Keeping it Fresh and Flexible
As with any plan, your plan for work/life balance must be kept fresh and flexible. Be sure you allow for contingencies and guard against backsliding.
Old habits die-hard and you may find yourself in need of a refresher to stay on track.
Look at your plan often and keep talking about it with your friends and family and co-workers. The more you reinforce its important to yourself and others, the less chance you will fall back into your old ways.
Remember that nothing ever goes just as planned, so be ready for the unexpected and don’t let it get you down.
If your plan did not include a contingency for a particular event, just sit down and look over the plan again and make room for some new ideas to address the problem you face.
Don’t be discouraged if you hit a snag.
“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life”~ Fr. Alfred D'Souza ~
Remember that it will take awhile for the world to catch up to you and while many companies and people may not understand the need for balance, the fact that you do, may save your life and your relationships.
If those around you fail to recognize the importance of your efforts and scoff at your taking a lower paying job or choosing to stay home with a sick child, remain secure in the knowledge that you are running a marathon, not a sprint and that in the end, you will finish the race well!
You may be breaking new ground. You may be a role model. And, that position is not always easy. Pioneers have hard work to do, but they ARE the first to see the beauty of the new horizon.
So, stick to your plan! You will get better at this as your old habits die. Remember to exercise self-discipline and have the courage of your convictions.
Remember to pay attention to the important things and keep things in perspective.
Don’t spin your wheels or expend too much energy on the things you can’t change or the things you don’t feel are important.
Just because someone else tells you it is important, doesn’t mean you have to believe them.
Keep the plan and the perspective fresh and if one thing doesn’t work, try another. It is your commitment to the change that is important.
And if you find another way to get there, that is just fine!
It may not turn out exactly as you expected, but your focus on the goal of balance is the important thing! Without that focus, you can’t change anything!
Don’t be afraid to get advice from others you trust if you get stuck on the path. You don’t have to do this alone.
“Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars” ~ Henry Van Dyke
We’ve covered a lot of ground in a very short period of time, and you may want to review this information again to make sure you’ve got it all.
The concepts are simple, and although you may find yourself wondering if all of them relate to work/life balance, you will find answers as you implement the steps we’ve outlined here.
Each of these steps is designed to address a different part of the problem.
Having enough time and focus to appreciate your life outside of work is one thing.
Having the mental, emotional and physical stamina to do it all is another.
Understanding how to keep your life in balance, and what the factors involved in a long-term commitment, is also important.
If you can’t manage your time, you will never have enough of it, no matter how few hours you work in a week.
Taking a step back to look at how you got to where you are and what issues you’ll need to resolve to backtrack – that’s important too.
Think of this as a primer, of sorts. Of course, the particulars are yours to figure out and your specific issues are different than the issues your neighbor will face, but there are many common factors.
As we said at the beginning of this discussion, you’ll need a plan. So, let’s review some of the key components.
Make the plan and move forward!
Abraham A L
3rd June 2016
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Take control of your life - Part 9