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Simple Ways to Maintain a Balanced Life This Year

After a nice and relaxing break over the holidays, returning to work in January can often be somewhat of a shock to our systems. While most of us begin the year with good intentions - such as eating healthier, exercising more, or spending more quality time with friends and family - sticking to our new year’s resolutions often proves tougher than expected as we get back into the work routine. Perhaps this is why we celebrate Balanced Life month in January – to help remind us of the importance of a healthy work/life balance and of healthy habits such as a balanced diet.  Luckily, there are many simple tricks to help you juggle your dreams, hopes and responsibilities and find that work/life balance we all seek. Here are a few tips that can guide you to a more harmonious and balanced 2014.

Get Your Priorities Straight

Whether we like it or not, there are limits to what one person alone can accomplish. An important aspect of leading a more balanced life is to accept this and not be afraid to set boundaries. Try to write a “mission statement” outlining what things are important to you in life and what you would like to accomplish, both short and long term. After doing so, write down all the things you have to and/or want to do, then – based on how they relate to your mission statement - sort these items into one of three categories: high, medium and low priority. This can ease your stress by making it simpler to identify where you need to focus your energy. It might also shorten your to-do list by helping you realize that some of your regular activities don’t really add much to your life and could be scratched off the list without loss.

Build Downtime into Your Schedule

Be sure you have time for activities you enjoy by planning them ahead of time. While you might feel like you can’t afford the luxury of having lunch with a friend or getting a massage in the middle of a busy work week, allowing yourself this time is crucial to your well-being. Spending an hour on something you enjoy doesn’t necessarily have to amount to more stress at work either. Engaging in activities that help you relax and recharge your batteries can actually help you be more efficient while at work. Plus, having something fun planned after work or on the weekend may act as an extra incentive for you to better manage your time.

Remember: Sometimes it’s the Little Things That Matter

Most often, achieving a more balanced life doesn’t mean that you will have to change your entire lifestyle. In fact, making smaller changes and setting reasonable goals will usually give you a better chance of long term success. Creating a better life/work balance may be as simple as deciding to leave the office earlier one day of the week, or go to bed 30 minutes later and wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual every day. This little trick only creates a minor change in your daily schedule, but will give you the opportunity to enjoy some extra personal time to do those things you can’t really seem to find time for at the moment.

Maintain a Balanced Diet

Last but not least, a balanced diet plays an important part in leading a healthy balanced life. We all know how easy it is to fall into the trap of eating junk foods when we are tired and stressed: after all, it’s called fast food for a reason! Unfortunately, turning to fast food and unhealthy snacks will not provide the sustainable energy you need. A healthy diet, on the other hand, will provide you with the nutrients, vitamins, and energy you need to be able to function to your full ability. If you find it hard to think of meal and snack options that are healthy AND convenient for someone with a busy lifestyle, check out this link for some great tips! Also, consider trying Juice Plus+ - bridging the gap between what you should eat and what you do eat every day, Juice Plus+ is one of the simplest ways possible to achieve a more balanced diet!

What steps are you taking to live a more balanced life this January?

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