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.