6 Tips for Achieving a Healthy Balance In Your Life

A happy and stress-free life is all about balance. Focus on nothing but your career and climbing the corporate ladder, and you miss out on incredible, once-in-a-lifetime moments with your loved ones. Of course, the opposite is true as well. If you neglect your career and spend every waking moment concerned about your family and loved ones, you will end up underachieving on the job, and your family will pay the price in the long run. 

You’ve probably heard the stories from more than one regretful senior citizen. Thinking it was the best thing for their family, aggressively sinking all their time and effort into their career so they can make more and more money. Over the decades they miss their child’s first steps, graduations, birthdays and anniversaries, and important “firsts” which cannot be relived. They were successful in their job, providing wealth and stability for the family. However, they were never really part of the family, just that absentee parent and grandparent that paid all the bills. 

On the other hand, you could invest all of your energy on spending time with your friends and family members. You use your sick days and personal time at work for ball games, birthdays and other celebrations. You are never really “present” on the job, so long after you should have been promoted several times, you are still at an entry-level position. Your family suffers mightily where finances and stability are concerned, and your children grow up believing living a stressful payday to payday existence is acceptable. 

If you are seeking a healthy balance in your life in regards to your career and your personal relationships, consider this. The word balance is defined as:


“Balance – noun – an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.”


To keep your personal and career lives in balance, keeping every aspect of your life “upright and steady”, practice the following 6 tips.


1 – Review Constantly


At work you have performance reviews. Every 30 days, 90 days, semiannually or every year, your supervisor discusses your past performance with you. This is usually a back-and-forth conversation, where each of you can objectively review your work effort. A very important part of business performance reviews is planning for the future, in order to correct problematic behavior and accidental mistakes, and to keep you on the right path for advancement in the company. 

Unfortunately, performance reviews in interpersonal relationships don’t happen on a specific schedule. Just as unfortunate is the fact that you will receive criticism and critiques from everyone in your life, whether that person should be a force of influence in planning your behaviour and actions or not. To correct this, sit down with your loved ones on a regular basis. Review the relationships you have with your friends and family members. 

Don’t look at your life through rose-coloured glasses. Be honest with yourself. Give, and accept, healthy criticism from the people in your personal life that mean the most to you. Successful relationships are hard work. They take dedication and effort. Review your personal relationships regularly, take action to correct past mistakes, and lay the groundwork for healthy relationships in the future.


2 – Give Yourself a Reward for Working Hard


Money is a necessity in life. You must have money to keep a roof over your head, to pay necessary bills, and to feed your family. That is the reason why the majority of people work. If all of your bills could be taken care of, and you and your family could live comfortably without you working, wouldn’t that be great? In other words, people take on jobs and try to advance in their careers so that they can finance a personal life that is attractive to them. 

This usually means working hard. However, you can easily suffer “burnout” if you overwork yourself. To keep this from happening, and to keep your personal and career lives balanced, plan down-time in your schedule. Write down weekly, monthly and annual personal-life rewards that you can look forward to. 

It is a lot easier to bust your butt at work if you see on your calendar at home that you and your family will be enjoying a week-long holiday next month. This gives you something to look forward to and performs as an incentive to keep you on the correct career path, so you can enjoy personal rewards.


3 – Remove Yourself from the Emotional Vampires in Your Life


One of the hardest things to do in your personal life is to distance yourself from a friend or family member. However, this is sometimes exactly what you must do to create a stable and balanced career/personal life. You may have a friend who constantly brings you down. They always have drama in their life. It seems like they can’t exist unless they are sapping your mental and emotional energy. 

Sound familiar? 

Start spending less time with this person. Your love for them never needs to wane. However, you are doing them a disservice by enabling this behaviour. You are also creating stress which affects both your job and personal life performances. Instead of interacting with this person on a daily or weekly basis, spend some quality time with them once or twice a month. This will make you appreciate their company more than you currently do, and may help them understand that their behaviour needs an adjustment as well.


4 – Exercise


Physical activity leads to improved mental functioning as well as physical health. On the physical side of the equation, a strong, healthy body gives you lots of energy. Whether playing with the grand-kids or working long hours at your job, regular exercise will pay off. With a busy work or personal schedule, this means planning ahead. 

You should always prioritise those things that are important, and since exercise leads to a healthier mind and body, make sure that you schedule it regularly. A fit body also leads to a reduced chance of contracting debilitating chronic disease and infection, which helps you in every aspect of your life.


5 – Schedule Relaxing Mini-Breaks


Learn to meditate for 5 or 10 minutes at a time. Spend that same amount of time taking a walk around your house, or outside of your work environment. The key here is to remember that a little relaxation goes a long way towards balance and peace of mind in every aspect of your life. Several times a day you should “check out” mentally and physically. 

Sometimes, we become so focused on what we are doing we can’t see the forest for the trees. Plan several 5, 10 or 15 minute breaks throughout your day. If you are at work, take this time to call a loved one. On the weekend, when you are spending all of your time with friends and family members, take a few minutes to spend by yourself. These mini-breaks allow you to look at all aspects of your life in an objective manner, and you will sometimes spot opportunities for balancing an out-of-proportion life/career situation.


6 – Plan Short-Term, Mid-term and Long-Term Goals


You would never think about taking a trip without mapping out your journey ahead of time. This is important in your personal and business lives as well. Set your priorities, writing down specific goals you want to achieve in your personal and career relationships. These should be short-term (30, 90 and 180 day) goals, as well as mid-term (1, 3 and 5 year) and long-term (10, 20, 30 year) targets as well.


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