If you think it’s possible to keep your career and family in perfect balance on a daily basis, toss that belief aside or you’re setting yourself up for failure. Now, some of you are thinking what? What do you mean throw it out – are you saying it is not possible to live a balanced life? No, I am not saying it is not possible to live a balanced life – I am saying you will drive yourself crazy and set yourself up for failure if you believe a daily balance (50/50) is possible each and every day.
I do believe it’s good to have a goal that includes life balance; however I strongly encourage you to stay flexible on this. Reality shows us again and again, that some days, weeks or even months we may need to have a little more focus, attention, resources and yes, this includes time, go to one area of our life or another. Take for instance planning a wedding, or preparing to bring a baby home from the hospital – both of these amazing life events will require a little more time, attention and money leading up to the event and in the case of bringing a newborn home even more time in the weeks and months following.
On the flip side, when planning a conference, sales event or presentation, you may need to put more of your time and talent towards this career project.
The truth is, there are far more than just two components of our life to bring into balance. Aren’t we also looking to include other areas like nutrition, physical fitness, time with friends, time dedicated to our spiritual beliefs, time to give back to our community, time doing what we enjoy (playing or attending sporting events, spa treatments, quiet time to read, etc) and what about our personal growth, don’t you want to continue to learn and grow?
To take a step toward balance and living a fulfilled life, I highly suggest getting clear on what are your personal and professional priorities each week, month and quarter. Then continually re-evaluate these priorities to ensure they are still priorities.
I believe most of us have areas that we continually put last on our list. Often times we put taking care of ourselves at the bottom. We think this a way to avoid being selfish. In actuality, put ourselves last is taking from everyone and everything else in our life.
As flight attendants remind us on each and every flight, tend to your oxygen mask first. This lesson should be applied to your entire life. Without taking care of yourself first, you simply cannot bring the best version of YOU to anyone or anything else you do.
Living a balanced life should not be measured by anyone else’s standards or expectations; it should be gauged by your own personal sense of fulfillment and success at the end of each day.