You’ll hear me talk about work-life balance a lot. To be honest, I don’t like the term, but it’s a phrase that people understand so I try to talk their language. But we’re balancing so much more than two things. For me, I’m balancing growing a marketing business and an art business (I just started selling my own art prints, the thing I actually went to college for), staying healthy, taking care of a home, planning for a family in the future, being with my community, self-care, creating, the list goes on. I’m sure that like me, you also have a list that could put Santa’s list to shame. So how on earth do we find balance?
Balance will look different for everyone–Just like balancing on the curb is a different kind of balancing than balancing on a tightrope. But balance starts with having our eyes on a fixated point on the horizon. I like to think of this as focusing on our values. The core values that make you you and help you to know if you’re living life to the fullest. I talk about this in a recent podcast interview on the Money Bo$$ podcast, but the idea is to find 3-5 things that when it comes down to it, are the most important things in your life.
My list includes:
- Community (Friends + Family)
- Health + Rest (Yoga, eating good foods, slowing down)
- Creativity (Painting, baking, mixing herbs)
- Spirituality (Meditation/prayer, books, tarot)
I know I’m balanced when these things are showing up first for me. You’ll notice that making a million dollars isn’t on there. Yes, work is important. Our jobs give us purpose, they allow us to make money to live in this world but this idea of working endless hours each week to have bigger homes filled with more stuff doesn’t seem to be working for anyone. In fact, the opposite–working less, having less, but spending more time with ourselves and our loved ones–is proving to be a much healthier way of living.
To find your own values think about what a perfect day would look like for you. What would you be doing? Who would you share it with? What things in your life do you wish you could be making more time for? And what things in your life bring you the most joy and fulfillment? Somewhere in there are where your core values lie. Find them, write them down, and keep them at your desk, in your car, or on your mirror. Remind yourself every day why you are working–so you can have time and resources to pursue these values.
Work-life balance comes down to priorities. Whatever fills our calendars, is what we’ve deemed as important. The question is, do those things align with your values? If they don’t, what changes, big or small, can you make to balance your to-dos with your values? Once you find that balance, you’ll discover that feeling of wholeness you’ve been searching for.