The New Benchmark for Achievement: Are You Reaching For it?

We all set goals and rate our success according to how close we get to achieving them.

We zero in, shut out distractions, and pour all our time and energy into reaching our own desired standard for success.

As a nation, we are busy, busy, busy! (I am totally guilty of this — I cringe when I hear myself say it aloud). But what if we have inadvertently created a problem by spreading ourselves so thin?

I recently read this headline about 2015’s wellness trends and it grabbed my attention:

Balance is the New Achievement.”

It got me thinking about my life, my goals, and my benchmarks for success. For the past five years I have strived to find more balance in my life — yet I admit that sometimes I still feel too busy.

I had to ask my self some questions. As a coach, I encourage you to do the same:

  • Does working 80 hours a week to bring home a nice chunk of change really feel like success if you find your life void of purpose?
  • If your health takes a downward spiral, does the almighty dollar lose its luster?
  • When friends and family tug for your attention, do you shrug and turn back to your computer screen for fear of getting fired or losing a sale?

“If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.”

Being so deeply engaged with your job that you can’t stop doing it can be a great thing. But problems soon arise when you neglect other important areas of your life.

If the following areas are left unbalanced, they will negatively influence your ability to be successful, healthy, and — ultimately — happy.

  • Time Management
  • Quality Sleep and Nutrition
  • Exercise, Fun, and Recreation
  • Time with Family and Friends
  • Down Time and Travel

Ignoring these important factors can lead to total disengagement, or even depression. Guilt from not spending quality time with loved ones can create stress. Stress leads to disruptions in sleep, mood, and energy. Food choices may become erratic and self-soothing. Before you know it, you’ve found yourself in a state of burnout fueled by anxiety and impending failure.

Burnout: “A state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands.”

Placing less on your to-do list will grant you more time during the day to successfully accomplish what really matters.

Finding balance offers you the opportunity to restore healthy sleeping patterns, develop clear thinking, make healthy decisions, and spark creativity. Most importantly, you can reverse stress-related health issues by honoring time for work, rest, and play.

Here are 4 Tips to Help You Balance Work and Leisure:

  1. Organize to-do lists by compartmentalizing tasks into what needs to be done now vs. what can be done later. For example, put only what must be done today on today’s list rather than everything that needs to be accomplished this week.
  2. Write out tomorrow’s tasks before you leave work. This will prevent you from stewing all night or worrying you’ll forget about what needs to get done next.
  3. Carve out device-free time zones each evening and on weekends (or on your days off). Turn off the phone and computer so you can focus, think, and relax.
  4. Connect with the people and activities that help you recharge and have fun; spend time with your family, get back on an exercise plan, or focus on a forgotten hobby.

Today, more than ever, we must be proactive and disciplined about creating balance in our lives.

Develop a system that is right for you. Shift your perspective to understand how you operate best personally and professionally and you will find that deeper sense of accomplishment you’ve been searching for.