I am excited and grateful to have Trever Ball provide a guest post this week. I have the deepest amount of respect for "T-Ball" because of his ability to successfully balance so many things in his life and still live with a growth mindset. To learn more about Trever, check out his website, PrimalTBall. -----------------------------------------------------------------
Recently I have had the pleasure to work with some outstanding individuals in my day to day meanderings as a Health Teacher and Athletic Trainer at McKay High School. One of those individuals is doing some phenomenal work in regards to strength and conditioning and has inspired and motivated me to become better as an educator as well as a leader in multiple avenues that I have contact with. That special individual is Matt Espinoza who many have come to be positively affected by. However, I am also an adjunct professor for Willamette University in their Masters of Arts in Teaching program while being married to an amazing 2nd grade teacher who has blessed my life in ways that I could never have imagined by tolerating my busy schedule that is centered around our two remarkable and unforgettable children, Gunnar (5 years) and Grace (2 years). Now, before you stop reading due to insignificant information overload, let me get to the point of this rant. With everything that I have a hand in, it gets very difficult to balance it all effectively in a world that is also unpredictable. This is the purpose of this post: how is balancing family, work, and living healthfully even approached?
Here is how I have been fortunate enough to not only survive, but also flourish under such intimidating circumstances.
The first thing I want to put out there is the fact that none of this has come from my own fruition. I am merely using ‘the wheel’ that has been invented and mastered by many capable and hard working people in my life. And that is where I am going to begin this discussion on balance. In order to even approach a life with balance, you first need to know and commit to goals that are significant enough to warrant your full attention and commitment. Throughout my days as a husband, father, teacher, and Athletic Trainer I am constantly setting and achieving specific, measurable, realistic, and timely goals. And that is where my demonstration of this balancing act begins and centers around.
A significant resource that I have been blessed with as a guide has been Darren Hardy’s "The Compound Effect." (Compound Effect website - click here). What I learned, and then assimilated into one compact document to put into practice, was that habits need to be created around routines that are centered on our life goals and core values. This process of compounding the greatness in our lives is enhanced when we can measure progress and then adjust from there. This is where I focused my energies as I daily attempt to balance the chaos of education with family life and athletics. The form I created made it very simplistic and effective as I then proceeded to give it to two close friends, one that was going to be firm and the other to be a listener and encourager. Those conversations typically happen in a brief phone call or conversation and adjustments are made or kudos given accordingly. This has really allowed me to set and accomplish goals that matter and make a difference in my relationships, work environment, and professional practice. I hope it helps you as well.
Ultimately I strive to accomplish three things to maintain a good level of balance that maintains the integrity I try to uphold throughout my life.
When routines are based on your values and goals, then those around you work harder than you can imagine helping you accomplish the goals you set for yourself.
Ask those closest to you for feedback that is honest and unbiased after you proved them with as much background information on your goals you are setting out to accomplish. Nobody likes to be pestered with surprising or stressful tasks that they didn’t have a say in creating.
Change your self reflected Behaviors
With the feedback you get from those closest to you now you have to ACT on them. How did your routines go? What hindered them from happening and how can you adjust? Were there things that got in the way of you doing those things?
At the heart of developing quality routines with tangible accountability is the premise of maintaining your fitness and nutrition in order to practice that which is deemed to be significant. Those practices have ultimately been the foundation for which I have been able to find the balance that I hope to continue to sustain this trajectory for my family and career. The practice of maintaining a Primal way of life really starts with behaviors and routines that I have been practicing now for just a little over a year and I have experienced an immeasurable amount of energy increase and my ability to stay focused has also improved. I still have things to work on, but I do not get overly concerned about those hang ups because I know that any behavior of mine can be altered into a healthy habit when I direct my focus accordingly. The second form that is attached is based on the previous template with a focus on my physical fitness and Primal/paleo specific nutrition. Take a look and again, I hope that from these ramblings you have gained something that will make balancing this hectic mess we call life with that which is the most important to you.