The 5 Principles of Balance

Note: This is Day 30 in the “Recharge Your Creative Batteries in 31 Days” Challenge. For the rest of July, we’ll be posting different ways for you to get yourself on the path to living in a creative flow and reaching your writing goals. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any.

Your life is complex. You have a lot going on and a lot to juggle. You have family and social life and writing and your day job and your health/fitness…how do you balance all that without losing your mind?

Simple. You follow my five basic principles of balance.

When you live by these principles, you’ll attain balance much faster in your life.

The 5 Principles of Balance

Creative people more than anyone need to find balance in their lives in order to maintain a creative practice on top of everything else.

I’ve been balancing and living the creative life for as long as I can remember now, and there are five things that have always helped me keep everything in check.

These principles are:

1. Diets Don’t Work

Let me repeat that, diets don’t work. The only thing that works is finding what works for you and applying it to your life. Don’t count calories, don’t spend time figuring out points, don’t worry about jumping on the bandwagon of that new fad diet.

Just do what works for you.

I’ve spent years discovering the foods that work best for my body. Now I eat only those foods and leave out the ones that make me feel bad. You should do the same.

2. All Things In Moderation

Face it, there are times when nothing will satisfy you more than a cookie or a piece of chocolate. As long as you don’t satisfy that craving on a daily basis, I say you’re good to go.

As a person who loves desserts, bread and pasta, I can’t imagine going the rest of my life without them. So I live by the “all things in moderation” principle. As long as I don’t indulge on the regular, I don’t worry about it.

3. Nothing Is Off Limits If You Follow Number 2

I eat pretty clean; no artificial ingredients, colors, preservatives, nothing you wouldn’t find in nature. But on occasion—ex: when my husband and I go to the movies—I like to have a nibble of some not-so-great-for-you stuff (ex: sour patch kids or Swedish fish). As long as I’m following principle number 2 (All Things In Moderation), I don’t worry about having some junk food now and again.

Like I said before, as long as it’s not happening on a daily/weekly basis, you’re good to go.

4. Eat 90/10

That means 90% of the time eat healthy, 10% of the time eat whatever you want. Are you sensing a pattern?

Focus on making most of your meals and snacks as healthy as they can be. Incorporate a rainbow of produce, varying the fruits and veggies you consume each day.

If one meal a week you want to indulge in some deep-fried chicken, do it. That’s your 10% for the week (you can also use the 90/10 principle on a daily basis, whatever works for you).

At the end of the day, it’s about the collective meals you eat. One “bad” meal won’t kill you if the rest of your meals are healthy.

5. Take It One Day At A Time

When you plan your meals out each week, you’ll have a better way to track how well you’re eating and when it’s OK to have something indulgent each week. But if planning ahead is too daunting for you, follow principle number five, just take things one day at a time.

So if, for example, you ate a healthy breakfast, a healthy lunch and healthy snacks during your day, it’s perfectly fine to have french fries at dinner time, that’s your 10%. Or if you ate a doughnut for breakfast, that would be your 10% for the day, so the rest of the day you’d eat healthy.

Using these five simple principles, you can achieve balance in your life without much of a problem. And these don’t just apply to the food you eat. They also apply to other aspects of your life.

For example, you can use a 90/10 balance to help limit your TV time: 90% of the time your TV is off and you use other forms of entertainment, like reading, exercise or listening to music, 10% of the time the TV is on so you can watch the shows you really enjoy.

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How are you going to incorporate these principles into your life?


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