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  • Christine Hourd

Want Better Work Life Balance? Try Being Accountable To Yourself

Updated: Apr 1

The most successful people maintain a balanced life that includes work, family and an active lifestyle, and are still able to experience exceptional results. Although, in order to maintain this work life balance, they implement intentional activities and strategies. This requires, just like any other lifestyle change, a need to create new habits to support it.


Experiencing a balanced life requires you to uphold a healthy lifestyle, a supportive social network, boundaries at work, and defined personal standards. And as with your personal relationships, it takes effort and work to maintain it.


The alternative is to experience energy depletion and exhaustion, reduced productivity, increased stress, health issues, and a deterioration of your personal and professional relationships. If you’re thinking burnout, that’s exactly what the result for you will be, if you ignore the need for personal life changes.


Work life balance is something that can never be perfectly achieved, because there are always going to be shifts in your life that cause imbalance. The key is being accountable to what you can control. When you focus on making changes to add to a healthy balanced lifestyle, then achieving that work life balance will be more attainable.


What Obstacles Keep You From Being Accountable To Work Life Balance?


The first step is to look at your personal life and see the areas that can be immediately changed. The habits and routines in your life are second nature and automatic, so much so that you overlook the obstacles disguised as comforts.


Do Beliefs And Commitments Keep You From A Healthy Balanced Lifestyle?

As you grow and learn your behaviours and perspectives change, but your beliefs of who you are, and your commitments may not. This can begin to create conflict in your life. To move into a healthy balanced lifestyle, you need to make choices around where you commit your energy to.


Start by questioning the beliefs that might be holding you back, and are no longer in alignment with who you are right now. This exercise can shed some negative thoughts that keep you from being confident in yourself and the new person you’re becoming.


When Your Bad Habits Interfere With Making Positive Lifestyle Changes

What does positive lifestyle changes mean to you? Once you define this you can identify the bad habits that aren’t consistent with your new choices and work to eliminate them.

There are certain things that you want in life and have created paths to get it. Although, sometimes that path isn’t productive, positive, healthy, or supportive. For instance, you may want to have an alcoholic drink to calm your nerves and relax. Instead of choosing alcohol as the path to calm your nerves, why not try something more productive and healthier, like exercise or meditation.


How Your Environment Can Prevent You From Improving Your Work Performance

Is your work and home environment supportive? When you live in an unsupportive environment, growth and change can be difficult. When you live in a supportive environment you have more freedom to develop into your full potential and experience positive lifestyle changes.


There must be the support from safe environments, at work and home, that you can trust and look to for guidance. People are social animals and rely on connection with others to help grow and be productive. When the connections are positive, then your self-confidence will increase, and thus, improve your work performance.


How Personal Life Changes Influence Your Work Life Balance


You will always be experiencing some level of personal life changes. Subtle, like waking up an hour earlier, or more dramatic like starting a new relationship. But like the butterfly effect, even small change will shift other areas of your life.


When Work And Relationships Demand Flexibility To Keep Life In Balance

Take a holistic look at your life and don’t limit your focus to personal relationships or work. You can create a pie chart or balance wheel to assess all the areas on your life to determine which areas are not getting enough attention and which areas are dominating.

Balance is not finite and static, but dynamic, and will constantly shift or change to the demands of your life. Constantly check in with how each of the parts of your life are being managed, so that you don’t lose focus on what’s important.


How To Create Balance In Your Personal And Professional Goals To Improve Growth

When creating our personal and professional goals there has to be balance to attain stable growth. On one side there is growth: work, applying, and effort. Then on the other side of the scale you need to allow for a plateau to improve growth: rest, learning, reflection, and wisdom.

If it is one sided, then you either feel unfulfilled from a stagnant life without challenges (plateau heavy), or exhaustion sets in and you risk burnout (growth heavy). You need to check in with yourself to make sure the growth you're experiencing in your personal and professional goals is in balance, then that provides for more awareness and opportunities.


How To Practice Being Focused To Achieve Better Work Life Balance


When you lose focus of what’s important in your life, that’s usually because something is fiercely demanding and drawing your attention away from what’s truly valuable. To practice being focused, there needs to be much self-awareness, and then you’ll experience more positive lifestyle changes.


Why Being Present Is Important While Spending Quality Time In A Relationship

Being present has you paying attention to what’s going on in front of you and focusing on what and who you’re interacting with now. This lessens the worry and concern about the future, and regrets and resentment about the past, because you’re active and engaging with the other person in the present.

Consider how you’re spending your time now in your personal relationships. Is it being present and sharing quality time, or is it just hanging out without learning anything from the other person? Many couples spend years together not really knowing who the other person is. The time spent is empty and inadequate, and loses it’s staying power during the tough times. Start being accountable for quality time in personal relationships so you build connection.


How Positive Experiences In Life Will Increase Your Self-Confidence

What’s in the past, is in the past. But if you have to go back there, reflect on what you accomplished more than what you regret. In a given day you’ll have anywhere from 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts. Unfortunately, 80 per cent of those thoughts are negative.

If you choose to focus more of your thoughts on positive experiences this will build you up and increase your self-confidence, thus creating more balance in your mindfulness. This is much more satisfying than beating yourself up for lost opportunities or failed attempts.


Commit Wisely Your Time, Energy And Money To Support Positive Lifestyle Changes

Being accountable to positive lifestyle changes also means focusing on efforts that provide satisfying results. If you’ve been dedicated to a system or process that exhausts your time, money or energy, and it isn’t showing positive results, or no results, then you’ve fallen victim to the sunken cost fallacy.

Whatever effort you put into something there has to be some sort of benefit. Sometimes it’s best to cut your losses and move on, rather than going down with a sinking ship.


How Defining Unique Qualities About Yourself Adds To A Balanced Lifestyle


You may not know where to start with creating a life balance because you haven’t established an authentic connection to who you are. To make this connection and discover the unique qualities about yourself, you must take time to reflect, and that involves alone time.


Understand What’s Unique About You And You'll Benefit From Spending Time Alone

You may avoid being alone because you don’t know or don’t like the person you’re with, and would rather stay busy at work or anywhere else. Understanding who you are and developing your personality can be scary. We would rather hang out with friends, or even strangers, to mimic them instead of being authentic.


As you discover those interesting details about yourself and the value you bring to your life, you will begin to appreciate the person you are. Those tough experiences you had in the past, that were once avoided by being preoccupied, need to be looked upon with compassion. Once you utilize this balance of discovery and compassion, being alone will create a deeper connection to your unique qualities.


What Does Spending Alone Time Mean? Then You'll Escape Life’s Challenges

Define your oasis: a place where you can reminisce and connect to who you are. Alone time is part of a healthy balance that has to be revisited on a regular basis. If you don’t, then you run down the slippery slope of taking care of others, and forgetting about your own personal needs and pleasures in life.


Some find alone time most satisfying when they are in nature, or going to the spa. To be able to truly escape life’s challenges, even for an hour, you need to do something that connects to your needs, wants, and desires.


What You Are Willing To Compromise For Life Balance Depends On Your Personal Identity

Life is full of compromises and negotiations that can impact your life balance. When you don’t get what you want sometimes it’s an indication that the time isn’t right, or the real need isn’t what you are asking for.


Take this as an opportunity to assess what you really want, and then divert your focus to other areas of your life. Sometimes one’s personal identity gets lost when you focus on one area of your life. You need to have a more holistic view of your identity to achieve life balance, and many times that new realization involves compromises.


Manage Work Pressure And Burnout With Positive Work Culture


Work culture has a massive impact on achieving work life balance. Spending time at work consumes approximately a third of your life, although, it still rests on our mind long after you leave work. Being accountable to achieving more balance in your life allows you to switch off work and be present in other areas of your life.


Don’t Let The Bullies At The Office Upset Your Personal Work Culture

People feed off of other people’s energy, and emotions when they are in close proximity. If people in your office work ten hours, then you may feel like you have to as well. But this work pressure can lead to burnout.


Focus on your needs, and don’t lead yourself into a trap of overextending yourself for the sake of saving face. If your employer or coworkers don’t respect your need to balance personal time and work time, then they also don’t support a positive work culture that includes wellbeing. The only one who will always look out for you, is you. So you may have to find your personal work culture elsewhere.


Be The Executive Setting The Example For A Healthy Work Culture And Improve Productivity

Burnout arises from too much work pressure, too much stress, and too little time to reflect on what you want and desire. This leads to less time spent with family and personal pursuits that help to create a balanced life.


Many executives and managers are prone to this work pressure in order to outperform their competition and provide impressive results. When leaders are under stress, they make mistakes and create tension with their team.


Instead, as an executive, you should be setting an example for your employees, and demonstrating that you support a healthy work culture. Then this will improve productivity and business relationships.


Plan Long Term Personal Goals That Support Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Setting long term personal goals is just as important as your business goals. You need to define the lifestyle and standards you want to commit to, and then stick to them.


We often falter in our goals when there is pressure to conform to a work culture, even when it’s a negative and an unhealthy one. Then within your personal network, if you don’t have personal long term goals, then you’ll take on the habits of the ones you’re closest to, good and bad.


Whatever treatment you allow of yourself, others will conform to it. Don’t lessen your value for the sake of other’s needs, wants and desires. Create long term personal goals that will support your healthy lifestyle choices.


How Your Work Life Balance Will Improve Work Performance

Focusing intently on one area of your life can lead you into a vacuum and result in burnout. This has you working for the sake of working, even though it’s unproductive.


When you choose to share your time and energy with other areas of your life, you’ll find that life is more fulfilling. Then when you experience this fulfillment and life balance, working becomes more purposeful and engaging, and you improve work performance. You decide what is really important to do, and discard the tasks that really don’t offer much benefit, or are no longer relevant.


Increase Self-Worth And Value By Being Accountable To Better Work Life Balance


Being pulled around because of the wants and needs of others can diminish your self-worth. Although, when you experience life balance, working becomes more purposeful and engaging, and you improve work performance.


Why High Self-Worth Needs To Be A Goal For A Balanced Lifestyle

For many, work is the place where they feel most worthy and valued. They produce an outcome that adds to a common goal, it's useful to others, and fulfills the company’s purpose.


Although, your self-worth must be present in other areas of life, otherwise you will gravitate to where you feel important and continue to commit to tasks that fulfill this desire. When people retire, if they don’t experience self-worth elsewhere in their life, they feel displaced and unfulfilled. They lose purpose and lack direction.


By being accountable to the goal of increasing self-worth in areas of your life—other than work—it won’t matter where you are, you’ll always feel valued and worthy.


How Healthy Boundaries In Relationships Increase Your Self-Worth

It’s challenging to create a balanced life when you can’t say “no” to others. I have never once had a client put the label: “other people’s needs” as an area of life on their balance wheel. But, in reality, this is a big part of a person’s life who doesn’t have boundaries.


To create boundaries, you first need to understand your own inner expectations, and then consider whether you can meet other people’s expectations. Being able to set boundaries of what to say "no" to increases your self-worth in your personal and professional relationships.


Being accountable to living a balanced life involves strategies that will make you more diversified and content. The benefit of achieving an imperfect work life balance is priceless. And as you learn to align yourself with a more balanced lifestyle, and build good habits that commit to it, you’ll find it’s easier to experience true fulfillment.


Christine Hourd is a certified success and leadership life coach in Calgary, Alberta. She works with small business owners, executives, and leaders to achieve their goal of living a more fulfilling life. Please find more information on accountability, success and leadership coaching on The Success Model Site.

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