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5 Techniques for Creating Balance in Your Life

Albert Einstein once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” We hear and read a lot about living a well-balanced life, but it can feel like an elusive, intangible concept. How exactly do you achieve balance in life?

In short, you don’t. Balance isn’t something you “achieve”, but rather something you’re always working toward. Life will always have something new and unexpected to throw your way, and the paradox of balance is that you're more likely to feel balanced when you stop trying so hard to pursue it. However, there are many ways to develop a balanced mindset that will help you weather the ups and downs.

Woman in hammock holding a protein bar

Why is Balance Important in Life?

It’s common sense that too much of anything – even a good thing – can become detrimental. For example, hard work can be fulfilling, but too much work without rest can lead to burnout. The reverse is also true; all fun and enjoyment with no routine or discipline might leave you feeling directionless. That’s why it’s so important to strive for balance in life.

Another way to think about balance is the idea that all parts of your life are integrated in harmony. Balance can help you stay healthy mentally and physically as you have the time to prioritize nourishment, rest, movement, stress reduction, and proper sleep. Finding a balance between work, play, and rest can help you feel more creative and fulfilled as you live more aligned with your true values. Creating balance can make you more resilient as you’re more equipped to handle life’s challenges when you’re not overwhelmed. These things, in turn, can lead to more energy, productivity, and general feelings of well-being.

How to Create Balance in Your Life

When riding a bike, if you look directly at the ground in front of you or try to focus on the handlebars, pedals, brakes, and gears all at once, you’re likely to fall over. If you just think about moving forward, all the pieces come together effortlessly. Similarly, if your goal is finding balance in life, focus on moving forward rather than controlling every detail of your schedule. Here are some ways to find a more balanced mindset:

1. Reflect

You can do anything, but you can’t do everything. Balance will never be possible if you’re trying to give maximum effort in every area of your life. Instead, it’s up to each person to decide what matters for themself in their current phase of life – whether it’s school, building a career, focusing on health or healing, being present with family, traveling, or another passion. Take a bit of time to consider your values, priorities, and what is most worthy of your time and energy, as this decision will shape what balance looks like for you.

It can be helpful to create a weekly, monthly, or quarterly reminder to reflect on this. What’s important? What’s going well? What feels out of alignment with your values? When you’re standing on one foot, you might notice that your muscles make micro-adjustments to keep you balanced. Similarly, balance in life is something that requires consistent tweaks and adjustments as your goals, needs, and circumstances shift.

2. Zoom Out

Balance isn’t a state of being or a list of productivity hacks, but a state of mind. On any given day, external events can threaten to throw off your “balance.” You might plan to go to a yoga class with a friend, but your work meeting runs late. You might have a big event to prep for, but your sick kiddo needs extra attention.

Rather than seeing every area of your life as a competing priority, remove the walls between them and allow things to fall naturally into place. Every single day may not include your ideal balance of activities, but zoom out and seek balance in the long term. Readjust your mindset to enjoy the here and now as it’s happening.

3. Eat Whole Foods

Food is an area where many people commonly struggle with balance. Just as it can be difficult to enjoy fun foods and social activities while honoring your body’s needs, it can also be challenging to focus on healthy foods without becoming obsessive.

While special diets, counting, and tracking can be useful tools for some people (especially those with unique health needs), they can become unsustainable and unbalanced. That’s why GoMacro® is such a proponent for a whole-foods, plant-based diet. Focus on truly nourishing your body with unprocessed or minimally processed foods with simple ingredients whenever possible. Find foods you genuinely enjoy eating that also make you feel your best, such as delicious MacroBars®. Savor the treats you love, and remember that the goal is balance, not perfection.

4. Focus on Habits & Systems

In the words of the ancient Greek poet Archilochus, "We don't rise to the level of our expectations; we fall to the level of our training.” It’s easy to go after goals or work on finding balance when your motivation is high. However, over time, that excitement and attention can get pulled in other directions and you may find yourself falling off track in the areas you’re trying to prioritize.

Instead of relying solely on motivation and memory, focus on creating habits and systems in the areas where you need balance. If work or caring for kids is leaving you burnt out with no time to recharge, think about what system – a dedicated self-care block on your work calendar, a weekly childcare share with a friend, a monthly therapy appointment – could help you rebalance in the long term.

If you’re hoping to eat a more balanced diet, create a habit of taking one hour on Sunday to plan your meals and prep a few key ingredients so you aren’t tempted to order takeout. Wherever things are feeling unbalanced, look for the corresponding systems or habits that can help you build balance into your daily routine.

5. Invest in Rest

In our fast-paced world, it can feel like rest is something that needs to be earned through hard work and hustle. However, running on fumes long-term is a recipe for an unbalanced life. It can be helpful to shift your perspective to thinking of rest as an investment in your well-being – something you need to do upfront consistently to see the payoff in every other area of your life.

Sleep is absolutely integral in maintaining a balanced mood, hormones, energy, and productivity, so prioritizing this one area can make everything else feel a lot easier. And remember, rest isn’t just eight hours at night. Physical rest can also include stretching, yoga, or massage. You might need mental rest through meditation or deep breathing. You might need spiritual rest by reconnecting to a greater purpose or connecting with friends. You might need a sensory or creative reset by stepping away from screens and noises or getting into nature. The key is listening to your body and honoring its needs.

Above all else, remember that balance does not equal perfection. The art of balance is being able to handle (and even welcome) all of life's moments – including the imperfect ones. For additional ways to live a more balanced life, check out our article on starting a holistic lifestyle.