As 2016 is now well under way do you still remember your New Year resolutions?! One thing that many people are determined to change at the start of a new year is their work-life balance. There is a renewed desire to live a rounder life and not become consumed by work. The old saying about how many people on their deathbed wishing they had spent more time in the office seems particularly pertinent.
But easier said than done! Come February we are once again firmly entrenched in “business as usual”. All those good intentions seem so long ago and may well have disappeared. But it’s never too late to make a fresh start! So how do we do it?
Like many things, any lasting change has to be tackled gradually. Things won’t change drastically overnight and to expect them to do so is to set yourself up to fail. It is generally accepted that it can take you around 40 days or even longer to significantly change a habit; so the best thing to do is take one day at a time. Why not set yourself a target of taking one step every day to improve your work-life balance? That step may be different each day and this is helpful because you may not - for example - be able to leave work earlier every day if there is a crisis on, but on the days when you can’t then you can do something special at home to compensate.
Life is increasingly busy for all of us, especially if we are working and also have family commitments. It can be really hard trying to allocate time reasonably between work and family - let alone carving out any “me-time”. But here are some things you might like to try:
occasionally getting up an hour earlier to do something nice before work. Tough but might be worth it! Maybe a walk or a swim or a cooked breakfast or catching up with an episode of your favourite box series - either on your own or with the family;
enrolling in an evening class for something you’ve always wanted to learn and making sure that you do leave work early that one evening of the week;
booking one afternoon a month off work for a special treat such as a long lunch out, shopping trip, spa treatment or theatre matinee;
getting involved in introducing some fun activities at work such as monthly socials, reading groups, bring your daughters to work day, or charity fundraising activities;
having regular weekends away (or uninterrupted ones at home) with family or friends - or even on your own if you need some head space;
setting yourself a slightly scary challenge to work towards in 2016 such as a charity walk or run, a course to learn something new, a visit to somewhere you’ve never been before;
how about arranging a monthly family “day out”. Get everyone to commit to it! This could vary from a theme park (go on, you know you’d love it really!), a National Trust or English Heritage visit, or simply a walk and a picnic. These kind of outings are the foundation on which tomorrow’s happy memories are built.
On the subject of happy memories, whatever you decide to do, it’s also important to keep a record of it so that you can look back on 2016 with a sense of achievement. Journalling is an excellent tool to use here! Why not get a stylish hardback notebook and every day write in something positive you’ve done that day to improve your work-life balance? You can also include your own photographs of some of those special moments: don’t just post them on social media but print them off for a more permanent and tangible record that you can look back on with pride!
For particularly significant dates and events - particularly those with the family - why not consider some professional photos? Because you’re worth it! Having professional photos displayed on a wall in your home is a wonderful way to capture those precious moments forever! When you look back in a few years time and realise how 2016 was a life-changing year for you, you’ll be so glad that you have some special photography to help tell your story! Why not contact Venture Studios today to see how we can help you create lasting memories of what we hope will turn out to be your best year yet!