If you’re anything like most of us, then you understand the importance of balance—but you also know that balance can be challenging to achieve.

We’re always struggling to fit everything in—and then we feel super stressed because we can’t make it all happen. To compound this, we then feel guilt over the unobtainable, ever-elusive balance that we’re struggling to find. It’s a vicious cycle! And one that, ironically, prevents us from ever finding balance in the end.

But the truth is that balance isn’t a destination, but instead a journey—a way of life, a method of thinking. And it is attainable!

It’s not something we can “achieve and then leave.” And it’s not something you can just jot down on your calendar. Rather than it being just about how we allocate our time, it’s more about being able to enjoy what we’re doing in the present. Our calendars can certainly help to facilitate this, but at the end of the day, balance a state of mind that’s achieved once we’re able to focus on the things that really matter and let go of those that don’t.

In our blog series this month, we’ve helped you discover what you truly value and how to set the right goals for your year. Last week, we talked about How to Turn Goals into Monthly Actions, Weekly Routines, and Daily Habits. Today, we’re going to take a look at finding balance and making progress every single day.

Read on to see how you can obtain balance—while working towards your goals every day.

Make a Master List

We feel balanced when we’re able to devote time and attention to all of the important areas in our life. So start by making time for the things that matter more. Before you map out your week, consider creating a master list full of goals, ideas, and plans—things you’d like to do or achieve in the next few months. Writing things down can help you visualize all that you want and need to do. When it comes to goal-setting, be sure that you’ve taken the time to identify your core—your values, passions, and strengths. This practice is an essential part of following pursuits that will leave you feeling most fulfilled.

Plan Out Your Week

When planning out our week, it’s easy to just fill up your time with everything that we need to get done. And while this is indeed important, it’s vital to ensure that we’re also carving out enough time to spend on all aspects of our life. Self-care, relationships, personal development, resources (time and money), and vocation are five important areas of our lives—and ideally, you’ll want to make sure you’re setting goals and making time for each of these five areas.

Plan Your Day

Once your week has been charted, you can start getting your day in order. Look to create good habits and routines, and try to find a schedule that works best for you. When you give yourself a map to follow through the day, you will find that your day goes smoother and you have time available to focus on those things that are really important to you.

Side note: For additional tips on how to map out your months, weeks, and days—head over here!

Be Ruthless

Trim it out! If your life is overflowing with one stressful project after another, it’s time to cut back. Trim out everything that isn’t essential, doesn’t bring you joy, or doesn’t add value to you or your family in some way. Say no to things that are only there to distract you from those things that you’d much rather be doing. Be ruthless, and don’t be afraid to say no!

Let Go of What Doesn’t Matter

While having a schedule is important for staying on track and ensuring that everything gets done, it’s also important to avoid falling into the trap of running yourself ragged trying to do it all. If something isn’t vitally important, there’s no shame in pushing it forward to the following day, and allowing yourself to catch an early night, for example. All too often, we struggle to find balance because we feel immense pressure to bring everything under our control, when the fact is, not everything needs to be or can be. People get sick, friends cancel plans last minute, and business milestones will fall through. What matters most isn’t driving yourself so hard that you run the risk of burnout, but learning when to let go. Being flexible enough to find peace—even when things are chaotic—is an invaluable mindset, and something that can help you to find balance every day.

Stop Aiming for Perfection

Likewise, to achieve balance, it’s essential to free yourself up from the unfeasible standard of perfection. The truth is, few things will ever be perfect, and that’s okay. Being able to accept good enough will help you to escape the whirlwind of striving for perfection and failing, and help you to see and genuinely appreciate the beauty found in the everyday.

Finding balance can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Remember: balancing is a way of life, not merely a destination. It’s as much about doing as it is about being. By looking to map out your months, weeks, and days in a way that allows you to find happiness and fulfillment, you’ll be able to achieve balance in your life—every single day.

One final tip: sometimes you have to lose your balance to find it again. It’s not about falling off the wagon and giving up altogether. Instead, it’s about understanding that sometimes things will fall out of place—and that’s okay! So you have to work late one night, don’t feel guilty about it. Just resolve to take some extra time off another day. So your friend canceled lunch with you last minute, just bring a good book and enjoy a quiet meal alone. Life will throw us curveballs, and threaten to knock us off course, but as long as you’re able to roll with the punches, and not lose sight of the big picture, you’ll be able to keep going. And balance will become a way of life for you more than it would ever have been if you were endlessly chasing it and trying desperately to make it happen.

Day Designer is a proven system for getting organized, finding balance, and living with intention—while making time for the things that are most important to you. Be sure to pop over to look at our 2019 Flagship Collection today!