I’m like you, I struggle with maintaining a healthy balance between my work life and my personal life. I implement many tools and systems to avoid getting caught in the trap of over-doing or under-doing in either category so that I maintain a “being-ness presence” in all that I do.
Many of the tools I use can be found on the Resources page of my website including, my Personal Strategic Plan and Ideal Week templates, let alone my Annual Master Calendar. By now, you’ve probably downloaded my FREE PDF eBooks: Year-End Assessment Tool, 2017 Success Planner, and my 7-Day Goal Setting Challenge guidebook. All these ensure that I keep focused on my goals and that I calendar what I want to accomplish, and when.
I don’t think there is a division of work and life. I know that work is an integral part of all of our lives. The only reason I even used the term “work-life balance” in the title of this blog post is that it has become such a pervasively used term that everyone googles it to find out the very things that I’m writing about here. So, let’s just say I advocate a balanced life, and I’ll tell you here 8 habits to help you in your quest to maintain that balanced life:
Habit 1 – Choose the life you desire.
Many, many of the participants in my Create The LIFE You Want workshop come in the door not having a clue of the life they desire, nor have they ever given it much thought. Many believe “life” dictates their daily activities and that they have little to no influence on it. Of course, if you’ve been a reader of this blog for very long, you know that I believe nothing can be further from the truth and that to the contrary, I believe…I KNOW IN MY HEART…that our lives are not only in our control, but that our future is determined by our actions of today (and, our actions are a derivative of our thoughts of the moment). Now, before I get any email push back, let me acknowledge that oftentimes life will bring us something completely out of the blue – either positive or negative – and that those people, events, challenges, opportunities, etc are not our doing. But be prepared; that preparation is under your control.
Habit 2 – Know and respect your energy limits.
Understand, when trying to maintain a balanced life, that you too have limits, a breaking point where your body – physically, mentally, or emotionally – will tell you when you’re overdoing it. Be in tune with yourself and know how to manage your body and, especially, your energy. It is best to know your limits and stay within your “standard operating parameters” so you don’t regret it later. But continue to grow that muscle and expand your parameters. Stay tuned, a future post will give you some tips and tricks for increasing your personal energy.
Habit 3 – Set aside time for those closest to you.
When we’re working too much, those closest to us are usually the ones who get less of our time and will let us know. Be sure to set aside some quality time to spend with those who matter most. I have found that in doing this I am actually re-energized and more focused when I return to work.
Habit 4 – Build a support network.
Usually our support network is made up of those who have been there to support us through both our successes and our failures without judgment, simply attending to us with a listening ear, words of encouragement, or a shoulder to cry on. Be sure to surround yourself with supportive family and friends, both from your business life and your personal life, who will always give you an honest, unbiased opinion of what is going on with you from their perspective, and build you up in your times of weakness.
Habit 5 – Increase your social interactions.
Get out of the house … especially you Solopreneurs! Fill your calendar with more than just meetings and deadlines, find a common interest group, join an exercise or yoga class, or attend that weekly social event you’ve always wondered about. The point is, get out of your normal routine and surroundings. Check-out Meetup groups that resonate with you. You will expand and grow.
Habit 6 – Take some time off.
It may surprise you but your clients, team members, partners, etc, will survive without you. Be sure to take some time off for yourself to reconnect, relax, and just enjoy a couple of days where you have absolutely nothing to do. Remember the “Rest Days” in my 2017 Success Planner [download it for FREE here]? Whether local or distant, discover your surroundings, and yourself, by doing this regularly. For the last few years I have been taking a sabbatical from work once-a-year and it has done wonders to increase my personal motivation and productivity.
Habit 7 – Unplug.
We are often tethered to our smartphones. I know I am!! Social media, TV, laptops, and other personal devices…and those people on the other end of them…will survive without you as well, and you without them. You can benefit significantly by unplugging every once in a while, even if just for a few hours. Try to schedule only a few times a day that you will check email, Facebook, etc. And, please, please, please limit the amount of TV you watch. TV is not only a time-consumer but is often so so negative and that negative vibe is not what you want in your life if you are trying to live your best life.
Habit 8 – Periodically assess your life.
Sometimes it’s good to look at where you are relative to where you were and where you want to go. A start would be to go to my website and download, for FREE, the first two chapters of my book Getting From Here to THERE. Check it out, and especially read the table of contents, so that you can decide whether you want to buy the entire book later. Also, download my FREE Year-End Assessment Tool (it can be used throughout the year), then calendar and regularly conduct Weekly and Quarterly Reviews to get clarity. Ask yourself questions like: Which goals did I accomplish? How did I celebrate? Which goals remain and how might I progress on them next week? Which goals, projects, tasks, etc do I need to revise or remove? Etc. Take time to consider your progress, your blocks, your opportunities and threats, and make the necessary adjustments. I do this on Sunday evenings and at the end of each calendar quarter.
Only you can define what “balance” means to you. If you find yourself stuck in your decision-making, a powerful tool on my Resources page is my Directions for Somatic Decision Making which you can download for FREE right [here]. Your body will tell you what works for you because your True Self always knows what is best for you. Remember what you’ve heard me say a thousand times (I say it because I need to hear it too J): you already have all the answers inside of you to live your best life. Your job, our job, is to listen to it!
We all have 168 hours in the week that we get to spend on each of our 7 Life Areas: physical, financial, professional, relational, spiritual, personal, and philanthropical. How we organize our week will often determine our feelings of success or failure in the week, month, years ahead.
Your Action Step for Today
Please be intentional about the planning and execution of your week. Keep mindful of those influences – both positive and negative – that may tease you off-track from your planned balanced life. Share your comments below to inspire others.
One of my missions in life is to move and inspire people to live their highest vision. It is my honor and privilege to serve you in this way. I make it an absolute MUST to inspire each and every one of you to STEP UP and live the life of your dreams, NOW, and not settle for less than you can be, do, have, say or believe.
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