A way to better work-life balance
1. Honestly evaluate your life. Where in your life do you feel in balance? Where do you feel out of balance? Are you putting in too many hours at the hospital? Are you often called away from family events by medical emergencies? Are your kids growing up fast, and you know in your heart you're missing out?
2. Think about what a balanced life would look like—and feel like—for you. Work-life balance is different for everyone, because at the heart of a balanced life is living true to your personal core values. So paint a mental picture of what a balanced life would be like. Include your family members in your brainstorming. Sharing this exercise with them demonstrates your interest in making some changes.Now you're left with the gap: the distance between where you are today and where you want to be. It's time to close that gap. Start with these eight seeds of inspiration from I Just Want My Kids to Be Happy by Aaron Cooper and Eric Keitel (Late August Press, 2008). Cooper and Keitel offer strategies for helping children grow into lives of authentic happiness, and their ideas can lead adults to balanced lives, too. They are:
> Developing a mindset for good mental and physical health.
> Creating a life of meaning and purpose.
> Developing closeness with others.
> Performing acts of loving-kindness.
> Maintaining a sense of gratitude.
> Developing a sense of spirituality.
> Sustaining an optimistic outlook.
> Exploring gratifying pursuits.
Don't overwhelm yourself—pick two of these seeds to plant and nourish in your own life. Before you know it you'll have a bumper crop of balance and authentic happiness.
Dr. Brad Swift is founder of the Life on Purpose Institute and helps professionals through writing, speaking, and coaching.