The BALANCE Board

Now that I’ve laid the groundwork of my New Year’s Resolution of achieving BALANCE, I thought to myself…how am I going to keep this going? I wanted something that is structured yet flexible and would ultimately keep me focused and hold me accountable. That is how I came up with my BALANCE Board.

It’s really simple…once a week I spin the BALANCE Board to see what variable of my BALANCE equation I will focus on for that week. There are only three rules I’ve established for myself:

(1) If it lands on a line then I will focus on the area to the right of the arrow,

(2) I can only re-spin if it lands on the same area as the previous week, and

(3) I have to spin each week.

These rules are meant to provide just enough structure while still leaving room for creativity. The rules are to make sure I am focused on one area each week and removes the bias of me choosing what area that is. This does not mean that I will neglect or forget about the other areas…I like to think of them as simmering on the back burner while I stir what’s cooking in this pot for a little. The BALANCE Board will ensure I make time for all areas and ultimately help me create the muscle memory needed to achieve BALANCE.

Last week I made my BALANCE Board and gave it a trial run. I don’t know what I was expecting it to land on, but I was pleasantly surprised when it was #Career. I think I would have had the same reaction no matter what it landed on. It’s like when you flip a coin to make a decision and when it’s mid-air it instantly becomes clear what you would choose as you hope for it to land a certain way. Either way, I think it was just the initial shock of “Okay, I’m really doing this…”.

So last week I was tasked with channeling time and effort into my #Career. My #Career is very different from my job, so it wasn’t as simple as working extra hours or picking up a special project. Coincidentally, I had a coaching discussion already scheduled first thing Monday and I also unexpectedly ran into my partner in the office and had an impromptu #Career discussion. Additionally, I had already planned to carve out some time in my week to complete tasks related to my company’s year-end review (our fiscal year-end is 6/30), as well as a leadership experience I will be attending this month as a milestone award related to my promotion last year.

Now I don’t expect every week to play out like this. Most times I will have to create opportunity for myself, but sometimes it’s recognizing opportunity when it’s staring you straight in the eye. Needless to say, I unknowingly had planted a few seeds for this week, but in an effort to be intentional with my focus on #Career for the week, I came up with a few other tasks for myself, one of which included forcing myself to do everyone’s favorite exercise…

Where do you see yourself in one year?

Where do you see yourself in five years?

As expected, thinking through where I see myself in one year was much easier than five years from now. Naturally, the further into the future you look, the harder it is to see yourself, but imagining is the first step to getting there. I will admit this simple exercise shed some light on different things I can do over the next 12 months which I believe will help me see my five year plan more clearly. By definition a plan is an intention or decision about what one is going to do and a wise person once told me that a plan isn’t always there to be fully met, life just doesn’t allow for that, but a plan gives you purpose and a sense of direction so you are always moving forward.

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