Can We Really Have It All?
Six Foundational Strategies to Achieving Life Balance
June 2013 Insights
Looks like last month’s post struck a cord with a number of you! It seems many women share the feeling that they are chasing their tails in pursuit to “having it all”. Most women agree, balance is one of the greatest goals in their lives but it appears to be as elusive as it is desirable. However, it doesn’t have to be that way, as I shared in last month’s insights, it really just boils down to three main elements. First, and foremost is understanding and respecting each and every important aspect in your life (addressed last month). Second, is obtaining the right tools and strategies to navigate those aspects in your life and third is having the personal/emotional buy-in to succeed in them. In this month’s Keys to Success Insights I will share six common strategies that all women need to consider in order to enhance greater life balance.
Before sharing these strategies, it’s important to note, that naturally each woman’s journey towards a more balanced life will vary depending on what aspects in their lives are most important to them. So, of course, depending on those aspects, more personal strategies may be needed to acquire and maintain them. However, the following six are foundational for anyone looking to create more balance in their life regardless of gender, age or ethnicity.
- Prioritizing- Concentrate your time and energy on YOUR priorities no one else’s. This is where the Wheel of Life exercise I shared with you last month comes in handy. You might put your family and friends at the top of your priorities, but how much time do you really spend with them? Are other aspects of your life taking priority over the things you really value? Figure out where you’d like to dedicate the majority of your time and see if you can come up with ways to match your ambitions with your reality.
- Organization- Create a structured plan to each day rather than winging it. Plan ahead and anticipate everything you need to consider in order to attend to those aspects of your life you want to include. Have a daily/weekly/monthly schedule and stick to it. Don’t allow tempting distractions to divert you from your agenda. Consider contingency plans should the need arise so that you hold true to aspiring towards each and every aspect of your life that is important to you.
- Flexibility- Accept that needs will pop up that require your readjustment and perhaps new choices. Forgive yourself when things don’t get done. Stop striving for perfection and allow for more reasonable standards.
- Simplification- Stop over-scheduling and over-committing. Begin eliminating things from your life that really aren’t in alignment with those aspects of your life that are truly important to you. Be willing to say “no” to those things that don’t support your life objectives.
- Intentionality- It is a rare occurrence in life when things naturally fall into balance. For most, achieving balance is a conscious act, motivated by a desire to give importance to multiple aspects of their lives. Be intentional about creating balance, don’t put it off to a possibly unlikely future time when you think it will be easier to master.
- Introspection- Find time to reflect and check-in with yourself to assess daily whether or not you are truly honoring the most important aspects of your life. Self-evaluate your actions to see if they are leading you more towards a balanced lifestyle.
Now I realize that many of you have likely come across the above six strategies in some shape or form before, possibly in various magazines or other self-help related readings. I understand these strategies are not new to most. But what I can suggest that is different and new to many is the Values Clarification exercise I shared back in December’s newsletter as well as in most of my workshops I have presented within the past year (if you are unable to re-locate this exercise or access it through my website, please email me and I will send you a PDF so you can download it anytime).
Just to quickly refresh your memory, the Values Clarification exercise is an extremely valuable coaching tool I use with most if not all of my clients. It is the cornerstone of most of my work because it helps guide women in making both big and small decisions so that their priorities are always in alignment with what is truly important to them. The value in doing this exercise will provide you the knowledge base you need so that you will better be able to put the above six foundational strategies into place.
Achieving an integrated, balance life is a continuous process. In next month’s newsletter I will share the third and final element to “having it all”, the necessity to being personally and emotionally “bought in” to your life objectives in order to enhance a level of engagement that maximizes motivation and actualization of your ambitions.
In the meanwhile, if you haven’t done so already take some time to do the Values Clarification exercise and try implementing one or two strategies I suggested above in your weekly plans. Should you desire assistance with the Values Clarification exercise contact me for a complimentary session and I will gladly session with you to fine tune your value hierarchy. I assure you the knowledge you glean from it will lead you on a path to greater success!