As this year draws to a close and we look to set out goals for the upcoming year, there are many components to consider when doing so. In addition to reviewing the current/previous year as I advise in my workshops, a HUGE part of the goal setting process should be to identify and improve balance in one’s life.
Every person has certain aspects in their life that seems to naturally come easy. You probably remember while growing up those in your class who seemed to be natural athletes, excelling in any sport they participated in (that certainly wasn’t me by the way). Some people are natural communicators while others are excellent with numbers (could have both of these strengths too). The tendency is to let those factors in life that come easy pull you in that direction and cause you to be unbalanced.
I want to be careful here as I believe that you should harness your strengths, especially when it comes to your career, interests or hobbies. However what I am suggesting in this example are different areas of your life to examine with the intent to be a more balanced individual in every component of living. Try to visualize this. Imagine creating a chart that looks like a circle with different areas of performance of a person’s life located around that circle. Now when you plot the different areas of your life around that circle graph and the circle looks more like a flat tire due to over performance in certain areas but under performing in others, this is what we call an opportunity to improve.
You have to determine what areas of your life you would like to focus on for ultimate achievement and creates the most balance in your life. The common 8 that Darren Hardy describes and I use are:
Evaluating and setting goals based on these 8 categories has helped me better achieve what I feel is balance in my life. In fact, the simple exercise of looking at my current state and seeing what areas I was lacking in was a giant wake up call and brought immediate impact to my life. Is there ever perfect balance and can one achieve it? Of course not, no one is perfect. However, we ALL can improve and recognize those areas that need more attention.
My recommendation is that after you evaluate those areas that aren’t at the same level as others, prioritize that area so you can attack it and make the fastest and most significant impact overall on your life. You might need to look at outside resources such as a coach, counselor, books, podcasts as these areas probably don’t come natural to you.
Certainly doing this exercise prior to a new year is a natural time to do so. However, this is something you should continually pay attention to and adjust as needed. Perhaps quarterly would be the right time frame so that you can make adjustments if your “tire” is starting to flatten out in a different area as you build up those you have identified. As with the rest of your goals and program, consistent review, evaluation and adjustments are needed to continue progress. While you continue to improve, you will need to adjust the goals, habits and actions that you have in place for continued growth.
Fifty percent of the population set resolutions or wishes (which they think are goals), twenty percent actually write them down. However, to do better than the top twenty percent (which is where eighty percent of the productivity is), one should set the most appropriate and best goals for themselves. Looking to make sure these goals are balanced in your life is a big step in the process to make it your best year yet!