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Balance or Fall off!

A balanced lifestyle is simply a state of being in which one has time and energy for obligations and pleasures.  ~ Madisyn Taylor

A balanced financial life is one in which you have the money for obligations and pleasures. This is the never-ending dance of what we want versus what we need; what is right-now-in-the-moment versus what is my biggest, most important goal. I tend to slip too far on one end of the “teeter-totter” or the other too frequently. The problem with locking into too much austerity is that the caged animal (me!) eventually goes completely berserk and unleashes in a wild spree of mindless spending. “I want, I want, I want” becomes overwhelming and the spoiled brat takes charge.

The key is balance. Oh, that is a word that I am just not great at applying in my life – anywhere. I seem to love being at one end of the teeter-totter or the other. So, my behind is either in the mud or dangling precariously off the end of the board. Fine when you are 7 but less great at 50-something!

This year, I want to sit in the middle of the teeter-totter by building in the small pleasures (a monthly facial – what a treat!) and adding in just a bit more toward the obligations. I am going for a bit of this and a bit of that rather than all or nothing. I am programming myself to think of my monthly facial every time the brat in me wants, wants, wants. “Do you want this or that, little 4-year-old self? Pick one and go skipping off happy and satisfied.”

Yes, I want my financial state of being to be one in which my spoiled brat and my task-master are both co-existing together, quietly, maybe on a blanket, under a nice tree, far, far away from the teeter-totter.

To your financial success (and balance),

Hello inner peace…we’ve been waiting for you!

Let go and unplug! That’s right. Unplug the phone. Unplug that computer. Unplug that TV and anything else that keeps you distracted from doing the things that are really important. Make yourself a list that says, I will let go of_____ and fill in that blank! Make a plan of how you are going to let it go and more importantly what it will free you up to do once you do oust it from your over-plugged life.

VISUALIZATION
Try this: Close your eyes, take two deep breaths and count to sixty. Go ahead. Do it now. What happened? Did you enjoy complete silence or was it interrupted by some form of technology or another distraction? If you were uninterrupted, congratulations! But if you were, think about what you can do to get those sixty seconds back of uninterrupted time.

TECHNOLOGY ETIQUETTE
Do you remember the time when going out to dinner was special? People talked quietly to each other and had respect for the people who were seated nearby. Now in even some fine dining restaurants you see people texting and chattering on their cell phones. Even in church, you can’t listen to a full sermon without hearing the accidental ring tone of a cell phone or the sound of the typing from a tablet or other device. I’ve even heard a phone ring in the pulpit once. I couldn’t believe it.

GUILTY PLEASURES
Don’t get me wrong. I am as guilty as the next person when it comes to technology. However, I do make an exception with my family that there are no phones allowed at the dinner table. That is the one time when we actually talk in real-time with each and have a face-to-face conversation. However, I am guilty of having my phone right next to my bed every night. But I do say, “Good morning” to my husband when I wake-up before I check my phone. For many of us, our phone is the first thing we reach for before we are even out of bed.

YOUR MUCH NEEDED BREAK
What about you? Is technology like a drug? When it isn’t around do you begin to have withdrawals symptoms? Can you leave your cell phone at home, or do you find yourself being totally lost if you don’t have it with you?

When you can’t find a remote to the TV are you agitated that you have to actually get up and change the channels manually? When your computer is slow, do you become impatient or wait patiently to see if the problem is only temporary.

When does your break from technology actually start? Or is it constantly on auto-pilot? There comes a point and time when we have to make ourselves accountable for our own inner peace. You may think so, but technology is not going always going to give it to you. Believe it or not, that inner peace has to come from within your inner self. We have to go to the very soul of our being to find answers and listen to what our inner spirit is saying to us. We can’t hear anything if we are distracted by the day to day interruptions of our technology. Every day we must find a way to be still and unplug — even it’s just for a few moments.

Find a way to eliminate distractions that are keeping you away from doing what is really important. I know it will be hard at first. But, if you make time to take a break each day, it will get easier. So go ahead. Turn it off. Who knows? That inner peace that you have been searching for may actually find you!

Whose Life is it Anyway?

Recently I was reading an inspirational book that talked about how people can go on for the rest of their lives doing what others tell them to do, thinking the way others want them to think and being what someone else wants them to be. When I thought  about this, it made me really take pause and be thankful that I have never been that type of person. Pretty much, I’ve done the things in life that I have always wanted to do. Sure, I’ve made mistakes along the way. And there have been plenty of times that I wished that I might have done something different. But the reality is, I made my own  decisions and I can’t blame anyone for my wrong choices.

In this New Year of 2016 what decisions have you made to do things differently? January is almost over and I’m sure many of us have had the best intentions of starting the year off with a new attitude, new goals or just doing something we’ve never done before.  Some of us are on track and others have gotten off course before they’ve even started!

The good thing is, you can start over at anytime. It’s your choice and more importantly, it’s your life. The great thing about life is that the longer you live, the more you can evolve.  Not sure where to begin? Just start making a plan.  Write down the things you want to accomplish  and then work towards making it happen. If you need  some more guidance, check out the book Working on Your Now, a practical approach for how to get started when you don’t know where to begin.

Let me know how things are going with your decisions to do things differently this year. Connect with me at info@www.workingonyournow.com.  It’s your life. Now, go live it!