One of my favorite ways to expand my ideas around practicing a work life balance is to talk with my hiking guests. They come from all over the world, offering diverse perspectives; and they all like to stay active. As a Personal Trainer and Health Coach, I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned, but mostly I love discovering how others stay healthy. I’ve found the stories they tell and the insight they offer to be uniquely valuable in my personal growth. So I’d like to share my favorites here in a series titled “Lessons from the Trail.” In this post I’ll explain how a guest encouraged me to re-commit to my established belief in a day of restoration.
During the spring of 2022 I was motivated and inspired by the curiosity of my young guest from Chicago. As we hiked along the trail she quizzed me about being an entrepreneur. When she asked me how many days I have off each week, I giggled a bit out of embarrassment,. I knew my answer wouldn’t reflect healthy behaviors. I still answered honestly. “I work most days.” Aware that I should take more time off, I gave her some really logical explanations as to why I don’t. The health coach in me saw these for what they were, excuses. The bottom line is that I need time to play, time to rest, and time to restore.
Re-committing to Your Established Beliefs
I’ve worked to establish beliefs about taking time off in the past and I’ve even come to some conclusions. In 2019 I began a practice of taking a day off each week. That may sound simple but there were a few rules. I decided I wouldn’t set any appointments on that day. Instead I would allow time to just exist rather than creating a time to be somewhere for something. I also had to do one thing that was actually restorative. By the spring of 2022 I was off track, working anytime I was booked, and going weeks without a real day off. It wasn’t until my guests’ genuine inquisitiveness struck my attention that I my practice was lacking.
Because I’ve had the conversation of work-life balance with myself many times before, I was sure that if I played it out in my head again, I would come to the same conclusion. I was sure I would decide that balance is a necessity if I want to accomplish anything in my business. So I did play it out again. And I likely will many times over in my life, as long as balance is a goal and life doesn’t exist in a controlled environment. I started the next day by doing zero work on the computer and enjoying a personal trail run and a nap. It was just what I needed.
So thanks to my young guest from Chicago, I re-committed to my belief that we must find a work-life balance. I would estimate that over the years I’ve been about 60% successful. While that’s quite a distance from perfection, it’s right on target with a practice. Recognizing room for improvement, making mind-set changes, and adopting or re-adopting healthy habits; this IS the work of being well.
Start Creating Some Balance
If you’re interested in creating a little work-life balance of your own, consider the following questions. What do you want your work-life balance to look like? What are your commitments to finding balance? What rules or guidelines have you put in place to be successful in taking time off? What is a SMART goal you could set to help reach a step in your goal? What barriers might you face and what is your plan to overcome them? If you’re looking for some restorative activities, check out my posts on Turning a Sunrise Hike into a Healing experience. Youmight also enjoy this 15 minute restorative session. Like to read? I highly recommend Dan Butner’s Blue Zones as an excellent resource on ideas aroud restoration.