We often hear talks about work-life balance. But why do we compile our entire life outside of work into this one category called life? Isn’t it more complex than that?
I believe that there are 10 main areas of our life that we all have to address if we want to have a balanced life. In this post we will talk about what they are and over the next few weeks we will dive into each of those areas in more detail.
YOUR Life Balance
So let’s unpack today’s topic of life balance. First, let me clarify that when I say life balance I don’t mean that you should dedicate the same amount of time and effort to each of the areas of your life.
You are the one who will decide which areas are the priority for you in the stage of life you are in. Because not only do we have different personalities and lifestyles, but we also have different desires for our life.
Life balance is a personal thing so you need to create your own version – one that makes you feel fulfilled and happy.
Saying that, you need to be aware of all those life areas and make sure that you do not ignore them. Some of them might not be a priority for you right now. But if we completely disregard them, they will start negatively affecting our lives and the areas of our lives that are a priority.
I classified them into 10 categories:
Health, Fitness, Family, Household, Spiritual, Personal Growth, Career, Side Business or Hobby, Financial, and Community.
So let me give you a brief description of what goes into each of them and then I will give you two examples to help you see how they are all interconnected.
You can also download the Life Balance Goal Planner and Tracker – it is completely free and it has the information outlined ang helps you set specific goals for each area of your life.
Let’s Dive In
Health life area will be things like making sure that we get regular check-ups, eating a balanced diet, drinking water, our mental health, and self care.
And as you can see just by me saying what goes into the health category, you can see how many different options there are. Eating a balanced diet will mean different things to different people. For some of us it will be a vegetarian diet, for other it will mean mediterreanina diet.
There is no right or wrong. We just have to find one that works best for us and our bodies. This is why the overall life balance will also look differently for all of us.
Fitness life area will be ensuring that you move your body. This will include regular exercise but also making sure that you stretch throughout the day when you have a job that requires you to sit by your desk all day. It might also be ensuring that you do some physical activities with the kids to start teaching them those healthy habits early.
Family life area is basically making sure that you are spending quality time with your family. This can include things like movie nights, date nights with your spouse, or family dinners a few times a week.
Household life area can be described as household management. Think of organization projects and household systems and routines.
Spiritual life area is for your spiritual health. This can include things like your relationship with God, gratitude journal, meditation, and reading the Bible.
The life area of personal growth will include vision board, journaling, attending personal development conferences, and reading personal growth books.
Career life area is for your work. It will have things like learning new professional skills, mentoring, career advancement, and change of careers.
Side Business / Hobby life area is where you ensure you spend some time on the activities that you are passionate about. Side business part will of course include things that will allow you to develop new products or services, attending business conferences, and/or content creation. And oftentimes are hobbies turn into side businesses.
Financial life area is all about our budgets, savings and retirements plans, donations, and financial priorities.
Lastly, community life area is where cultivate friendships, participate in community events,and do volunteer work.
HOW IT ALL FITS TOGETHER
Like I said at the beginning, life balance is a personal thing. What will work for you might not work for me. But we have to make sure that we address each of those life areas. Those areas that are not your priorities also need your attention – even if it is minimal. Because if you choose to ignore those areas, after a while they will start to have a negative effect on everything else.
Iimagine that you have started a side business that you are very passionate about. You take all the training you can find to learn the business side of things. You attend all kinds of networking events to make connections with people in your industry and potential customers. And you invest money in the best quality software and development of your branding.
Now they all sounds like great things for your business. However, if you don’t look at the financial life area you might be in trouble. If you did not sit down to decide upfront how much money you have to dedicate for the initial investment you will likely overspend. Similarly, if you are not carefully tracking your expenses you will not know how much money you are spending. And you might find yourself under a lot of stress if you end up with a lot of credit card debt and business that has yet to make any money.
RELATED: How to Overcome Mom Guilt
The second example is probably something that we can all relate to. Lets say your priorities for a given period are family, personal growth, and career. And the area that is getting the most neglected is health. You don’t really pay attention to what you are consuming and you don’t practice self-care.
How long do you think this will last before you will start seeing the negative effects? When will you start noticing that your energy levels are decreasing and you need more and more coffee each day to get to the evening? How long before you notice that you are not as productive and creative at work? Probably not that long.
RELATED: How to Achieve Your Dreams
Importance of Addressing All Life Areas
These two exampels illustrate what I mean when I say that everything is connected. And that each area of your life needs to be addressed so you at least have a baseline.
Will you be able to do everything you want in each of them right away? Absolutely not.
You simply cannot be the mom who cooks from scratch every single meal, a mom who is a president in your kids’ PTO and leads all the events, a mom who runs a very profitable side business without a team to support your activities, a mom who trains for a marathon, a mom how is working on their promotion at work by leading a high profile project, and a mom who drives her kids to all of the after school activities, cleans her house by herself, and has a very active role in her church!
Unless you are a robot that is not feasible!
So let’s start creating life balance that works for YOU. Evaluate your life areas and address what is not working for you.
Which life area do you tend to put on the back burner most frequently?