Ever get the feeling that something is out of whack, but you just can’t quite put your finger on it? You know, that nagging feeling of unease that just won’t go away. It’s probably your internal compass telling you that how you are operating is no longer in alignment with your core values, that somewhere along the way you strayed off course.
Little by little you got off course, lost your focus. One day, it’s skipping your morning workout to “catch-up” on the overwhelming task list that has been sitting on your desk for weeks. The next, it’s the pile of papers and laptop that are permenantly parked in the middle of the family room. Before you know it, you have completely forgotten your work-life balance goals and gone back to your old habits.
That’s when your little warning light starts flashing. Sometimes it manifests itself as guilt; other times it’s jealousy over how well So-and-So from down the street manages her work-life balance. Maybe it takes a gentle (or not so) nudge from your husband and kids before that little light starts blinking: “Mom, why do you have to work so much?”
It’s tempting to ignore your internal compass and plow straight ahead, justifying your decision with a bunch of lame excuses that even you don’t believe. Don’t do it. Instead, take a moment to ask yourself why you are no longer acting in alignment with your core values. Is it that your goals were unrealistic or that old habits are harder to break than you thought?
Gain perspective on what you really want. Travel is an amazing opportunity to reflect and reevaluate on your priorities. Without all the clutter and buzz from our daily lives, it’s funny how inevitably we always reach the same conclusion again and again. If you can’t fit a road trip into your schedule, take a walk or park yourself in the local coffee shop for an hour of quiet time.
Post daily reminders of what you want your life to look like — running shoes waiting by the front door, love notes to your husband and children, recipes for homemade muffins on the kitchen counter. It’s hard to stray too far with constant reinforcement of what matters the most (and it’s really hard to get off track when you are constantly tripping over reminders that make it easier to do what you envisioned in your life goals).
Correct course wherever you feel yourself getting off track. It’s okay to slip every now and then. Whatever you do, don’t turn this into yet another reason to berate yourself for your failures. Just acknowlege that it happened and move on. When it comes right down to it, you only have two choices: 1) work on getting back on track and realign your actions with your core values or 2) reassess your core values system to determine of the disparity between ideas and action is because they are mutually exclusive.