Unlocking Balance: 7 Steps to a Sustainable Lifestyle

Written by Liz Pretorius

Supporting managers, business owners, and leaders on their unique career journeys so they can succeed at work AND life.

July 21, 2023

The Overwhelm

How often do you find yourself overwhelmed by the constant demands of life, thinking there’s never enough time? 

We’re bombarded with advice on eating healthy, exercising, maintaining work-life balance, and self-care, all in the name of avoiding burnout. Deep down, you know it’s true, but it often feels impossible to achieve amidst your existing responsibilities and obligations. It’s frustrating, and constantly missing the mark can lead to a sense of failure and self-doubt.

Does this scenario sound familiar?

You start each week with the best intentions, crafting the perfect plan: healthy eating, regular exercise, personal time, work projects, socializing, and time for chores. But then life throws a curveball – a change in deadlines, an unexpected sickness, power outages, traffic jams, or some other unforeseen challenges. Suddenly, that ideal plan vanishes, and you feel like once again you’ve fallen short of achieving that balance you crave and need.

When this happens repeatedly, it’s easy to start believing that balance is an elusive fairytale, or something reserved for the super-wealthy with endless resources and assistance.

But what if we’ve been approaching balance all wrong?

Perhaps it’s time to redefine our perspective. What if balance isn’t about rigid routines, but rather treating it as a fluid and ever-changing state?

That’s precisely what Leap focuses on. Shifting the focus to intentional decision-making instead of just another thing to add to your never-ending to-do list.

Life is dynamic, and work is ever-evolving, so it only makes sense to adapt our approach to balance accordingly. Each of us is unique, with different needs and preferences.

So it’s okay if the 5AM club isn’t your style!

Let’s explore the 7 steps to unlock your personalized approach to balance:

1. Step back and assess your plate

Give yourself space to gain a clear view of all the physical, mental, and emotional responsibilities you carry. Awareness of what all is on your plate is the first step towards making necessary adjustments. Because you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.

2. Reflect on what drives and drains you

Identify your core values, strengths, and intrinsic motivators. This knowledge empowers you to make intentional decisions about tasks. Find the tasks you can delegate or postpone, or create space to recharge when tackling those draining activities you can’t move off your plate.

3. Recognize your available resources

Consider the physical tools, apps, and support people in your life and then make an effort to ask for help. Acknowledge that asking for help is not a weakness but a strength and embrace the fact that we all need support to navigate challenges and achieve our goals.

4. Master energy management

Understand how you recharge emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. By engaging in activities that genuinely recharge you, you can avoid just defaulting to mindless distractions. Being mindful of your energy levels helps you navigate challenges more effectively and avoid burnout.

5. Set and maintain boundaries

This can be challenging, especially when saying “no” feels uncomfortable or like you’re going against the norm. But determining your boundaries and learning to prioritize your own needs too allows you to live your values without compromising yourself. Start small, develop a go-to script to help you say “no”, and give yourself the time and space to not default to “yes”.

6. Conquer procrastination and prioritize effectively

These skills are rooted in self-awareness. Identifying the underlying negative emotions that lead to procrastination allows you to tackle the root cause and practice self-compassion during setbacks. By doing this you allow yourself to bounce back faster and step out of the procrastination cycle quicker. Similarly, prioritization becomes much clearer when you have a deeper understanding of yourself and your own needs and boundaries.

7. Craft a customized and flexible balance guide

Balance is not a fixed routine but a series of intentional decisions. Creating a guide allows you to proactively step out of ‘default mode’, so you can check in with yourself, adapt to your needs and align your workload and priorities accordingly. Embracing the fact that balance requires adaptability and intentional choices gives you the freedom to accommodate the ebb and flow of life.

Remember, work-life balance is not a destination but a journey.

It’s about making incremental, positive changes in your daily decisions to foster that sustainable balance. By breaking free from autopilot mode, you can take steps to avoid burnout and the endless cycles of busyness.

So, why not try something new? Embark on the journey to create a sustainable approach to balance. What have you got to lose?

Here’s to embracing the balance journey!

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