In this section of the book Time To Get Real! you will learn that life is spent in the minutes, hours, and days that are yours. How do you spend that time, and where do you spend that time? Does the way you spend your life seem to mirror your interests, joy, values, and relationships? If not, why not?
Life balance means something different to every individual and it is important that you determine what balance appropriately supports your mission, values, and goals. Healthy individuals have multiple sources of satisfaction. Are you regularly engaging in a variety of activities that bring you satisfaction? This is another opportunity to evaluate what is important to spend time on and what activities you need to diminish in your life.
Having a balanced life doesn’t happen by accident. It requires an intentional approach toward one’s life, aimed at achieving a comfort level that an individual desires in all areas that matter to them. It’s next to impossible to move immediately from being a workaholic to having a well-balanced life. Moving in a positive direction is a step-by-step process. It requires personal commitment.
For example, Ken explained that his job required 12 -14 hour days to get the work done. Over time, he committed to a work reduction of one hour at a time until he reached the point where he, his employer, and his co-workers understood how much he was willing to invest in his job and what he needed outside of work to be a happy and healthy individual.
Life balance needs to be seen holistically and integrated with all aspects of your life and not as a pure balancing of your time, effort and attention. You’ll need to think about those areas of your life where time spent has to be reduced or eliminated and those areas where it has to be increased. You’ll have to think about to whom you will need to talk--your boss, your spouse or your significant other, a friend--and you will need to think about taking action steps that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-sensitive toward the vision you want.
We know that what may appear to be the most intractable challenges to having a more balanced life can be met head on and overcome. We have seen this in the people we coach and advise. The solution always appears to be that the challenge has to be named and accepted, and then one has to have the courage to take those first steps leading to incremental, positive change.
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