It’s morning, and as soon as your feet hit the floor it feels like the floor is hitting back with all the pressure of the day ahead. Your warm bed is calling you back, begging you to snuggle back into your cocoon—the one place you're free from demands.
Maybe it’s a job you can’t stand, kids crying and pulling at your bedsheets, drama with friends, dread about whether your "new to you" business suit is going to fit, or last night’s money fight with your spouse still lingering in the air. Maybe it’s all of the above. These pressures are often related to a life out of balance—what we call, "Living a life out of Oola."
What is Oola?
Oola is derived from the expression "Ooh-la-la," and it is that state of awesomeness when your life is balanced and growing in the key areas of health, finances, career, relationships, and well-being. Let’s face it, Ooh-la-la is what it feels like when you’re happy, growing, and looking forward to what life has in store for you.
It’s that feeling you get when you’ve landed that better job, grown a bigger business, or watched your kids succeed at something they are passionate about. It’s what you tell yourself when you bought that dream house, saved your first $1,000 emergency fund, or paid off the last of your debts. It’s the confidence you feel from being fit and date-night ready or the sense of enchantment you feel on your first trip to Paris with the girls.
Whatever rocks it for you, Oola means living a life that’s balanced and growing in all 7 F’s of Oola: fitness, finance, family, field (career), faith, friends, and fun, and living this life firing on all cylinders—joyful, wholehearted, and ready to take on the world.
Since the first copy of the original Oola book rolled off the presses a few years ago, the Oola lifestyle has become a phenomenon with readers around the planet seeking balance in this mercurial world.
We juggle work, kids, family, and home life—hoping there's room left in there somewhere for "me time." And if you have a small business or a demanding career, you're juggling clients, customers, sales, marketing, and so many work-related activities that it's truly mind-boggling how much you pack into a 24-hour day.
If you're seeking more balance in life (like we all are sometimes), what can you do? Here are three ways the Oola strategy can help you live with less stress, more balance, and greater purpose:
1. Assess your status in each of the seven key areas of life.
When seeking directions on your maps app on your smartphone, the first thing that shows up is a little blue pin marking where you are at that moment. It's impossible to map out a path to where you want to go until you know your starting point. The first step of achieving your dreams is to get real about where you are in these areas: fitness, finance, family, field (career), faith, friends, and fun. This tool can help you identify lurking imbalances and gives you a visual frame of reference for what needs to shift.
2. Lay out your goals.
After completing the first step, you should have a good idea of which areas of life you are excelling in and which could use more balance. Now, looking at the seven key areas, set specific goals for each. Start with seven goals. It doesn’t have to be one in each category—in fact, most of the time it isn't.
Choose the seven that will give your life more balance (based upon the results in Step 1) and are most consistent with your most passionate dreams. Make sure the goals are written in the SMART format (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound). Look at your handwritten goals every night before you go to bed.
3. Outline the path, step by step.
Life can get crazy, and it’s easy for your dreams to get lost in the clutter. So, one way to make sure they stay top priority is, every night before you go to bed, grab a 3-by-5-inch note card and write down at least three action steps you’ll take the next day to move you closer to one (or more) of the goals you set in Step 2.
The note card can include the daily stuff, too—groceries, dry cleaning, picking up the kids from practice—but make sure that at least three items on your list are action steps that will move you closer to your OolaLife. Draw a line down the middle, if needed, to separate the junk errands from your real-life goals. Do this every day, and in one year, you will have taken more than 1,000 action steps toward your best life.
Is life balance actually possible?
Life balance is a pursuit and not a destination. In fact, a life in balance often consists of many seasons out of balance. The key, even during the craziest of times, is to stay connected to the goals and dreams of your heart. They are unique to you and will give your life passion. By knowing where you are, having a clear vision of where you want to go in each of the seven key areas, and taking action toward it each day, you are well on your way to sharing your Oola with the world.