How do you get your life under control so that every day takes you one step forward instead of one step back? One word: balance.
Do you not have time to take care of yourself? Do you not have time for fitness? Do you not have time to smell the roses? Do you not have time to go out on a date? Do you not have time for friends? These are all very common. You feel being pulled from every side; you feel crushed, exhausted; you work hard. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Life can’t be perfect actually – but it can be pretty good. Yours can be just as good. You need to rebuild it in order to find space for everything you need to do to manage stress. Just dedicate twelve hours a week to your well-being and physical health. This is the rule of twelve hours. If you live by it, your life will dramatically change.
You need this time. Without it, you cannot find balance. End of story. Don’t think ‘I can’t’, because mathematics speaks for itself: let’s see it.
Find balance in your life with the 12-hour rule
If the week has 168 hours and sleep is 56 hours (8 hours every night), that leaves you 112 hours in the seven days. If you spend 50 hours at work and 50 hours busy with family and home (laundry, vet, children’s homework, changing car oils, etc.), this still leaves you with twelve hours. Twelve clean hours a week for yourself. Forty-eight hours a month.
Ideally, you could find more hours for yourself, but these are enough and make all the difference in the world.
Each week you can dedicate:
- 2-3 hours to exercise (4-6 intensive 30-minute sessions)
- 2-3 hours for nights out
- 2-3 hours to a hobby or doing things with friends
- 2 hours to other things (like hairdresser or dentist)
- 60-90 minutes to meditation or other relaxation techniques (divided into 15 minutes per day).
You may steal an hour from here and there, but generally, it’s 56 hours for sleep, 100 for work and home, and twelve for you.
For the twelve-hour rule to work for you, there is something you must completely eliminate. Guess what? The extreme mentality in anything. You have to give up perfection. Eliminate the “all or nothing” mentality. Accept that you need help from others sometimes and do not constantly feel the need to do everything yourself. For example:
Yes, a 90-minute yoga session would be great, but a 20-minute workout in your gym is fine too.
Yes, it would be great to get the Parent of the Year award. But honestly, making them breakfast, taking them to school, helping them with their homework and putting them to bed is enough.
Yes, it would be great to do it all yourself and not depend on anyone. It would be great to fly and be invisible, but it is not possible. You must be able to ask for help. Imagine being in a team with your family, friends, and co-workers. There is give and take. It’s the only way. Remember, it takes an entire village to get something done.
Yes, I know children are always a priority, but that does not mean you have to be a martyr. It does not have to be all or nothing. You don’t set a good example for them on how to take care of themselves in the future.
Yes, I know you need a roof over your head and food at your table, but that does not mean you have to reply to your emails on Fridays at nine o’clock at night or Sundays at three o’clock in the afternoon.
It is difficult at first to find balance. One of the main reasons we struggle is because we are frustrated by our inability to be perfect. We see that things are out of control and we cannot bring them into balance. But you have to remember that this is life. That people are not perfect. That you are not perfect. That they will disappoint you – and that you will disappoint them. You can’t control everything. It is difficult to accept the truths of life, but the sooner you do, the sooner you will be reconciled to them. Use the 12-hour rule as a guide.