You've heard the term, work/life balance for years, if not decades. Research suggested (and maintains) today that we need balance in order to stay healthy, prevent burnout, increase our sense of belonging in society and improve our overall life satisfaction.
In other words, we're talking about increasing our overall well-being.
I most definitely agree with this notion of balance and all the other labels like harmony, integration, and flexibility thrown around these days.
But, after reading tons of books, applying recommendations to my own life, and currently helping people struggling to "balance" work and life. as a coach and consultant, frankly, I rarely find myself using the word balance, nor striving for it in my own life.
But, there is one piece of advice I received a few years ago that has stuck with me. Like. No. Other.
An amazing tool I use daily when considering committing to something. I ask myself:
"Does it sound like fun?"
I know, it sounds way too simple. But honestly, it works, because it helps prioritize what's most important to you.
It will require some (sometimes) challenging mindset shifts, mainly being the ability to say "no" to a lot. But with time, your life will be so much easier to manage, I can't even start to explain how liberating it is.
To help you with the shift, below are the top 5 steps I encourage my clients to follow in order to improve their well-being, by saying yes to FUN:
- Put an end to the "should's"
- Many of us are living life making decisions based on what we "should" do vs. what we actually want to do. Start to notice how often you say that word (out loud or in your head). Try to reduce it by 1 time each week. Start small.
- Accept that you are multi-faceted (aka, a beautiful gem:))
- You need a combination of things going on in your life to feel your best. At a high level, these include: strong relationships, a fulfilling career or purpose, regular physical activity and a spiritual connection to something greater than yourself.
- In other words, you are multi-faceted, with many interests and dreams. You most likely will want to pursue a variety of them throughout you life - that makes you unique and interesting, if you embrace it.
- Drop the guilt
- Imagine a life without the guilt of saying yes to something while feeling like you're neglecting someone/something else. It doesn't have to be that way. Acknowledge that the guilt is an energy suck! The energy you gain from releasing the feelings of guilt can be used towards enhancing each area of your life!
- No actually means yes!
- When you are debating saying no to something, ask yourself what you are saying yes to. For instance, if you and your partner are about to watch another episode on Netflix, (that will likely turn into 2 or 3 more:)) and haven't spent much time together this week, but you are really tired, and you know you want to wake up in the morning to workout because that will make tomorrow a much better day, focus on the positive. You're saying yes to YOU! Your well-being! Which extends far beyond you, to all the people you connect with each day (including the QT you will get to spend with your partner tomorrow).
- You are unique and different than your coworkers/partner/parents/etc...
- No one representation of well-being resonates with everyone, nor will it work for everyone.
- You need to define what's most important to you, and continue checking in with yourself.
- Journaling, breathing/pausing, listening to calming music, and finding some peace and quiet for at least 5-10 minutes a day can help you stay tethered to things that are most important!
Look, you are a busy person. You have more responsibility, accessibility & technology than ever before! And you are human. Your needs/wants/priorities can feel like they are changing daily. Give yourself a break. Space. To. Breathe. Try one of these things, not all of them. I know, it can feel like a lot. Commit to you.
Need help igniting the fun and adventure in your life again? Please reach out to schedule a complimentary clarity session.