I hear tremendous talk about balancing work and home life, so I thought a good way to start the New Year would be to brainstorm a few life balance ideas:

  1. You have one life: As my consulting mentor (Alan Weiss) says, you have one life. There is no reason you have to keep your work life and your home life completely separate. If it will be better for you if you make a work call from vacation and therefore can take additional vacations, why not? Or, if you leave work early to attend your son’s soccer game and work an hour on the weekend on a project you need to finish, why not?
  2. Plan a vacation: Since life doesn’t stop, there will never be a perfect time. So, just plan one and enjoy it. Look around you – see things you haven’t seen before. Enjoy the simple pleasures.
  3. Give yourself rewards: Who says you have to achieve a huge milestone (such as a promotion) to reward yourself? As you achieve small victories (even getting a small yet undesirable task complete), reward yourself – get a Starbucks coffee, play with your dog or cat, or whatever.
  4. Give to others: Take the time to find a way to give to others, and it will enrich your life. There are many ways to give. Find one that appeals to you. Perhaps volunteer to teach a class, work with underprivileged children, or just smile at an overworked service provider and find something positive to comment on (a friend of mine does this continually and often makes people’s days!)
  5. Take care of yourself: exercise, eat healthy and remember preventative care. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming; for example, walk the long route instead of taking the shortcut, replace part of your diet with something slightly healthier (but don’t give up everything – it will be extremely hard to last!), and miss a non-important meeting and go to your dentist appointment instead.