The Executive Woman’s Guide to Work-Life Balance
What’s a chiropractor know about executive womens’ work-life balance? Working hands-on with business executives in my downtown clinic for over 20 years should give me some credibility to discuss work-life balance. I’ve personally worked with many women and men executives that share with me their stresses. They often admit that they just don’t have time to look after themselves properly.
“After I get the kids to their activities, work all day and then look after my family, I’m pooped.” they tell me. And it’s not just a cliche. This common complaint is affecting their stress levels, relationships and their productivity
Work-life balance may seem like a dream or just a buzz word for now. However achieving reasonable and healthy work-life balance is a real problem for many executive women and men alike. There are definite gender role differences that can make balanced healthy work, personal and family life a significant modern day challenge.
Achieving success alongside a blissful home and social life doesn’t have to be out of reach. I believe it’s possible to find fulfillment in your work AND bliss beyond the boardroom. It seems that a major tendency for women is nurturing. Some women hesitantly admit that they’re the last ones they look after in the family hierarchy of needs. And this stretches their time, energy and healthy resources too thin. The to-do list for these compassionate individuals seems to be endless! Are you this person?
Are you left wondering if you’ll ever just find the time to just relax for a day? And to do something just for you… to truly let go and enjoy yourself for more than brief moments?
BUT wait… there’s always more to do. Where did that day go? Week? Month?
Not year-end already? Deadlines, deadlines, more deadlines…
And you really can’t be working another late day so you’ve got to take work home with you to finish.
Sounding a bit familiar? Maybe it’s all too familiar. That’s exactly why I’m re-starting the work-life discussion for you here in this article.
Good news! With a bit of strategic planning you can make the ideal work-life balance dream more into your reality. It often begins with getting clear on your vision for your life. Business strategists will say that by creating and regularly re-evaluating both your short term and long term goals, you can better grasp the bigger picture of your life within the context of your roles in your family, job and community.
The Importance of Creating Vision-based Goals
Starting with a clear vision of your end-result is not a new concept. Writing down a clear vision statement for your life and re-evaluating it annually may be the bigger challenge. Then create goals consistent with your vision is your next step. Think about it. Isn’t it true that in both for your business and personal life, creating goals is vital to sustainable success? Think of goal creation as your GPS for a trip across the entire world. Without a clear map, and the vision to set your direction, and planning with goals, you’re sure to get lost on such a huge expedition. Consider your vision, short and long term goals and the action needed to complete the journey. It’s all your expedition. And it’s likely more in your own control when you plan. So set your plan in motion, starting with your vision for your life.
People typically set long term goals on an annual basis. When we’re talking long term, it’s actually easier to think in 3 month increments. How convenient, quarterly goal creation! This is closer to how your mind works and ensures you’ll more likely meet your longer term goals.
Consider short term goals those that are weekly and daily goals that you’ll want to meet to get to your long term goals.
“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.”
― Paulo Coelho
Make your goals attainable
Step by step, day by day you can get closer to meeting your greatest goals in life. You must choose to live in the present and not let the past and future dictate every step. That’s persistence I’m referring to. That steadfast, sometimes stubborn determination to get what you’ve dreamed of getting. On your journey towards fulfillment of your goals, why not take a holistic approach. Be mindful of your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health of your being when setting both long and short term goals. Be good to yourself. Self-care promotes ideal work-life balance.
It’s been said that we overestimate how much we can accomplish in one year, yet we greatly underestimate what we can accomplish in 5 years.
Stop for a minute and ask yourself ‘where do I feel lack?’ ‘where does my sense of deprivation come from?’ If you don’t have these regular thoughts, kudos, but for most of us answers to these poignant questions are the places we need to explore.
Whether its your relationship with your partner or spouse, your weight, or your work; it doesn’t matter. What matters is that energy goes where attention flows.
Focus on what needs the most nourishment in your life and your energy will inevitably shift. Seek to find that flow that makes your life easier, not more complicated.
Self-care and stress reduction are of the utmost importance for your health. New studies show that women under chronic stress have higher health risk outcomes in terms of ageing, cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Creating Healthy Boundaries
Boundaries are another essential bite of the self-care sandwich. What will you absolutely NOT put up with? To what will you need to say, “NO MORE!””
Without boundaries you allow yourself to be swayed by others and pushed in many directions. The sense that your life is out of control is stressful at best.
Examples of boundaries a person might set include:
-Not joining in gossip
-Not accepting abuse of any kind
-Not engaging in negative self talk
Create and add to your own list. HINT: Anything you’re absolutely tired of and that doesn’t serve you well; situations causing you more harm than good.
Put You in Charge of YOU! Make your life a priority.
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” ~Lucille Ball
Putting your needs first doesn’t need to be selfish. You become a better boss, partner, mother and friend when you meet your own important needs first. Getting healthy and staying healthy can be your most unselfish goal that you create for yourself. Ask yourself if that will serve you and others in a win-win way?
If it means saying no more often, so be it. If it means spending less time with people who don’t energize and nourish you- too bad. Start honoring the precious time you have on this planet. Ask for help when you need it, and don’t feel guilty.
Taking care of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health covers aspects of your life that will ensure that you can help meet the needs of others while looking after your number one asset, you. Watch what others are saying about motherhood, women and life balance in this short video:
Click to view video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtlYlCHAcDU
Reflect and Relish – Gratitude
Finding a quiet space for reflection, gratitude and meditation creates your inner opportunity for growth. We can’t ignore the immense benefits of mindfulness and meditation. If you think meditation is a waste of time, think again. Science has proven that regular mindfulness meditation increases grey matter in the brain. Sitting still and focusing on the breath literally makes us smarter. Even just bringing up sensations of gratitude increases overall happiness and well being.
It’s too easy to get caught up in what’s going wrong. When you train your brain to focus on the positive your neural circuitry literally changes. Neuroplasticity is achieved with positive thinking, reinforcement and environment. You can rewire your brain to think positively, be less judgmental and less assuming. Surrounding yourself with more positive people, reading, watching and learning can speed you on your way to better work-life balance.
As social creatures we have a natural inclination to help one another. Shifting the emphasis from materialism to how we can help others in turn increases our own happiness.