Do you have enough balance in your life?

A healthy life is balanced life. For many of us, balancing our physical fitness with personal well being is our number one resolution for 2010.

Most of us make investments of time & energy in a number of "boxes"--  or important areas --in our lives.  Usually there are 4 "boxes":  our work, our family, our community and ourselves.  The work box  includes time and energy spend in paid or unpaid work -- our job.  The family box is time and energy spent with immediate family members, extended family and close friends.  Another box holds all the time and energy we put into community activities such as volunteering, supporting and participating in community events.  And last, but not least, there is a box for time and energy doing something just for ourselves.  These are things we like to do -- leisure time, exercise and hobbies.

We can run into problems, and feel out of balance, when we put too much our energy, hopes and rewards into just one "box" -- at the expense of the  other important areas of our lives.   If we lose our job, it can be devastating if we don't have the support of family and friends -- or if we don't feel connected  in a meaningful way  to our neighbours and community. Many of us find ourselves running around taking care of others rather than ourselves.  Instead of making time to go to the gym, we're juggling taking care of aging parents and young children.

Last month I met with a new client who started our first coaching session with:  "I'm juggling too much".  She was an independent computer software professional.  The past year had been exhausting while she focused on growing her business.   She had resigned from a couple of volunteer boards and not renewed her gym membership.  And she couldn't remember the last time she had spent time with friends or sat down with a good book.

She knew that she was having trouble managing competing priorities --both on and off the job. She hoped that coaching might help her find a better balance for 2010.  We started talking about the 4 "boxes" of her current life.  Then we looked at the disproportional amount of time and energy she was putting into her current work "box". It was an eye opener for her when she realized how much she had been neglecting the other meaningful areas of her life:  her family and friends, her community and herself.  We looked at these other important "boxes"-- and at specific changes she could make to achieve a better sense of balance. 

She decided to focus on herself -- and began to set realistic expectations for herself and for her business.  Despite  the recession, her client list was growing --and she was trying to do everything herself.  We talked about possible ways for her to free up some time. One of the first things she resolved  to do was hire a virtual assistant.  She  knew she needed to focus on business planning rather than administrative details. She also wanted to schedule time to work out at the gym rather than updating her client  database.  Not surprisingly, It was hard for her to give up control and delegate. During the first couple of weeks, it was her assistant who reminded her that she had booked a spinning class for early Monday morning -- and while she was at the gym, her assistant would return phone calls and confirm details for next week's client presentation.

For more tips on finding the right balance for you...


© Martha Dove and Associates