Friday, October 3, 2014

Finding Balance...

Anyone who knows me would likely say that I'm the least qualified person to write a blog post on balance. I'm usually the guy getting wrapped up in anything that looks exciting, only to be bored a month later and looking for something new. While this approach has allowed me to complete an Ironman, share scotch with business executives on private jets, and even have a conversation with the Vice President of the United States, it can start to get exhausting!

Lately, I've been trying a new approach. Maybe it's due to our two year old, maybe it's my new job. I'm not quite sure, but as I've been trying to balance my work life, family life, and personal life, I've found myself a lot happier.

I'm still far from perfect, but here are a few tips that I've found helpful in my effort to become more mindful of my own  balance.

1. Don't Let One Area of Your Life Define You

I use to get so bent out of shape when I had to miss a workout or training day. Even if it was because my family wanted to spend time me.

"Don't they know I'm training for a marathon, how could they be so inconsiderate?" If I did cave and miss the workout I'd pout thinking, "this is so annoying, I should be training, not spending time with these people that love me!" So yes, basically I was an A-hole when it came to my training!

I'm not sure when this changed (my wife might argue that it still hasn't), but I realized I don't need to train every day. I don't need to race every week. I don't need to do these things 24/7 to prove I'm an active person. I swim, bike, run, and teach Spinning classes because I love doing it but at the end of the day that persona is only a small part of who I am. So, ego checked, if I miss a workout or run, or if my next marathon is 20 minutes slower because I didn't train as much -no big deal. I'm simply relax and enjoy the experiences I have everyday!

2. Live In The Moment

Extreme cliché I know, but it's true.

The best advice I ever received was from a college professor who said;

  • Spend 10% of your time reflecting on the past. Don't dwell, but learn from it and appreciate where you came from.
  • Spend 15% of your time in the future. Plans are important to know where you're heading but don't focus or stress on things that might never happen.
  • Spend the other 75% of your time being presant. The excellent choices you make right now will lead to happiness in this moment and down the road.
3. Meditate

Yes, it sounds crazy! Maybe even hippie dippie, but its super easy and has real benefits. I decided to give it a try after listening to the two podcasts listed below.

Give it a try. Scientific research shows that undoubtably, meditation produces physiological changes in the pathways of the brain. 

Start with five minutes a day and you will be amazed at how you feel. I recommend the the app Buddhify2 because it's super simple to get started with.

That's it, the three thing I'm focusing on to help bring balance to my life. I'll try to get another post up about how this all actually applies to my training, diet and life. 

For now, I hope you'll take one or two of these tips and apply them to you own practice of balance!


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