So I have always understood the word “balance” when related to goal setting as daily investing in the 7 areas of your life: family, faith, finances, community, personal development, career, and physical well-being. One of the life-purpose books I utilize has a pie wheel with each one listed in a pie slice. It has you shade in to what extent you are focused on each area and the proceeds to explain that if your pie wheel looks jagged and one or two areas are dominate that your wheel will not move. He says you have to achieve balance.
My preacher this past Sunday disagrees with this mentality and offers a secondary way of going about things for those goal planners out there. He says you shouldn’t achieve balance, but rather right priorities. Sometimes in life we cannot help but be focused on certain aspects over others. For example, when I was working full-time and taking a full load of college classes there is absolutely no way I was going to be able to invest in the other five areas of my life. My family came third in this instance and they were on the back burner picking up morsels. Now that doesn’t mean that God’s desire is for me to neglect my family. You could even make an argument that God didn’t desire me to be that busy, that I chose to be that busy. Still, if you find yourself in a man-made tight spot God doesn’t abandon you.
Don’t strive for balance in those situations (which most of us are in), strive for right priorities.
Base your priorities on scripture, counsel, and the needs of what/who are important to you. Then you will be more likely to make it through the situation having minimized collateral damage to your other focus areas. The other key with this is multi-tasking. You can exercise together as a family and have fun doing it. That would knock out two goal areas with one event. Do things like cook supper with your kids, make cleaning the house fun by creating games to make it happen, go walking in the park, or work in your garden together. Let your spouse or teenage kids help you study for a test you have, or listen to a presentation you need to give at work. There are numerous ways to multi-task. Let creativity flow.
So do not try to achieve perfect balance in your life. Sometimes the things you do not want to out weigh your family or your faith will. That is life. Just be sure to focus on setting the right priorities. In other words, if you have a choice between putting your family first then do it. But if you do not have a choice then the decision has been made for you.