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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The pursuit of work/life balance: evaluating, organizing, and planning our way to a life we love!

The first step in achieving work/life balance is identifying your goals - what is it that you want when you say “balance”? As I’ve mentioned before, much of the balance comes in prioritizing the various aspects of our lives, and therefore finding that balance is an active, purposeful pursuit.

Instead of specific resolutions this year, we defined the core values most important to our family, and my goal is to live those values. Once you come up with the short list, how does that translate into what you want your days to look like? I came up with the idea for this series knowing that I would need a plan to achieve my goal for the year. It's one thing to create an ideal for yourself, to visualize what that ideal might look and feel like, and it's quite another to create a specific plan and execute it. A lot of the "getting there" is organizational - I needed help, and I thought you might be interested in learning along with me!

As part of my research, I met Jackie McKay* of Deliberate Wellness. One tool that Jackie uses with her clients is the Circle of Life. The Circle of Life is a tool developed by the Coaches Training Institute to help evaluate your satisfaction with various aspects of your life. I love that it's simple and flexible!

To try this exercise yourself, draw a circle and divide it into "slices". Assign the sections various titles, whether they be tasks that fill your day, goals you have, etc. Evaluate on a scale of 1 - 10 how satisfied you are with each section. Once you're finished, you might want to go into each section and assign it an ideal value. How big is the gap between reality and your ideal? How balanced are the various sections? Now that you've identified the gaps, you can better address them and begin creating a life that is fulfilling and less stressful.

This is the first in a series of posts this month on getting organized and meeting goals. I imagine it will be a mix of life coaching, organizing and planning, and some handy tools that I find along the way. I'd love to hear some of your challenges in this area, and any tips or solutions you might have! I'll try and incorporate any feedback into the series as we go along.

*Jackie McKay is a results oriented coach for mom entrepreneurs and working moms who are struggling to manage time, increase personal and professsional wealth and create a balance between business and family. She left the corporate world 8 years ago to become an entrepreneur in the wellness industry. She also practices Bowen Therapy, Massage Therapy and teaches Stott Pilates.

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Marva said...

Interesting......thanks for sharing! So glad you are back!


Mel said...

Hmm that is an interesting idea, i wonder if i could do it without stressing about the sections??

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

Awesome, bring on the organization! :)

Mommy2Twinkies-Deb said...

Oh goodness! This is all good stuff. I've been stuck in "budgeting hell" this week, and haven't been proud of my quality time with my twins. But December was all about quality time, so where's the work/life balance!? :-) I think I will do this with out doing the cutting etc. But this works for you I'm sure.

Thanks for this!

Monica said...

You already know how much I love balance. Prioritizing too. You will never live the life you want if you can't figure those out or more importantly, live your life by them!

Jen r. said...

I think balance is so important! It's hard to do though!

Amy said...

Balance is something I am really trying to work on and I am so glad you are getting some coaching to bring that balance back into your life. I am really finding the more simple I make things, the easier they are for me to achieve at the end of the day. Thanks so much for sharing about this!

Kristin DeLoach, Graco said...

Good stuff! I'm looking forward to continuing on with your series- I need all of the help I can get in this department. I'm getting ready to post how I'm currently more in the "work life juggle" mode ;)

Wildwood Mama said...

Great series...looking forward to more!

Courtney from mommie blogs said...

great advice! I am always struggling with the work/life balance!

I am newer to your blog and think its great!