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This article was originally published in the Front Porch Magazine.

The world renowned Psychiatrist, Dr. Carl Jung wrote, “Time concerns are like a disease and can make us sick like one.”
There is really no time management, only self-management. Best selling author and Life Coach, Cheryl Richardson, counsels us to notice where our time goes by looking at how we prioritize our time. She advises to make a list of changes we want to see in the way we spend time. Finally, she instructs us to fearlessly create a plan to reach our new goals.

I like to begin new client coaching sessions by asking them, “What is holding you back from living the life you want? What are the beliefs and fears locking you into a lifestyle that feels limiting and controlling, instead of one that puts you in charge?” These questions can be a bit challenging for individuals who have never questioned themselves. However, once clients begin this process, they start to experience personal insights. Clients usually become very comfortable and understand how helpful this can be.

Next, I work with my clients to explore how to live a balanced life. A balanced life includes time for work or school, time for valued relationships, time for taking care of your health and well-being, time for community outreach, time for fun and adventure, and time for your spiritual practices.

So, are you willing to look at what is keeping you from living a balanced life? Living out of balance, such as working too many hours or depending upon one person to meet all your needs, is a recipe for disaster, both physically and emotionally. If you loose your job or this significant other, you will find that you may not have another support system to fall back on.

We can make some changes to improve our use of time and live a balanced life:

  1. Begin by releasing rather than adding… Start by taking unwanted commitments and unwanted relationships off your plate. Be willing to say, no thank you! Thoughtfully consider that always saying yes makes you a nice person, or brings you approval from others. This is not necessarily true! Make a list of 5 things you are willing to say “no” to right now. Do listen to your intuition and follow your heart when choosing time commitments. Be courageous!
  2. Create an absolute “yes” list…Cheryl Richardson reminds us to pick activities, relationships, and goals, we truly want in our life. Create a week- by-week and a month-by-month plan to achieve the results you desire. Carefully choose how you will spend your time. Guilt can be a major saboteur. Ask for support or help from family, friends, or a professional, if needed.
  3. Get comfortable with sometimes doing nothing or resting… You were born valuable, and that is your birth rite. Doing and achieving are worthwhile goals that can add to your life. However, you are more than anything you can achieve. Do not confuse financial abundance, education, or worldly success with self-worth.

Remember, if we do not pilot our own plane, something or someone else will. Be aware of your motivations, be honest with yourself, and watch your patterns. Take charge of your life. Create and live a high quality life!

“If this was the last day of your life, would you be spending it the way you are choosing to do so now?”
– Oprah Winfrey