People come to coaching for all sorts of reasons – a popular one is to restore balance in their lives, often because work has taken over, draining them of time to do what they enjoy.
I help people to get clear about the beliefs and habits they have which keep them in the “out of balance” place. So, if you want to restore balance in your life, here’s a quick five step guide to help you get there:
a. Do a basic reckoning up of how many hours you’re spending on different areas in a typical week: work; friends; family; dealing with domestic “stuff”; exercise; time out to be on your own; and, if you’re in a relationship, the time you’re spending with that person. Get the facts down onto paper.
b. Then ask yourself which area or areas you want to spend less time on.
What are you telling yourself?
c. When you know what it is or which they are, ask yourself:
“What am I telling myself about why I have to spend so much time doing X or with X?”
It’s important you understand the kind of story you’re spinning to yourself about the area or areas of your life or people in your life who are taking up more than their fair share of your time.
d. The next step is to challenge what you’re saying to yourself (be totally honest!) Getting someone else to challenge you is better still. So, for example, is it really true that unless you stay late at work, you’ll be next in line for redundancy? In some organisations the answer might be a genuine yes but in many others, your manager is more likely to want you to put in a productive day’s work and leave on time.
e. Finally, start doing something with what you discover. It doesn’t have to be drastic. It’s usually small gradual steps which lead to change. To begin with, try a week of giving something or someone less time and see how it feels. And remember to stay aware of any unhelpful or downright misleading beliefs you might have about why you have to put time into something that’s been a drain for you.
And as out of balance as your life may feel at the moment, it’s also important not to beat yourself up about it! You’ll only waste energy which you could be spending on improving things!
© Michelle Bayley
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Michelle Bayley is a Certified Professional Life and Career Coach based in Twickenham, South West London.