do that. I'm perfectly content on running for fitness and to be the best Half-Marathoner, 10-miler, 10K, and 5K runner I can be (whatever that turns out to be). Thanks for reinforcing this notion and good luck maintaining your balance! - 1/3/2011   9:59:19 AM
    Balance is so very important! One of my goals for this year is to set priorities for my life! Find my passion, and stop shortchanging myself! And celebrate the most important people in my life! I want to be a better steward over all that God has blessed me with! - 1/3/2011   1:18:39 AM
  • 79
    i'm also not too good a multitasking. i focus on and accomplish in one area at the expense of others. how to stretch the day to include all? - 1/2/2011   10:59:53 PM
  • 78
    Balance is what I wrote for myself also. - 1/2/2011   10:01:46 PM
  • 77
    I will revamp my schedule to achieve more balance in my life. I'd like to spend more time with family this year. Some of my goals for 2011 are losing 25 lbs. by July, learning Japanese, and contacting long-distance relatives once a month. - 1/2/2011   9:32:55 PM
  • 76
    I like this. Entering into a new year with balance on my mind. Thanks for the wisdom. - 1/2/2011   9:10:37 PM
  • 75
    I constantly strive for balance too. I wish you well, and I hope you find it. I hope 2011 is better for both of us. - 1/2/2011   8:54:20 PM
  • 74
    Balance is so very important. I must learn that one myself. Wishing you loads of balance and peace in your life. - 1/2/2011   8:49:43 PM
  • 73
    Balance? Have you been reading my mind? - 1/2/2011   7:16:43 PM
    What I am doing right now is printing out this blog page and highlighting several key passages; "Ah-ha" moments, as Oprah would say. I am going to post the page on my fridge and look at it at each step of my journey toward my Tae Kwon Do black belt and simultaneous launch of my business to make sure I am in balance. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Coach Nancy!! - 1/2/2011   7:16:23 PM
  • 71
    This year I want to learn how to make jewelry & do accounting for small business. My husband &I want to open acraft business together. I already know how to sew & do other crafts & my husband does beautiful woodwork. - 1/2/2011   6:48:02 PM
  • 70
    One of the things I need to do is spend less time on the internet and more time doing things (writing, exercise, music, art, etc.). I've written goals and objectives to help me accomplish this. So, I may not be spending nearly as much time on Spark People. - 1/2/2011   4:42:15 PM
  • 69
    thanks nancy and i do really understand where you are coming from. i keep looking at my marathon schedule and think ok once mid feb gets here thru mid may that is pretty much going to be my life but this is my one and done. after it is over my focus goes to tri's and short races. - 1/2/2011   3:33:13 PM
  • 68
    Thanks for posting this very important article.I need to try walking outside.i also need to concentrate on the board exams in oncology. - 1/2/2011   3:30:42 PM
  • 67
    THREE CHEERS FOR BALANCE! - 1/2/2011   2:26:58 PM
    Double post... wonky computer. - 1/2/2011   2:07:09 PM
    What are some of my goals for 2011 ? I'd like to learn Spanish or some other language. Maybe take a night school course. I haven't taken a class in ages and I think it's about time I do something to grow a few brain cells. LOL !!

    - 1/2/2011   2:06:07 PM
    After reading this blog, I find myself reflecting back over not the past year but the last serveral years. It seems I have been out of balance for a long time. Work as always been my primary focus. As such I have left friends, health and well being way down on my list. This year, I resolve to make work a secondary and put my health and well being first. Without my health I wouldn't be able to continue with the job I love so much. - 1/2/2011   1:31:44 PM
  • 63
    As much as I have come to LOVE running, I definitely know that I need to add in a bit of variety. Along that line, I'd like to work on make a habit of doing more strength training (2-3x's a week) and Pilates/Yoga (1-2x's a week). On more of a silly sort of note, I'd like to try ice skating again this year - just a matter of where to go. - 1/2/2011   1:11:53 PM
  • 62
    Balance is what we need. I am totally off balance. I know I have made accomplishments this past year, but when I look at them they seem like nothing. I cannot feel a sense of accomplishment in what I do.
    - 1/2/2011   12:41:26 PM
  • 360NOMORE
    Its very difficult to find the proper balance with those things that we love, but I really enjoyed the thought of these activities enhancing our life. I have been evaluating the reality of the goal I set to run a tri this year. This is good food to feast on. - 1/2/2011   12:14:45 PM
  • 60
    Nancy!!! My blog last night was about balance, too! I love you and your insight! Love, your friend, Lori - 1/2/2011   12:11:44 PM
    Balance in my life is one of my goals for 2011, too - devoting more time to exercise and personal development, and spending less time stressing about work and wasting time. - 1/2/2011   10:48:30 AM
  • 58
    The picture to this blog is perfect; what a great way to visualize balance. :) - 1/2/2011   10:31:18 AM
  • 57
    You mentioned swimming - maybe you could try a triathlon! - 1/2/2011   10:18:48 AM
  • 56
    Woohoo! This blog is so true- I hope everyone on Spark reads it and takes it to heart! Thank you, Nancy, for reminding us of what is so important, the journey, not the destination! - 1/2/2011   10:12:41 AM
  • 55
    This year, I am going to get the running portion of my life in order. I am a triathlete, but unlike most triathletes, running is my worst discipline. Great post. Thank you. - 1/2/2011   8:32:40 AM
  • 54
    Balance is so good - 1/2/2011   8:16:52 AM
    I read somewhere that often "good enough is just that - good enough" I think I spend too much time trying to do what I do perfectly rather than embracing the adventure and finding balance. Good luck. - 1/2/2011   7:41:32 AM
    Thank you for sharing these thoughts at the start of the New Year. Although I don't really make New Year Resolutions, I do resolve to maintain focus on living a healthy lifestyle. For me, the principles of balance, perspective, and focus are important ones. Living my life and being aware of the moment -- these are resolutions I can keep.
    - 1/2/2011   7:39:07 AM
  • 51
    BLESS YOU for writing this blog! THANK YOU!! I've been trying to achieve balance in my life for years but have never been able to do that, to the point where after 2010, I was about to give it up. I've been waiting to find someone admit that one does not have to be a marathoner or a half marathoner to call themselves a runner. One does not even have to cross another finish line to call themselves a runner. I have no time for to train for a marathon or half marathon. Nor do I have the desire to run either. I don't have the money to register for the 5K, 8K or 10K races nor are there any events close by enough to make it worth the travel time and gas. I run 5Ks on my own on a regular basis. Sometimes I run farther. I don't need to run through a finish line to call myself a runner. I totally agree runnng is meant to enhance our life, not become our life. As much as I come to really enjoy running, it's a part of my life, not my life. Now, if I can work on the other areas of my life into balance, I just might find some enjoyment in life before I die. - 1/2/2011   7:35:58 AM
  • 50
    Wow, I'll have to come back to this AGAIN AND AGAIN! What wise words! THANKS!!! - 1/2/2011   4:39:56 AM
  • 49
    I really like this blog. The area I need to find balance in is my job. It's time to make some decisions and have some discussions with my manager. There is no joy there and even though I'm a positive person and work hard to be positive with my employees it's becoming difficult to do. And since I'm a stress eater.....yikes!

    Thank you for reminding me that in addition to setting my 2011 goals I need to make sure that every aspect of my life is equal.

    - 1/2/2011   3:18:02 AM
  • 48
    I want to get another electric keyboard as my other one was ruined from Hurricane Ivan, since we had water come in our bedroom ceiling. I haven't gotten another Keyboard since and I want to practice music. The Hurricane winds circle sideways and we had water come in under the roof vents that blew into the attic and then our ceiling leaked down into our bedroom. We were lucky, since many people lost their whole houses. - 1/2/2011   12:53:34 AM
  • 47
    Great blog. I will be getting back into hiking this year. Very excited and seriously considering a 10k - 1/1/2011   11:59:51 PM
  • 46
    Thank you for your blog today, yes balance is very important and we must remember that there are so many things in this world only to concentrate on only one or two.
    I have seen a lot of people fail in life because they do not have balance in their lives. They have failed marriages, failed work performance and even failed them selves because they can only focus on one thing at a time.
    Life is given to us to enjoy and live and learn all we can in this short time we have here on earth.
    So everyone please enjoy every day and live each day as if it were your last. - 1/1/2011   11:49:47 PM
  • 45
    Great blog! Thanks. - 1/1/2011   10:05:28 PM

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