We are responsible for our own lives. Therefore, it is our responsibility to be disciplined enough to live in a functional, well-balanced way, no one else’s. I certainly lived my share of dysfunctional years so when I shifted at age 35, I needed to learn an entire new way of interacting with the world around me. Since I had never lived in a functional manner before, I wasn’t quite sure what it looked like or how to do it. I began to develop my own idea of what a healthy, balanced life looked like. After working my first year, I was notified that I hadn’t taken any vacation time. I was shocked, this had never happened to me before, in the past I was always needing more time off. Although receiving a check for a week’s pay was nice, I looked at it from a perspective of balance. Was I taking care of myself? If I were living a healthy, balanced life, would I never take vacation days? Of course not, everyone needs down time and relaxation. So, I decided to take a day off in the near future simply for the sake of self-care.

Since this scenario was new to me, I was scared to begin taking days off. Would I end up in old behavior patterns? Would I take too much time off and then get sick without any paid days to fall back on? This is when the idea of making a deal with myself came in. I’d take a day off and no matter how much I wanted to; I would not allow myself to take another day off for 3 months. This way I could begin taking days off for self-care without slipping backwards into old, destructive patterns. I’m happy to say it worked! In fact it worked so well I began making deals with myself in other areas of my life with much success.

This may seem like overkill for people living what seems to be a functional life, but it was new to me. It taught me how to live on purpose while living with purpose. By slowing down, becoming conscious of what a healthy, balanced life is supposed to look like and then implementing conscious change to achieve that – I had stumbled on an intricate part of life. This works every time and can enhance your life dramatically; therefore it must be spiritual!

Slow down, take a look at your every day life and see if there are adjustments you can make consciously to bring more balance into your life. Do you get enough down time, exercise, stillness, vacation, quality time with the most important people in your life, etc.? If you don’t, stop and make a conscious choice to fix it. Most people work way too much and are way to busy, so this isn’t the problem. We need to schedule enjoyment. I literally put it on my calendar listed as “Happy Time” when needed. You’re not going to be laying on your death bed wishing you worked more. You’ll be wishing you enjoyed more. Don’t put it off, do it today. Live on purpose, with purpose!