How to get the most out of your CIP experience
Tips from Brevard Center student advisors
All of us focus on balancing different areas of our life- internships, family, personal, social and academic. We would like to do well in each of these areas and sometimes we do a lot of maneuvering to make it possible.
As advisors, we have a few suggestions (that may be familiar from reframing class) for you to take into account to assist you in balancing your life at CIP.
Understand your Priorities
Being clear about priorities means finding out what is important and in which order. Separate essentials from non-essentials. Utilize the supports that are available to you to assist you in the process.
Create a Positive Impact
Work on those areas which will directly create a positive impact on all aspects of life such as:
- Timeless Principles – By aligning ourselves with the principles of truth, love, integrity etc., we enable ourselves to make the right decisions, even if they are difficult, and we can stay true to them. These principles form an unwavering core within us; they give us the stability required to balance ourselves and our lives.
- Mind, Body, and Spirit– Life, family, society, friends….if all of these have one obvious thing in common then that is YOU. And if you are to manage and balance everything well, shouldn’t you be balanced and fit also? A weak mind, body or spirit will not be able to do justice to these life areas. Making positive health choices such as eating healthy, being active and getting enough sleep will provide you with the tools necessary to stay focused in all aspects of your life. Dilute negatives and accentuate the positives to keep your mind free of unnecessary barriers.
- Time Management– Proper time management includes creating a work-life boundary, creating personal time, increasing productivity by decreased use of technology and forming better habits such as being organized and reducing clutter. Use the strategies you learned in Bookends to improve your executive functioning. This will help you get through the day successfully.
Stand Up for Yourself
All the effort you put into balancing your life will be useless if you do not stand up for yourself. In other words, self advocate. There are three necessary skills which should become second nature to you if you wish to stand for yourself. They are:
- Being Decisive– Learn to make your own decisions and follow them through. Take guidance from your mentors and advisors and stand your ground to make the right decisions and not be negatively influenced by your peers.
- Saying No– If you wish to separate the essentials and non-essentials in your life, saying no will be required. If you wish to stay true to your principles, saying no will be required. If you are to stand up for yourself and not succumb to negative peer pressure, saying no will be required. As you can see, you need to be very comfortable in using the word “No”.
- Taking Responsibility– While external forces do influence our lives in undesired ways if we don’t take responsibility for ourselves we give away the power to make a difference. Take responsibility and keep the power over your life with you. Without taking the responsibility to constantly work on balancing life no matter what obstacles are thrown our way, a balanced life is not possible.
Helpful Tips to help you achieve Life Balance
- Start small. Don’t plan to change your whole life in one shot. Go slow and steady
- Have patience. It takes time to put everything back in balance
- Stay aware of your life, stay alert so you can bring balance back as soon as imbalance creeps in
- Be present. A lot of imbalance in life is created because we are not truly present in the moment
- Balance the wants and shoulds in your life. Shoulds are the things you have to do, wants are the things you want to do
- Make mistakes, but don’t keep making the same ones over and over again
- Balancing life is an ongoing process. It never ends
Most importantly, enjoy the process. Use the resources that are available to you to assist you in your process of learning to establish balance in your life.
This commentary is based on a web blog written about The Life Balance Group titled “How to Balance Life Effortlessly”.