It seems like this whole week, all I did was stare at financial statements, reading them word for word, checking the numbers, cross-checking all references, and all other accounting stuff (yes, I am a CPA by profession; a wife and mother by Divine grace; and a yogini at heart).
After reviewing balance sheets and profit and loss statements (to name a few), it got me thinking of how my life would equate to these financial statements.
By stroke of luck, I came across two sites. One is by Joy Fisher-Sykes, a professional speaker, author and success coach in the areas of leadership, motivation, stress management, customer service and team building: “Take Time to Create a Life Balance Sheet for Success”. The other is Marc Accetta who conducts workshops on living a balanced life.
They both speak of life in terms of debits (those choices we make and actions we take that detract in some way from our overall life balance) and credits (the ways you live your life that you truly value because they support and honor your chosen path and move you towards your desires). Marc breaks these down into 6 areas: financial, social, emotional, mental, physical and spiritual. Joy writes:
It’s important from time to time that we sit down and honestly assess our lives. Doing so allows us to make an honest determination about where we are now and where we want to be in the future. When we’re assessing our finances, we prepare a financial balance sheet. On it we list our debits and credits so that we can determine our bottom line. What if you wanted to determine the state of the life you lead? How is it, or is it not, serving you? The answer is simple – prepare a Life Balance Sheet.
First, list down some debits like:
- Procrastinating on things you know you need to get done.
- Sitting in front of the TV instead of being productive or doing something of value.
- Not getting enough exercise.
- Eating inappropriately and paying the consequences.
- Being a coach potato when there is so much more you could be doing.
- Staying involved in a toxic personal relationship.
- Maintaining relationships that drain you emotionally, mentally, socially, spiritually, physically or financially.
- Being unwilling or refusing to listen effectively to others.
- Getting into arguments you know you don’t need to be involved in.
- Passing judgment on others when you know it is inappropriate to do so.
- Taking family, friends, coworkers and others around you for granted.
- Taking too little time to yourself, to just sit and contemplate, meditate and relax.
- Not enough reading or other mental stimulation.
- Constantly complaining and being negative.
- Failing to say NO when NO is the right choice right Now.
- Expecting the worst instead of expecting the best life has to offer.
- Expecting the worst from others.
- Being ungrateful when you have so much to be grateful for.
- Letting things get you down, then using that as an excuse to eat, drink or smoke for immediate gratification.
- Staying up too late at night and not getting enough rest.
Next, list your credits. Some of these are:
- Call someone you know just to say “hello” and to see how they are doing.
- Walking barefoot in the grass or on the beach.
- Expressing your Higher Self by telling someone “I love you”.
- Helping and giving of yourself to others with no expectation of receiving anything in return.
- Doing things that are outside of your comfort zone on a reasonably regular basis.
- Driving traffic friendly by allowing others to merge into traffic even if they didn’t wait their turn.
- Compliment others as you go about your day, whether they are nice to you or not.
- Take time out for exercise and play.
- Staying clean, sober and smoke free.
- Spending time with a child, even if you don’t have one of your own.
- Being honest about what you need in order to feel whole and happy
- Taking time to read a book to a child.
- Taking time to nourish your soul by reading a few lines from a good book.
- Playing your favorite music and dancing around the room and singing to it out loud.
- Picking up someone else’s litter instead of stepping over it or walking around.
- Learning at least one new skill or hobby each week.
- Keeping a morning gratitude journal and giving thanks for the things you value on a daily basis.
- Spending that little extra on something you really, really like, even if it isn’t on sale.
- Smiling to others, and yourself, as you go about your day, especially people you don’t know.
- Looking others straight in the eye and saying thank you.
They both suggest this be done at least once a month. Joy further says, “Take a look at your Life Balance Sheet at least once a day. This will empower you, at a glance, to realize how wonderful life can be and allow you to make lifestyle adjustments as necessary. Remember, a great life is yours to create. Go create a fabulous life!”
I glanced at the list above and can immediately add some of my own:
(-) Debits (what I need to minimize or totally eradicate):
1. Forgetting to take care of my health
2. Becoming a slave to my work
3. Being impatient with others, and more so with myself
4. Letting pet peeves get to me
(+) Credits (what I need to do more of):
1. Balance out my life through a regular yoga practice and a healthy lifestyle
2. Unwind with a book that has positive values, success stories, or humor
3. Have more frequent “dates” with my loved one (need not be expensive!)
4. Walk barefoot on sand (I prefer this to grass, actually), watch a full moon, or sit under a starry night sky
5. Pat someone’s back often. It makes people feel special and recognized
6. Hug my kids (and spouse) A LOT!
7. Laugh with family/friends often and have “let-your-hair-down” moments
8. Pray, pray, pray always!
So here I am taking stock of LIFE in general and trying to put them into some kind of equation. Am I balanced?
To be honest, many times I have to catch myself overextending or indulging in some debit aspect. At the moment, my life sometimes seems imbalanced, with work occupying a great part of my waking hours and my once regular yoga practice suffering. But work is also a blessing in itself if looked at from another perspective and while I cannot see the bigger scheme of things in my life, I know that Someone does, and He knows best. What’s important is that I trust in Him, take things as they come, do the best I can with what comes my way, live in the moment, and leave the rest to Him.
What does your life’s balance sheet look like?