2011 Will Be All about Balance


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  94 comments   :  19,676 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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  • 44
    I really liked this. We all have to find balance in our lives in order to enjoy the journey set before us. Thank you for putting it into perspective. - 1/1/2011   9:51:25 PM
    I, too, strive for balance. It's always been hard for me to feel balanced. I will work on this diligently this year. I've been thinking about training for a triathalon. I love swimming but only do it in the summer. It's one of my most favorite exercises ever. It's so quiet and calming if kids aren't in your lap lane! Best of luck with your swimming lessons! Happy Balanced New Year! - 1/1/2011   8:55:36 PM
  • 42
    Very inspiring! Thank you! - 1/1/2011   6:44:08 PM
  • 41
    Thank you for sharing. I needed to read that an "expert" struggled with an issue I have. All the best to you as you learn balance and have fun with some new activities! - 1/1/2011   5:28:00 PM
    Perfect blog for me to read today - thank you for posting! - 1/1/2011   5:00:46 PM
  • 39
    My imbalance usually includes my kids. Between working full-time, Sparking to be healthier, returning to school (again), kids activities (as chauffer), my parents, and general day to day upkeep of the house, just spending QUALITY time with my teenagers, as a single parent, is what slips away the fastest. I just need to remember to say no to some of my activities - the kids will be gone all too soon and I don't want to have any regrets. Thanks for an important nudge I needed to hear yet again! - 1/1/2011   4:48:11 PM
    Sometimes I need to remember that Spark People is meant to enhance my life, not become my life~ - 1/1/2011   4:21:58 PM
    I didnt realize what I started today was balance but I guess it is. Getting healthy eating right and getting back to working out. That to me is a great balance to my whole being. - 1/1/2011   4:07:01 PM
  • 36
    Makes total sense! - 1/1/2011   2:42:19 PM
  • 35
    This blog is exactly what I'm putting into motion today.

    Over the past two years, I have had so much tragedy. But I'm wiping the dirt off my knees and I'm holding my frame, like Stands with a Fist in "Dances With Wolves". I am TIRED of being beaten down by life and all its horrid circimstances. I am READY to accept that I can't control everything, but I sure can learn to handle it all, by the grace of God.

    Good luck, everyone. I pray we all meet 2011's challenges head-on and with much success. - 1/1/2011   2:37:08 PM
    My goals for 2011:

    1) Do my strength training consistently (at least 3x per week)
    2) Explore training to walk a half-marathon. I'm very injury prone and ended up with a stress fracture when I did the Bay-to-Breaks 12K in 2010, so I'm not sure I can do it. But I'd like to try, and if I can do it without injury, I'd like to walk a half marathon.
    3) Be injury-free in 2011.
    4) Master the subjunctive in Spanish, and raise my Spanish to the level of my French (conversant). Raise my Portuguese to the current level of my Spanish (intermediate).
    5) With my husband, save 25% of our gross income for retirement. - 1/1/2011   2:08:07 PM
  • 33
    I knew this would be a great blog!! Thank you, Coach!! I have 5 HM's planned and even though that sounds like I am not searching for balance, I am. How will I do it? I am NOT GOING TO GET CRAZY with the training. I completely overdid it with my first HM and suffered for it in the last miles of the actual race. lesson learned!! You don't have to run a zillion miles a week in order to run a HM. I want to run easy training runs AND enjoy the run at the same time. It can be done!! I am also going to cut way back on shorter races this year.

    I am going to incorporate more crosstraining such as simple walking and continue on with ST that will ultimately make me a strong and healthy runner. That my plan and I'm sticking to it!!! - 1/1/2011   2:04:50 PM
  • 32
    This is one of my favorite blogs ever! So much wisdom, and a topic I definitely want to keep in mind heading into 2011. One thing almost completely missing in my life is time with friends...I'm too busy to have many friends! A goal for me for 2011 is doing one social thing a month (about triple what I did in 2010). Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience with us all! - 1/1/2011   1:57:08 PM
  • 31
    Thank you for opening my eyes to what is missing in my life--balance! It is something I have to relearn over and over and over! - 1/1/2011   1:11:26 PM
  • 30
    Your practice mentioned here to re-evaluate the year's progress is very similar to a monthly (and annual) practice I have adopted called the Wheel of Reflection. You simply ask yourself these 4 questions and write down the product of your reflections. It is a very cathartic and helpful in creating new goals for the following month or year. Going back and reading them later helps to see progress and better realize talents, dreams, and self.

    Here are the 4 questions:

    REFLECT - looking back over the past month or year (do this monthly or yearly) what were the...

    1. Surprises?
    2. Successes?
    3. Failures?
    4. Learnings? - 1/1/2011   1:06:36 PM
  • 29
    Very nice article.....I am looking for peace and joy in 2011 as well. - 1/1/2011   12:30:56 PM
    This article is just what I needed to read. Thank you for your inspiration. - 1/1/2011   12:30:20 PM
    Thank you for the inspirational words. I too, have been reflecting this past year and have came to the conclusion that I needed balance and this year is the year to strive and achieve balance in all things of my life. - 1/1/2011   12:26:45 PM
  • 26
    There you go!! Enjoy it all!! Never give too much of yourself and always keep a piece for you!! Enjoy 2011 everyday of it and live your life to the fullest!! - 1/1/2011   12:00:23 PM
  • 25
    Great blog...I, too, need to find balance and I look forward to 2011 being a wonderful year!!! - 1/1/2011   11:53:41 AM
    Best of luck to you Nancy! It's easier said than done, I know that much. I have found balance by giving up the numbers and the training programs and the mileage goals, and simply doing the activities that I enjoy. - 1/1/2011   11:39:24 AM
    Wow, I really needed to read this today! I've been a runner for about 10 years and have completed 10 marathons, the last one in 2007. The last few years I've been plagued with injuries, and in 2010 I ran the fewest miles since I started. I was feeling down....probably can't run another marathon, the high mileage causes injuries, didn't meet my goal for the year because I was trying to train for a marathon rather than listening to what my body was telling me. This helps me realize I AM still a runner! - 1/1/2011   11:37:51 AM
  • 22
    I have very similar thoughts about my running...last year I suffered the (emotional) consequences of overtraining, and this year I want to find the right balance between running and other things. I have a few races planned, but I want to do fewer than i did in 2010, and I'm making a lot of room for cross training in my schedule. I'd like to work on my swimming, do some cycling, try kettleball, and maybe take in some group fitness classes at my gym. thanks for another great blog!! - 1/1/2011   11:36:39 AM
    Today is my first real day on Spark People. I accidentally clicked on this link and like going to church and needing to hear the message, well this is what just happened to me with your article. I tend to go full force with a goal and when I reach it, boom, I did it, and go back to old ways. I was in really good shape within the last 2 years, but got burned out on diet and exercise and here I am almost to the weight and emotional state I was in 2 years ago. I hate it. I am trying to find ways to make small changes that will become a way of life. I love to exercise, it's just finding the time to do it. Busy lives get in the way. I'm working on finding my why right now. Thanks for your article. - 1/1/2011   11:20:58 AM
  • 20
    I spent the last 2 years focusing on school, to the demise of health & friends. I understand and feel your new resolution! - 1/1/2011   11:16:38 AM
    Great blog! I will be re-adjusting my priorities this year to acheive a better balance in my life. - 1/1/2011   11:15:27 AM
  • 18
    This. So very much, this. I need to find my balance again, too. - 1/1/2011   11:04:35 AM
  • 17
    This is great advice! It means, of course, reflecting from time to time on the different areas of your life and making adjustments if needed. SparkPeople is so good at getting us to do both! - 1/1/2011   11:03:02 AM
  • 16
    A very timely blog on this first day of 2011. Although I did not call it adding balance - I had decided to readjust my priorities as I go forward. For me that means making more "me" time in my life and looking at my "bucket list". So now - after reading your great blog - I am going to put "adding balance to my life" at the top of the list. Happy New Year - 1/1/2011   10:55:38 AM
  • 15
    I know just what you are talking about. I spend way too much time on the computer, mainly Spark, and let other things go. I have said I need to cut back. I still have a lot of points and have given away a lot so I will still get points and do the important things but cut out teams whic h I really don't care that much for and consecrate on the ones I do and get more cleaning, reading and other things done. Thank you. - 1/1/2011   10:38:03 AM
  • 14
    Thanks for such a great blog. I will definitely add to one of my goals: finding balance in my life - 1/1/2011   10:37:32 AM
  • 13
    This blog hit so hard .......it is so true how easy it is to forget about those around you when working towards a goal...I have just spent the last hour rethinking things here. Thank you for your honesty in your blog...... - 1/1/2011   10:33:08 AM
  • 12
    Balance is one of my goals for this year. So hard to do. I now realize that I need to balance my intense fitness with "kinder" fitness - yoga, stretching, etc.

    Thank you for the great blog! - 1/1/2011   10:16:44 AM
  • 11
    Such honesty! Thanks for the reminder that too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Happy 2011 and good luck with your goals. - 1/1/2011   10:01:19 AM
  • SAMMYJ9876
    Wise words! It is an area that I am focussing on for 2011. - 1/1/2011   9:56:28 AM
  • 9
    Thanks for the blog. I agree. Balance is the key - 1/1/2011   9:49:06 AM
  • LEIGHP1967
    Balance....that might be the key word to the resolutions I make today. I do tend to overdue things instead of just taking one step at a time, even if it was a little step, its a step as long as its in the right direction. Thank you for using that word! - 1/1/2011   9:44:04 AM
  • 7
    Great blog, very inspirational! - 1/1/2011   9:39:11 AM
  • 6
    Great blog! I totally agree. It's all about balance. I plan to take some swimming lessons this summer too. :) - 1/1/2011   9:34:21 AM
    Thanks for sharing. I completely agree, I'm striving for balance in my life as well. - 1/1/2011   9:32:27 AM
  • 4
    What I'm doing is joining the SP bootcamp. I love to walk but have never quite managed to add (on a regular basis) ST, etc. I'm hoping the bootcamp will get me started! - 1/1/2011   9:08:15 AM
  • 3
    thank you for sharing, great blog!! - 1/1/2011   9:03:21 AM
  • 2
    Having a 1 track mind has always been my problem and downfall. Thanks for the fresh perspective! - 1/1/2011   9:02:22 AM
  • 1
    Very Inspirational - 1/1/2011   8:51:24 AM

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