How to Create a Real Work Life Balance

Having a busy life is the very thing that creates the need to even consider the thought of finding a healthy and balanced life.

The irony is that it is because you are so busy – pulled in multiple directions and wanting to make time for all the things that are important to you – that you are even considering and looking for ways to find that elusive balance. Many of us visualize the idea of balance as having things work well, stress-free, with time for everything… as being perfect. It is this focus on the “ideal” or what we defined as “balance” that can be the setup that hinders all of our best efforts. It is not that you are not making the time, or not giving enough attention to different areas of your life – you might sabotage your efforts by judging your results against an ideal life where things all work perfectly in alignment all the time.

We all have a friend or co-worker who always seems to have it all together. She’s working a full-time job, talking about the new recipe she tried last night, her accessories always seem to match her outfit, while all four of her children are involved in after school activities! She seems to be able to juggle her life and work commitments just perfectly, and that makes us wonder, “What is wrong with me? This is something I personally work on every day in my life, to find that balance and ultimately happiness and fulfillment, even when things are not going the way I think they should.

Perfection comes at a price.

In my experience, it is usually the focus on being “perfect” that causes the disconnection to feeling fulfilled in my life. 

Ask yourself this question: “Am I present to all that I’m doing, or am I trying to be perfect?” This simple question is what can make all the difference in enjoying your own success or feeling like you will never get it right. Being present means being aware and setting realistic expectations. Take your own personal circumstances into consideration and don’t judge yourself against others or some ideal of the way you “think” life should be.

From this place, you can start to look at the areas of your life that may not be getting the attention you want to give, and then you can start to take simple and realistic actions that will start to move you towards your desired outcome.

What a balanced life isn’t

Balance does not mean that things are always equal or consistent. Life is not equal or consistent. Some days may require your attention to be more focused on one area of your life over another. Today you have an important deadline at work that needs your full focus and attention, while tomorrow you may be spending time caring for your child who is home sick from school.

Balance is not about giving equal time to every area of your life but rather the awareness and flexibility to be able to see where your attention is most needed in that moment.

Small changes and actions do matter and can have a big impact on your life. Being present to what is already happening and where you want more balance versus trying to be “perfect” and focusing on what is not working may be the biggest and most effective change you make in order to create the very balance you are looking for.

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Shari Criso

Shari Criso is a Registered Nurse, Certified Nurse Midwife, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and Parenting Educator with over 20 years of experience supporting new parents. Shari also works with the HR departments of large corporations like Aeropostale to help educate their employees through her online educational programs. Connect with Shari.


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