Find a Balance for 2020

Happy New Year! This quiet time of year, plus a fresh start calls us to think about what we want to make of the next 365 opportunities ahead. It’s a great time to take a snapshot of the different elements of your life, assess where you are, where you want to be, and action steps to tune up the areas that need attention, or tame the areas that feel overloaded.

Personally, I like a two-step process. But try just one or the other if that suits you better.

Coming out of the ‘busy-ness’ of Christmas I like to start with a doodle step, so my creative brain has some space to pause and stretch and think. I like the Balance Wheel diagram from the Chopra Center – it’s simple and useful.


My own balance wheel was delightfully messy with spontaneous doodles. One gap area really surprised me. Acknowledging it inspires me for the year ahead.

Just grab a dull colored pencil and a bolder pencil. Then go around the wheel, starting with the dull color to represent where you feel you are on that life element at this moment. Connect all the individual lines to get a background shape. The irregularity is a picture of where you are overall — some areas with a lot of attention, others with less. Now grab the brighter color to indicate where you wish to spend your energy in 2020. I like to make these lines smaller and color them in, so the overall picture is more like a star coming out of the background shape. Don’t worry about the math and science of your diagram. It’s more about areas that surprise you — such as an area that feels much lower than where you want to be. Capture in words any takeaways from the picture — celebrate the balanced areas, be curious about the unbalanced areas, notice which areas call for your focus in the coming year. Then look at the diagrams again, read your recap and write a reflection. This might be in the form of more curiosities you have about a certain area, some ideas on daily habits for the coming year or other ways to explore taking the story of your diagram into action for 2020. 


Now you can go a bit deeper on 2-4 life areas from the wheel. These might just jump out at you. Or you might want to mix one area with a large gap between current and desired, one that you want to celebrate and one that you want to work on. Whatever your mix, explore these areas more in your journal. Give yourself five minutes to explore each selected area. Then use the same three questions to write about each one:

Where am I now?

Where do I want to be?

What will it take to get from ‘here’ to ‘there’ – or to maintain levels current satisfaction?

When you’ve finished the questions for your selected life areas, reread them all and write one last reflection. Now take a moment to celebrate your work. You’ve set yourself up to work on the things in 2020 that really matter to you! Wishing you the best for this New Year and beyond!














It’s Fall Resolution Time!

How many of us make New Year’s Resolutions … and then forget about them? Breaking the year into quarters is a great way to keep on track with goals and priorities, without checking and over-analyzing so much that we don’t make any progress. The changing of the seasons is a great way to open ourselves to the cycle of progress that is always with us in nature. Fall in particular is a visual reminder to check in!

The Journal to the Self workshop includes a journaling exercise called “Life Balance Inventory”. Resolutions that get defined but forgotten are often lost because they weren’t in synch with the overall balance of priorities. Likewise, “bullet” journalers can find they have great lists, but not a lot of results because they are moving too fast to act on the reality of their priorities. Until you can get into a Journal to the Self workshop, I like the “Balance Wheel” created by The Chopra Center as a way to think about priorities, and identify gaps between what’s currently in focus, vs. where you desire the focus to be.

There’s no better time than the Autumnal Equinox (this year on the 23rd of September) to think about priorities and life balance. Sketch out your own wheel, reflect on it, then write in your journal for 5-10 minutes with ideas for the fall. Don’t forget the signature element of the Adams Method for self-directed change through journaling: when you are done writing, read what you have, reflect on that and then jot a sentence or two of any follow ups that come to mind. It might be to record an emotion, a to do, something else you want to write about next time.