Setting Goals for Work-Life Balance

Posted Jul 13th, 2015 in Sustainability

work-life-balance-laura-dunkley-blogStress in the workplace is one of the most researched topics today and we should all have a balance between work and life. However, for most people, such as myself, reaching the goal of a work-life balance is a challenge.

I confess that I know the importance of living a balanced life between work and play but continue to struggle to reach a satisfactory work-life balance. After spending the last few years writing on the topic of health, wellness, and sustainability you learn a few things.  However, it is one thing to know it, and another to live it. 
As a consultant, I do most of my work independently.  There is no office policy, or ergonomic office design, or employee wellness programs to encourage a healthy workplace.  I must alone advocate and structure my personal work-life-balance on a daily basis.

Is enjoying your work a challenge?  Or a benefit?

Loving your work is wonderful, you say?  Yes, but all work can still cause stress (mental & physical), limit your ability to grow your business, and be counter-productive.  I know there are many studies on this, but speaking from experience, I know it to be true for life. 

•  Step 1  - Confess - yes, we all need to be accountable to someone.

•  Step 2 -  Identify what needs to change to give the greatest impact

•  Step 3  - Set an achievable (and measurable) goal

•  Step 3 - What are the barriers?

•  Step 4 - Make a plan

It is better to implement one positive change, create a life-long habit of wellbeing, rather than try many things that fail to last.

[bctt tweet="Create a life-long habit of well-being, one change at a time"]

Problem #1 - I need more exercise! 

I’m sure many of you share my struggle with work and personal tasks requiring time at the computer.   Then there is the time it takes to drive to meetings.  Count all that up, and I am sitting way too much.    This is how it is going to change

Goal:  Sit 50% of the time on the exercise ball while at my desk

I always switched back and forth between my desk chair and my exercise ball.   What is different now is that the ball is in another room; out of sight and out of mind.  The ball is coming back!  And I will again split the time at my desk with my chair and my exercise ball. 

Goal:  Put a schedule of bike & run times on my calendar.  Minimum 3x per week.

That doesn’t mean I won’t get out more than three times a week; it is just that I will schedule those times to make sure I get out at least three times.  It is not only for my physical health that I need to do this.  Some of my best ideas come when I am pounding the pavement or out for a spin. 

Problem #2 - I need more fun!

A friend reminded me that I need to lighten up a little, get out and have fun!  Yes, it takes those wonderful people in your life to sometimes give you a clear perspective.  To remind us that we can get caught up in the ‘doing', or the busyness of life, and forget to take a break to smell the roses.  After that, I had to sit back and think about what was fun.  To me, fun is about spending time with family and friends, giving back to my community, traveling, music, and the list goes on. 

Goal:  Commit to looking for opportunities of fun every single day.  Then journal the moments.

I truly believe that these special moments are not always the big events, but the everyday moments.  It is about giving myself permission to take the time just to enjoy life. 

It is all about a balance that works for me.  We all have obligations, but it is important to make the time for our health, for our loved ones, for our community, and for our environment.  As a workaholic, I confess that I have a lot of 'work' to do to keep that balance.  By setting clear goals, coupled with reminders from friends and family, I believe anything is possible.

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The Friend who reminded me to live a little?  That would be my photographer friend Bob Hatcher.  It is friends like Bob that we all need to make us accountable and feel supported.  Thanks Bob!

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