6 Tips to Find YOUR Life Work Balance Foundations for a Happy and Healthy Life
Face it, most of us have to work for a living. We need to pay for the lives we lead outside work... Our mortgage, car payment, utilities, child care, health care, groceries, entertainment, travel… you name it; we pay for it. So how do we find our best life when we spend our days running from caring for family needs to pleasing the boss.
1. Put yourself first.
Yes, I said it. The flight attendants are right. Put on your oxygen first. If you don't take care of yourself first, you really won't be able to be the best for your children, your spouse, your job or your community.
2. Live on less than you make.
This provides freedom for your best life. If you genuinely "pay yourself first" – whether 5 %, 10% or 28% - whatever you can put away now will use compounding interest to make it worth dramatically later. Did you know if you put away just $5K each year for ten years in your ROTH IRA before you turn 30, it can be worth $1M by the time you turn 65? If you're already past 30, don't fret, still put away as much as you can. If you think you can't achieve this goal, get help with your budget – trim costs when you can, ask for advice from friends you see doing well and NEVER assume someone is living a great life – they could be drowning in debt. If we never discuss it, we'll never learn. Let's take the mystique away and be honest with each other – and ourselves.
3. Stay active.
Plenty of studies show the connection between the body and brain health. The more active you can be, and the more healthily you eat, the better the chances you'll have the energy to accomplish all of your other goals.
4. Stay curious.
No matter how busy you are, try to take the time to find something that interests you and ask another question. Two for one? Engage your child to teach you something she's just working out herself. You'll be amazed at how much you'll learn as you look at her homework. Do you know why the sky is blue? Did you know that there were only four kingdoms in biology initially, and now there are seven? Do you remember common prayers? Learn something daily unrelated to work.
5. Set boundaries with work.
Do what you are meant to do but don't let your boss or your job consume your life. Who amongst us would say on our deathbed, "I wish I'd spent more time at work?" Create and complete the most fulfilling possible job within the time allotted.
6. Have faith.
Prayer, meditation and reflection bring mindfulness that makes everything better. Soothing your soul creates inner peace to permeate your day. Even better, do it as a family. You'll be glad you did.
At 5:1 life conquers work. It may be the best foundation for your life.
Pressured by crushing education debt, Gail's life was ruled by work and income to help her young family thrive. Once the debt was retired in 2010, it was time to work more aggressively to pay for college expenses for their daughter so she wouldn't face the same challenges. Having that first-hand experience helped her see the value of prioritizing what matters most long term.