Is it balance – OR is it boundaries?

November 8, 2022

Filed in: Marketing

I am addicted to my business coach for a variety of reasons but mostly because she points me to the tools that will help me achieve what I want for my business and my life. Specifically, I want to share with you some tools to help pursue that elusive nirvana we all call “balance”.

Today’s session, which I just wrapped up, allowed just that. It was money well spent on rediscovering parts of me that I had forgotten, and the burning debate (or struggle depending on how you’re looking at it) on….

Is it balance – OR is it boundaries?

When you think of balance, I bet the first thing that comes to your mind is the balance between your personal life and your work life, or the balance within a family/friends, or perhaps even the balance of your physical health/appearance, or even finances.

Long before COVID, you couldn’t open a social media app, website, or even turn on the TV without seeing an advertisement, image, or scene displaying the importance of finding balance. We saw it, it sounded great – but does it work?

I find the word balance is thrown around so much these days, it’s starting to sound more and more like a “trend” – rather than an impactful action, and even if it becomes an action – do we know how to effectively achieve this – “balance”?

Balance to me is a word we throw around with the hopes for long-term results, but really it is for the short-term results – aka quick fixes.

Example: I’m feeling blah, so tonight I’m going to have an appropriate balance of protein, veggies, and a low-carb dinner. OR, today at work I’m going to leave right at 5:00 pm to be home to spend an appropriate amount of time with my family.

But if we require any long-term results that are going to positively impact our life, then that is going to require commitment, and that to me is no longer about finding the balance – but more about setting both personal and work boundaries that we can actually measure.

If balance is the goal, in my mind boundaries are the tool to get me there. Just as you can’t be vegan, or totally organic without some guidance on what the criteria are, you can’t achieve balance without a plan and long-term commitment to that plan. Having balance one day here and one day there is a bit like saying you’re in great physical shape — one day here and one day there. It’s not sustainable. If your goal is to run a marathon, you won’t get there by running once in a while on “good days”; you have to maintain a training schedule to reach that goal. Same thing with business and personal balance.

BOUNDARIES is something much more that I can relate to. The word itself immediately provides you with a call-to-action to make a list of time limits OR non-negotiables that you can set for yourself/your company – and then measure, evaluate, and re-evaluate.

Let me get you started with these examples:

  1. If your office hours are 9 am to 5 pm then make sure you set a boundary between you and your clients (9 am to 5 pm) and you and your family (5 pm and on) that protects this time accordingly. That way your clients know and feel they have your attention, and so does your family.
  2. “What you allow, you encourage”. I love this statement. To me, it means that when we continue to allow our clients to demand more and we allow them, we are encouraging them to continue the behaviour. Set boundaries.
  3. Recognize when your mind and body need a break. We all want to give our clients 100%, and for the most part we do. On the days where it’s just all a little too much – take a “you” break. Even if it’s just 15 minutes to reset OR better yet invest in someone who is invested in you to share the highs and lows of running a business – again business coach.

If you feel you need more balance in your life, start by establishing your non-negotiable boundaries which will help you get there.

N. Grant

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