Here we are, at the final step in my life-balance course. Have you been working on your activities in The Four Ps? If you’ve reached the end of your measurement period, then it’s time to revisit the categories and document any changes.
Get out the list of goals you developed for each category. Check off the items where your actions evolved, even if the end result didn’t reach your original target. Feel free to add notes about any surprising discoveries, struggles, or accomplishments.
Now, take a look at the scales you created and the movement you hoped to generate. Let’s say you wanted to move from a 3 to a 5 in Progress. You didn’t check off all your goals, but you did start taking guitar lessons, so you decide to give yourself a 4 instead of a 5. Do this for each category. And remember, these measurements are entirely up to you. No one is judging you, and no one is benefitting from this process but you, so be honest.
How do you feel about the balance of activities in your life now? Less stressed? More stressed? More active? More fulfilled? Kinda frustrated?
Where can you adjust your goals to assist with your continuing evolution? Scale your goals up or down as you wish. If you are excited by your development, you can always increase your goals (but be sure to respect your limits—we all have them). Or, maybe you bit off more than you could chew and got overwhelmed. There is no shame in tweaking your goals and giving it another try.
It’s important not to get down on yourself if you didn’t make much (or any) movement. For many of us, balancing our time and activities is hard, otherwise we would already be crushing it. Ask yourself what is standing in your way and what it will take to remove those obstacles. In the places where you did see movement, celebrate your progress, and look for clues to your success.
Even if you started and stopped the process or if you’re only reading through the steps right now, you should be proud that you’re open to thinking differently about how you spend your time.
If you did complete the course, don’t forget that balancing your life is an ongoing process. That’s right—this is not the end!
Change your Four Ps depending on the season, the weather, family needs, new opportunities, whatever. This is all about finding a balance of activities that best suits your unfolding life.
Feel free to repeat these exercises and reset your goals as many times and as frequently as you wish. You can back up and restart at whichever step makes the most sense for you. Step 1 or Step 3 are good places to restart.
Here are some tips and words of encouragement for the road:
It’s ok to be right where you are.
It’s also ok to want to grow, stretch, and evolve.
It’s ok to invest in yourself through self-reflection.
It’s ok to move at your own pace.
It’s ok to respect your own energy levels.
It’s ok to respect your own capacity for performing under pressure.
Don’t worry about reaching your goals: Just keep making progress, no matter the amount.
Ask: What can I learn from this?
There will be times when you won’t be able to work toward your goals due to personal commitments, economic demands, and societal conventions; but do try make intentional choices during the time when you are in control.
I believe in you! I believe in us!