Find a Balance: Make a List for your Health

Guest post by Megan from Running Toward the Prize

I have always been one to say “yes” to things that come my way. Partially because I’m a people pleaser. Partially because I like to be busy.

Recently, I have learned to say “no.” It hasn’t been easy. It hasn’t been fun. But it has been necessary.

In the midst of working two jobs, training for a 25K (soon a marathon), keeping the house clean, spending time with my husband, writing a blog, cooking meals, not to mention finding time for me – I was feeling quite overwhelmed. After a long talk with my husband, we decided I needed to prioritize. Since I’m a list maker, it became of the utmost importance to find a balance by making a list to prioritize my day for the benefit of my health.

Here is how my list looked:

1. Spend time with my husband. This was priority number 1. Being glued to the computer all the time was not ideal. Not seeing him until 8 pm or later at night was not ideal.

2. Working out. Another area high on the priority list. It is my stress reliever. It makes me feel good. It keeps me healthy. Yes, maybe I needed to cut back on the amount of time I worked out – but it needed to stay.

3. Housekeeping and meals. This is partially because I’m a neat freak/organizing fool, so having a messy house was just not okay. Also, living a gluten-free life means paying closer attention to what I eat – and preparing meals helps with that.

4. My blog. It started as a way to be held accountable in my running journey – but truly has grown in the past year and a half. However, it was becoming a chore. I wasn’t writing quality content. I knew I needed to step back a bit because I wanted this to remain a joy and not an imposition.

5. And I needed to learn to say “no” which was VERY important!

When making your list start by writing down what is bogging you down. I wrote an agenda of what was taking up most of my time. From there I thought hard about what my priorities were and I ranked them appropriately. This is sometimes difficult because you want to be the person that “does it all” but that is where the most important step falls into place—you MUST learn to say “no” when it is in the interest of your well-being. In the short-term this might feel a bit uncomfortable, but you have to consider the long-term benefits!

It hasn’t been easy, however I do feel that I’m learning to find balance—this is a work in progress! I am able to workout before or after work. I am able to keep the house clean and meals prepared. I have been able to write quality blog posts, as opposed to focusing on daily quantity. I have been able to find time for me—whether it be reading or watching my favorite TV shows. But most importantly, I am able to spend quality time with my husband which is beyond priceless.

Yes, there are times my jobs take over. Or the house gets messy. Or I don’t have time to read a book. But eventually, things even back out and I can find my balance again.

Read more from Running Toward the Prize.

How do you strive to find balance in your day? Have you ever made a priority list? Share your tips and tricks in the comments section below!

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  1. I think we all struggle with finding life balance at one point or another.
    This past month, I’ve been participating in an online, self-awareness course; The 30 Day Self-Care Blueprint. Through a series of questions, tasks and plenty of introspection, I’ve finally managed to put together my own self-care routine.
    It consists of the things I absolutely have to do to stay grounded, focused and happy and represents a tricky balance between personal time, family, friends and work.
    Hard work, but totally worth it!
    Thanks for a thoughtful post!

  2. Great post! Everyone gets a bit out of whack sometimes. And for omen in particular, we’re in a constant balancing act that can really get us down when the scales feel a bit off.


    • Kate,

      So true! I can very easily tell when things aren’t balance – I’m cranky and tired. That’s when I know I need to re-evaluate!


  3. Megan, we could all use a little more balance in this busy world we live in. I have to admit, the change in my life that made the biggest impact on my well being was the ability to say no. I have become quite good at it, if I don’t say so myself. When I do say yes, I enjoy what I am doing so much more and am able to put it in the right priority line-up. Just saying no works. Love this post Megan!

    • Jana,

      It is a very busy world that we live in – which is why I feel we struggle with balance so much! It’s almost like it’s expected that we put everything on our plates. I’m glad you are learning to say no as well!



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