If you’re finding yourself sacrificing too much to achieve your goals, the following tips can help you bring balance back into your life, and give you a lot more enjoyment out of the whole process. This takes a little introspection but it’s so very worth it in the end!
1. Begin with the visionary aspect of yourself. Look at your goal and look at the big picture of how this fits in with your life, how it affects your life and how it benefits you. How are you spreading your energy and managing your time? Is some part of the big picture not getting the attention it needs? For example, are you neglecting exercise in favour of “just another hour at the office” to finish a project? Are your relationships suffering in favour of your goals? Of course there will be times when you have to throw yourself 100 percent into something, but in general you want your goals to fit into your life, not push it aside. Otherwise, the joy of achievement will be very hollow and incomplete.
2. Next, examine your inner collaborator. Relationships really are everything, at the end of the day. Who can help you achieve your goal(s)? Who needs more attention from you? Do you need to reach out to someone you’ve been “meaning to” call but haven’t? You just never know who can help you, even in a very small way. Keep your relationships alive and healthy.
3. Look at your inner organiser. Do you have a sense of order? Is your workspace and home chaotic and messy, which sucks energy from you – or are you able to give your energies to what is really important because all of your unfinished business has been attended to? Do you have any items on your to-do list that you’ve been procrastinating on? Get them done, get them out of your head and move on to bigger and better things!
4. Finally, look at your inner driver. How’s your motivation? What’s the status of your milestones? What can you do to motivate yourself and drive action? Are you “busy” in certain areas of your life and procrastinating on others? Is your action too focused, or not focused enough? Do your actions positively affect your whole life? Are you following the 80/20 rule (80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your actions)?
These aspects of you are very important. We often talk about areas of life that need balancing, but if you put these four aspects of yourself into action, you’ll find it easier to achieve your goals:
- the driver can make things happen but doesn’t see the big picture (so can become obsessed with the goal); keep the driver in check with a solid vision, and with a conscious eye on collaboration.
- the visionary sees the big picture, but might get overwhelmed and can be prone to procrastination; to temper the vision with a dose of reality, the organiser can chunk tasks into manageable portions and create a plan that supports the vision.
- the organiser is good at being on-task, but without direction from the visionary, it doesn’t know what to do next. Without impetus from the driver, it won’t take a step.
- the collaborator nurtures relationships, but is not action-oriented. The visionary, driver and organiser help the collaborator stay on track while strengthening relationships.
Final thought: don’t forget your inner slacker! Sometimes, you need a break from it all, to do nothing whatsoever, with no agenda, no to-do list, no rules, no obligations… nothing. The slacker balances the four go-getters very nicely. Just don’t let the slacker get too comfortable, because while inertia can be fun for a little bit, in the long run it’s deeply unsatisfying.
Inspired by Dr. Ginny Whitelaw’s blog on http://integrallife.com/