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One Year to Start Making a Change

Life in Focus Blog - One year to start making a change

If you have taken the time to look through the Life in Focus website you will notice that  one of the inherent guiding principles in creating this new endeavor is balance. The idea of Life in Focus and especially the desire to do wellness and life coaching stemmed from my own attempts at gaining balance in my life. Everyone is busy. Regardless of job, family or marital status or whether you live in a bustling city or the quiet country side, we are busy with living, with trying to make it and be happy.

Work-Life BalanceSometimes we get it right. Some people out there are quite good at knowing what matters, how to get there and how to prioritize their lives in such a way as to achieve balance. But with increasing demands from jobs, life, society as a whole and with the internet and television now, making friends, work and entertainment accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week many of us have lost our way; I certainly had.

[bctt tweet=”Knowing what matters, how to get there and how to prioritize lives in such a way as to achieve balance.” username=”lifenfocus”]

On the one hand in my psychotherapy sessions I preached balance, self-knowledge, relaxation and self-care. Yet at home, I was running ragged; my first priorities were my children, closely followed by work, then my husband, friends and family, and finally me. To the untrained eye I had it all, I did it all. If one looked a little closer, however, if one listened what they noticed was an underlying current of dissatisfaction. I would complain about not having enough time to myself, not having time for friends and being tired, I would constantly over commit myself. The fun stuff sometimes became a chore. I gave up sleep and rest to have quiet time at home, and lets be honest there were many night all I wanted was the kids to go to sleep so I could have some “me” time, which I would promptly spend doing work of some kind or browsing the internet and social media.


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At some point last year, I realize that something had to give. I was not going to give up my family, my friends nor my job, so I had to figure out how to balance all three while staying true to principles and values that mattered to me. I read a lot, I spoke to people whose opinion I valued, I started listening to the things I was telling others to do, things that were working for them, as I knew they would. There are a few important questions I began to ask myself:

  • What are the things or values that matter the most to me?
  • What am doing currently that consistently makes me happy or brings me satisfaction?
  • What are the things I most complain about missing or needing?
  • What do I regularly do that comes in the way of my happiness?
  • How do I define happiness? and how does that definition match my current lifestyle?

I did not answer these questions in a few hours, or even a few days, I came back to them again and again. I wrote down the answers and discussed them with people who mattered. I pondered them constantly, then decided it was time to work on a plan, to set myself in motion. I arbitrarily used the new year as a starting point. Using the information I had gathered with those questions a plan was devised. I outlined resolutions that represented core values I wanted to focus on. I then defined those resolutions in terms of more specific goals and being realistic broke those goals down into smaller, tangible, measurable steps. Here is an example:

Resolution: Take care of me.
Goal 1: Clearly delineate work time and play time
Steps:

  • Take 30 minutes of lunch break to eat without doing notes, or checking work email.
  • Schedule time in the week to work on administrative duties and blogging for Life in Focus.
  • Do not schedule clients or patients outside of work hours.

Goal 2: Get rest…


happiness
Now that the plan was set, all it needed was a realistic timeline within which to work on these steps. You would be setting yourself up for failure were you to address all of these at once. I have four resolutions, which are expressed through 10 or more goals and each one has at least three steps to it. Every month I choose one or two steps to work on, I try to pair steps that work together. I don’t expect perfection, I define failure as not trying, and I allow for the fact that some of these steps will carry on over months before they become habits and successes. These resolutions are life long, they are not simply something to work on for a year and then move on, but one has to start somewhere. The approach I take with myself, is the same one I use in coaching. The goal, MY GOAL, is balance; the hope is that I will be able to look back at the end of my life and say “all in all I lived well.”
Note: Self disclosure is a tricky thing in my profession, so it is with much thought and careful consideration that I chose to write this post in the first person. My point in sharing this is two-fold.

  • First, I have gotten a lot of questions from existing patients, new clients and friends as to why Life in Focus was created.
  • Secondly, I think I wanted anyone out there who is feeling the same way to understand that this is a common condition of our time.

To show that you can have the knowledge and the know how and yet still fall prey to the same stresses and road blocks as anyone else. Knowledge is essential to change, but on its own, without a plan and without active efforts, it is insufficient.

I wish you the best in your own journey and attempts to achieve balance and satisfaction and look forward to being able to help.

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Hi! I'm Dr. Alessandra Wall

I help smart driven women and forward-thinking companies bridge the gap & build real conversations.

Here on the ‘Dr. Wall Says’, I share tools, tips, and insights about speaking up, getting heard and how women can take up space and thrive in the 21st century.

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