The desire for balance is one of the most common topics brought up in coaching sessions, particularly for/by my female clients. As a former Joyologist (OM + EA + people opps + event planner extraordinaire) myself, I understand what it means to wear a number of hats at any given time. I also understand how the demands of this work often empty the ol’ energy tank rather quickly, as caring for an office full of people in any capacity can leave a person zapped of the necessary fuel to meaningfully tend to their personal lives.
Through hours of coaching I have learned very clearly: Without accountability, there can be no balance. And without balance, reaching our goals becomes far less enjoyable work.
A bit of food for thought…..
Don’t be ashamed to use the tools you need. There is no script to what we “should” be utilizing, or what we “should” be capable of on our own. Clients will sometimes express their embarrassment over the tricks they’ve implemented to aid them with accountability, but I love even the most MacGyver’d strategies. “If I don’t tape a note to the door, I will never remember to bring my gym sneakers to work, and it makes bailing on the gym way easier.” One client wanted so badly to make flossing a habitual part of her larger self care routine, she ended up buying a cool piece of art to hang in her bathroom that simply said “Floss!” in beautiful writing. Set calendar reminders. Pay in advance for things with no refunds, or cancellation fees. Loop in friends who have similar goals, or who just generally want you to succeed in your own. Speaking of….
Find your tribe. As the African Proverb tells us, if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together. While we would never (hopefully) think it was OK to bail on a meeting with our supervisor, it often seems difficult to commit to our own goals with the same non-negotiable attitude. This is where other people come in handy. Even just a single partner in crime can make a world of a difference. As I found myself struggling to keep up with my gratitude journaling, a practice I knew was paramount to holding a positive, more balanced daily perspective, I was recruited by a dear friend and fellow coach to help her with the same. Each day for the past year and a half we have exchanged gratitude emails; we’ve reminded, encouraged, and held space for the other. This practice has been life changing, and so much more fun to do with a person I deeply care for. As dear ol’ Jacky J sings, it’s always better when we’re together.
Define your why, then hold it close. Let’s spitball this a little: Yes, we want to work out to feel healthy & strong. But why, exactly? Go deeper. What is the value behind feeling strong in our bodies? Perhaps because feeling this way makes us better mothers or partners, friends or teammates. Yes, we want to keep a travel blog to share our adventures. But why? You might be surprised to find it’s more about meaningful connection than anything else. The point is this: short term “why” has its place, but soulful, going-the-distance “why” find its strength in partnership with our core values. This is where the real magic happens.
Commit to progress over perfection. Balance is a constant act of practice, not a permanent destination we arrive at. As our lives continue to shift, so will our definitions of balance, and so will our goals. What needs a little TLC on Monday will differ from what feels lacking on Friday. Truthfully, we won’t always get it right. And that’s OK! The important part is realizing that these are our precious lives, and we are worthy of the efforts to make the most of them.
Do Good, Be Well,