Real Talk: Is Living a Balanced Life Even Possible?

Does it ever feel like the list of things we’re supposed to do on a daily basis is constantly growing? Applying sunscreen, eating a healthy breakfast, working out, drinking our weight in ounces of water—oh, and calling our mothers… These tasks only begin to scratch the surface. And that’s just our list before lunchtime. Some days we simply just can’t check off every box (sorry, Mom), and that’s why finding balance is so important. It’s a topic that’s always on our minds.

If you often feel like your schedule is chaotic and your wellness goals are not being achieved, we’re here to tell you that you’re not alone. We’re also here with some real-life advice on how you can try to do it all, and how to cope on those days when it’s just not happening for you. We asked several 20- and 30-somethings on our team what finding balance means to them, and it turns out that everyone has a different way of defining this concept and putting it into practice.

Below, find out how these girls achieve balance and find joy in their everyday lives, from getting their workouts in early (wearing cute gear from Target's new activewear brand, JoyLab, of course) to changing the way they consume veggies.

“When it comes to personal wellness, self-care is a priority for me. Every day, I ask myself, What do YOU want to do? Sometimes it’s an early morning spin class, sometimes it’s a massage and restorative yoga, and other times it’s Netflix and takeout. It’s really all about balance!”

“For me, working out is about what makes me feel good and what fits into my schedule. I try not to focus on losing a certain amount of weight or toning a specific part of my body; instead, I try to listen to what my body needs. When I’m feeling tired, I’ll do a simple yoga practice, and when I’m feeling energized, I’ll go for a run.”

“Simply shifting my attitude around wellness this year has led to a radical change in my overall well-being. Last January, I opted not to make any of the usual unsustainable New Year’s resolutions and instead simply vowed to engage in more rituals that made me feel good, big and small. By shifting the focus from concrete goals to the journey itself, so much pressure was immediately lifted, and I found the motivation that has always felt so fickle—the idea that I only I can define what makes me feel ‘well’ is so empowering.

“Now I work out, eat well, and prioritize my mental health because I want to, not because I’m simply going through the motions. This has also helped me zero in on the rituals that serve me the most, because it’s so easy to get caught up in the trends and what everyone else is doing. I’ve ditched most of my fancy classes and just stick with yoga and hiking, because I truly love them. It’s not a coincidence that I’m now in great shape—and more importantly, I’ve never felt happier or more confident.”

“My workday begins the minute I wake up. I check my emails from the side of my bed (I know—it should be beditation instead, but I’m working on it), and it doesn’t stop until late in the evening. Since I’m on the go for such long hours, I really need to look after my body and give it the brain fuel it needs. So every day without fail, I make a green smoothie with organic kale, strawberries, and flax seed milk. If I can’t squeeze in a healthy lunch, this smoothie ensures I’m getting a solid dose of vitamins and minerals.”

“I’m not much of a morning person, but I try my hardest to go for a quick run before work—even if it’s only 20 to 30 minutes. Running on the East River path and seeing the skyscrapers all around reminds me why I love living in New York City. It also makes me feel more accomplished and energized for the day ahead.”

“I’ve made exercise a big part of my life, and I feel totally off when I don’t get my morning workout in. I think it's important to make time—however much you might have—to get physical and push yourself first thing in the morning. Not only does it set the tone for the rest of the day, but I always feel energized and ready to take on anything that comes my way.”

Go From Workout to Work in Style:

“I make it a priority to get to either SoulCycle or yoga at least a few times a week, even if I’m extremely busy. I’ve realized that the weeks where my agenda is overbooked are the weeks that I need to take time for myself the most. Taking that 45 minutes for myself helps me feel calm and in control even during the most stressful times.”

“I’m someone who can really eat, and I don’t particularly enjoy exercise. But I admit that as I get older, those old habits don’t feel as good as they used to. Instead, I practice mindful eating, which, to me, just means I think about what I’m going to eat before I eat it. I decide if I can supplement something in the dish to make it more nutrient-rich or choose not to indulge during a meal when I did so for the previous one. It helps to create balance in my diet rather than deprivation.”

Shop more JoyLab pieces at Target so you’ll really be motivated to schedule those early morning workouts.