How to Create a Healthy Work/Life Balance
When I am coaching clients in the corporate world, I often come across a common complaint: “I have lots of good intentions, but I just can’t seem to find the time to create a better work/life balance”.
Unfortunately, this is a result of working in a fast paced career environment. We know we need to eat healthily, exercise and reduce stress levels, but it won’t happen without some planning.
Here is the first part of a series of tips on how to manage your time effectively, so you can lead a healthier lifestyle and still have energy for fun without burning out.
1) Decide what you want
People often speak of things being out of balance but don’t often take the time to understand what balance means for them. Set aside time to make a plan of what a good week looks like including work hours, time for exercise / activity, healthy eating, family time, sleep and socialising.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when putting your plan together:
How do you want your life to look?
Who is important to you?
Which activities do you enjoy?
If you thrive on adrenaline and need exciting hobbies to energise you, make sure you put that in your plan. If you prefer a more relaxed approach, make it a priority. The more focused you are on achieving high priority items on the list, the happier you will be with your choices.
If something is low on your list, you may need to consider eliminating it all together. When you focus on the goals you really want to achieve, you will feel a greater sense of accomplishment and you’ll enjoy life more.
2) Take instant action
Highlight one area of your plan and take action today to making your desired balance a reality. This could be taking some exercise today, eating differently, drinking more water or taking a time out. Just do something positive for yourself today.
You may find it helpful to use an online planner to keep track of your goals, or if you are a visual person, you could invest in a small dry wipe board to hang above your desk or in your kitchen.
It’s far better to take baby steps with new goals, than to be over ambitious and abandon the whole plan because it’s overwhelming. The goal is not to over schedule yourself, but to lay a clear path to living the life you really want.
Once you start to make small changes, these will build up over time and before you know it, you will have more control over what you do with your time, and it will give you a sense of satisfaction.
3) Set aside time to review your plan regularly
The more often you engage with your plan and take action towards your ideal situation, the quicker you’ll find that you experience a sense of balance.
It’s all too easy to ‘fall off the wagon’ or ditch the new healthy eating regime when temptation strikes, but if you consult your plan on a daily or weekly basis, you can keep track of your progress and make changes to suit you.
Don’t feel discouraged if you stumble along the way. Changing a lifetime of bad habits is not easy, and you can always start over again, or tweak your plan to reach more realistic goals.