One of the problems I have been hearing a bit about lately is the fact that people are really struggling with life balance. We have got so much going on in our lives nowadays; our days are so full that we struggle to find time to fit everything in. We are working longer hours, working on our businesses until late hours in the night and even weekends. We have no end of distractions coming at us from all angles which provide us with a little bit of enjoyment, but don’t leave us feeling fulfilled. There just doesn’t seem to be enough time to do the things that we want to do in our lives.
There is. The main problem is that we just aren’t focussing on the right things. A lot of the time we don’t focus on the right things is because we can’t find the time to work out what it is we want to do in our lives or what to focus on! But, if we just stop to take the time to set a few goals in certain areas of our lives, we can change the game and bring some life balance back. They don’t have to be big goals… they just have to provide a sense of purpose each week in the different parts of our lives in order to bring some balance back.
There are seven areas in our lives that contribute to life balance. These are;
- Relationships – with your partner, children, family, friends etc...
- Health – your general wellbeing, your fitness levels, your diet etc...
- Wealth – your savings, investments, level of debt
- Hobbies – the things that you do for fun. E.g., surfing, painting, fishing, travelling, relaxing on the beach...
- Self – your self development. For example, reading, courses, keeping your mind active and challenged, improving your confidence etc
- Legacy – how you contribute to others, whether it be being a member of the local surf club, helping out at the school tuckshop, or just helping others in general. We all love to feel like we have done a good deed.
- Career – your work, career ambitions, your business
Think of your life as a wheel on a bike. These seven areas are the spokes on the bike. Now if they are not somewhat in balance, the ride is going to be fairly rough right? This is what happens if we overindulge in some areas at the expense of others...
I have found through talking with quite a few people that it just doesn’t occur to them to actively set goals in these areas. They have said that because they are so busy all the time, that they just don’t realise how quickly the time slips by, and how a couple of weeks will slide by before they realise that they have missed out on their exercise, or that they haven’t done anything meaningful with their kids or partner. But by actively setting some small goals in these areas and scheduling them in to their week in their calendars, it is enough to change things.
Some very simple examples of small goals to bring back life balance in each of the areas...
- Relationships - Set a goal to go on a date with your partner at least once a fortnight, or set a goal to spend some quality time with your kids doing what they want to do at least once a fortnight.
- Health – take a half hour walk straight after dinner. Take the whole family. Summer is coming, the nights are getting warmer!
- Wealth – put 10% of your wage away each week or aim to fill one of those big tin money can’s within a few months. It may not sound like much, but at least you are doing something!
- Hobbies – set a goal to take up your dancing class, or go fishing once a fortnight, or play 9 holes of golf a week, or whatever excites you and is fun for you. You need an outlet!
- Self – set a goal to read a book per month for the next 12 months or sign on to do a course.
- Legacy – put your neighbours bin out, or volunteer to help out at a charity event.
- Career – Contact 5 of your existing database clients just to say hello, or volunteer to run a new project at work!
You get the picture; they don’t have to be big things. Just setting the goal though is not enough to bring life balance... you have to then make decisions on the best way to use your time. Facebook?… or spending time talking to your loved one. Foxtel?... or going out for a walk or a bit of exercise. Lying on the couch?... or going for a kick in the park with your kids. Watching re-runs on telly that you really aren’t interested in, or reading a book? It is all totally up to you, but it is all within you to bring at least some balance back into your lives. Set the goals, then take the actions to add some balance, and improve your life. Bring back some of the fulfilment.
Have an outstanding week!