Below are some steps to help you on your journey toward greater life balance. It’s a process, so be patient with yourself.
1. Identify Your Values.
Begin your balance journey by figuring out what your values and priorities are. Yeah, I know…feels like everything is a priority. Yet too often, our time and energy are spent on things that we don’t really care about.
Once you’re clear about your values and priorities you can begin saying “no” to those things that move you further away from your values and priorities and ”yes” to those things that are in alignment with your values. You can begin to structure your life in a way that supports the personal and professional goals you want to accomplish. Determining the goals you want to accomplish and the quality of life you want to live, will help guide you toward figuring out what balance looks life for you. (For a "Values Exploration" worksheet, please send an e-mail to Info@insitecoach.com)
2. Identify your balance “blockers.”
Balance blockers are those things that we either think or do that stands in the way of achieving balance. It’s basically a perspective we hold about why we can’t pursue balance-related goals. Some examples of blockers are:
- Living for the expectations of others
- Consistently putting the needs of others before your own
- Fear of change
- Hung up on appearances
Once you identify your blockers, pay attention to when you use them as excuses about why you can’t achieve balance in your life. Explore ways to accomplish your balance goals in spite of your particular balance blockers.
3. Create “non-negotiable” time blocks in your schedule at least 2 times per week.
Non-negotiable time is personal time that you set aside for yourself that you absolutely cannot and will not reschedule, cancel, postpone…its simply non-negotiable. Devote at least 30 minutes…preferably more, to these time blocks. Write the non-negotiables in your Palm or Day Planner as you would for any other appointment. You can use the time for anything NON-work related. Go workout, get a massage, take yourself to the park…or do nothing! Just pick something that you’ll enjoy.
It may feel strange at first but commit to do this for at least 6 weeks…and guess what? You’ll get the hang of it.
4. Balance your mind.
The key to balance is all in your head. Begin to think differently! So many of my coaching clients feel guilty about working to achieve life balance, OR they feel like taking time out for themselves, away from work, is an unproductive use of time. I’ll tell you what I tell them, "GET OVER IT!"
Most times, we treat our cars better than we treat ourselves. I mean, what’s the first thing we do when we notice our car is low on gas? We fill our tanks! Well, living a more balanced life is about filling your tank. Those initially cynical clients of mine, who reluctantly committed to living a more balanced lifestyle, now report that they are more relaxed, have more time for themselves and haven’t sacrificed their jobs or their level of professionalism in the process!
5. Create a Vision.
Having a vision of what you want to accomplish is a powerful tool to help you achieve any goal. Successful individuals like Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods, and others, have used visualization to guide them toward achieving their goals. Write down your vision of a more balanced and fulfilling life style. In creating your vision, consider:
If your life were more balanced than it is today…
- What would you have time to do?
- What would you no longer do?
- How would your career improve?
- What impact would a more balanced life have on your relationships
- What impact would a more balanced life have on your quality of life?
6. Consider hiring a Professional Coach.
When you’re trying to achieve a more balanced life, and everyone around you is being rewarded for working round the clock, it is tough to stay focused. The truth is, making change that will affect you personally and professionally can be challenging…even when the change will be positive. This is primarily because familiar patterns are hard to break.
The bottom line is that lawyers need someone to talk to. Not a partner in the firm, a significant other, colleague or friend, but someone whose only job is to help you plan your career, manage your life, and set goals to keep you on track. That is the job of a Professional Coach. For more about coaching, click here: Coaching Services.
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