Balance is impossible.

We’ve been sold a lie. You’ve heard it repeatedly. You’ve tried to live it, and I guarantee you’ve failed at it. 

Balance. It’s impossible.

You tried to balance your work, your family, your side hustle, your hobbies, your dreams. You tried to make sure you spend the same time, or correct time, on your family, your job, your relaxed time, your dream. You’ve failed.

Balance is impossible.

In practice, we can only do one thing well at a time. At this very moment, I can only write well. If I try to write, cook, talk on the phone, answer email, play with my dog and chew gum all at the same time…I won’t do any of them well. Some of them, I won’t end up doing at all. It’s impossible.

Life balance is impossible. Intentional living is the key.

Life balance is the same way. I can only prioritize a few things in my life. Anecdotally, I believe you can at most prioritize about three things at a time in your life. If you add a fourth, fifth, sixth item to your list, you don’t do any of them well. Admit it, you probably don’t achieve much at all when you take that approach.

I had this realization a few years ago. I had been working hard on my ministry job, my family, writing, my start-up side business, my wife’s business, my basketball and soccer hobbies and coaching my son’s soccer team all at the same time. They all were on my plate, but I wasn’t doing any of them well.

Rather than trying to balance all of them better, I chose intentionality. 

Intentional living is the answer.

I made a decision on what was the most important roles in my life. The priorities at that moment in my life were husband, father, pastor. I dropped the rest. I quit entrepreneur, writer, basketball and soccer.

Here’s an important note: priorities are seasonal. 

Until death, I will always be a husband. That will never change, but the demands will. I will always be a father to my children, but again, the requirements change over the years. I may always be a pastor, but the role will look different throughout the years.

That was 3-4 years ago. I’m in a new season. I’m in the middle of re-evaluating my priorities. A big part of being a father in that season was coaching my son’s soccer team. I was coaching more for him than for the community. He’s moved into a new season, so I’ve dropped the coach priority. My role at my church has changed, and the time requirements have changed too. I’m in a new season.

I’m beginning to pick up new roles. I’ve added writing back. I’ve added workout, too – a new role for me. We’ll see what else might be a priority for me in the coming years, as the seasons continue to change.

Balance is impossible. Intentional living is the answer.

If you are struggling with keeping up on all the demands in your life, it’s time to start living intentionally. If you are ready for this life change, begin by answering this question, “What are the three most important things in my life?” 

Once you have your answer, ask yourself this question, “What can I say “No” to, in order, to say, “Yes” to more of those three things?” 

Remember this: for every ‘no’ in your life, there can be a ‘yes’ attached to something else. Conversely, when you say ‘yes’ to something new, you most likely are saying ‘no’ to something else. That ‘no’ may be in dropping it all together, but if you aren’t living intentionally it probably will just be poor execution. 

This shift will take some practice. You may feel guilty for not being rushed or stressed all the time. You will be tempted to add a role or two in your life. When that next opportunity comes up, remember to ask yourself, “Where does this fit into my priority list? What does this ‘yes’ mean ‘no’ to?” 

Balance is impossible. Intentional living is the answer.

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