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Welcome to Private Connect March 2018

How to juggle a balanced lifestyle

You might read this thinking, “…not another article on work-life balance.” But take a moment and open your mind to new possibilities. A new year is on the horizon and the only way to achieve greater work-home harmony is to think and do things differently.

It is a worldwide trend to strive for a greater balance between work and daily living. According to the Regus Work-Life Index 2012 – which surveyed over 16 000 professionals in more than 80 countries – 61% of business respondents globally felt their work-life balance has improved. The index combined a number of ‘soft’ indicators – the respondents’ feelings of enjoyment, sense of achievement and satisfaction with the amount of time spent at home – with ‘hard’ factors such as working hours and additional duties.

But how can you achieve greater balance and what does it entail? Antoinette Lortan, executive coach, strategic consultant, speaker and owner of Human Mirror Coaching and Consultancy, explains: “Living a balanced life means living a joyous one.” ‘Joyous’ doesn’t necessarily mean free of obstacles. “The storms in our lives challenge our comfort zones — the things we need to accept with a positive attitude in order to grow,” says Antoinette. “It starts with knowing yourself, accepting and developing your self-worth and understanding what balance means to you as an individual.”

The key is to find a plan you believe in, commit and stick to it, and set aside quality time to pursue your objectives.

Why is balance important?
The consequences of not living a balanced life can be best explained by using the wheel analogy. “If you don’t strike that balance, the wheel might still turn and get you to your destination, but at a slower pace and it will eventually force you to stand still and fix it,” says Antoinette. You have a choice to either grow willingly or to grow through pain. If you’re in balance, you can serve those around you ‘wholly’ and without the subconscious being occupied with negativity carried around for years. You become freer of judgment, manage perceptions more consciously and develop emotional intelligence and even cultural intelligence, as a result.

“Our minds are where it all starts,” explains Antoinette. “Challenge the way you think and do and keep it in line with the legacy you’re committed to leaving behind. I’ve also found that by being conscious of aiming for balance, our subconscious mind is tuned in to help us create the harmony we strive for.”

Getting practical
Antoinette suggests: “Find your point of balance by creating a mind map, with you at the centre. Positioned around it are your life’s different compartments and the things that need to happen within these spheres to experience joy.” Joy is what makes you get up every morning and feel excited about the day’s possibilities. Feed into this map weekly. Add to it and make it your own. Write down the legacy you want to leave behind and ask yourself what values you need to live by in order to become the person you want to be.

“Balance is crucial to living a happy, fulfilled life – and the good news is that it’s within reach of us all.”

“Make sure your goals are measurable and stick to them. Manage internal and external conditions. Also, improve your level of accountability by sharing these goals with your loved ones. Keep your thoughts healthy and in line with your goals and values and stay clear of people who don’t have your best interests at heart.”

Find the time
We all have 24 hours in our day, but it is how we spend these hours that helps us live in balance. “Become aware of what is eating into your time and set boundaries,” says Antoinette. “Communicate your frustrations and needs. And never leave the office without going through your to-do list for that day and reprioritising. In this way you’ll start the next day focused. You’ll also be more relaxed at home and will sleep better too.”

A few sessions with an accredited life coach is a great way to kick-start a more balanced lifestyle. This real-life testimony serves as a good example of its benefits:

“I was down in the dumps, not knowing whether to resign at my current job or not. I signed up for six life coaching sessions...and it changed my life. I was taught to be conscious in checking whether I’m busy with reality, or being caught up in my ‘own story’. I also realised I had a fear of disappointment. I learned to face criticism from colleagues and positively apply it to my own life. I was even taught how to tackle the ‘one-on-one’ discussions I needed to have with my boss. Having my life coach asking the right questions, helped me to discover the hidden potential within myself. It made me realise that I have all it takes to be a successful, happy person.” – General Manager, EOH division

Balance is crucial to living a happy, fulfilled life – and the good news is that it’s within reach of us all.
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