Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Some great stuff from Stephanie Zonars on something that is very difficult for many of us in the coaching profession -- finding balance:

Leaders are overwhelmed with many roles and responsibilities. Making life work means figuring out how to integrate the various areas of life in a way that brings satisfaction and meaning.

We’re working our way through seven key life areas that impact your life balance. So far we’ve addressed faith, family and wellness. This month we’ll look at career.

Most of my clients don’t struggle with job satisfaction, but rather with keeping their career in perspective. Perhaps you can relate. Has your pursuit of professional excellence taken over your life, prohibiting you from giving attention to other areas?

Former Ball State Associate Head Coach, Lisa McDonald, loved being a Cardinal for the last 9 seasons. Though she developed better life balance habits in recent years, life as a college coach allowed her only about 3 weeks a year with her family in Arizona. She decided it was time for a change and recently left coaching to move back to Flagstaff to work with her brother's company as a personal trainer.

For Lisa, better life balance and living a values-driven life meant changing jobs. Better life balance for you may not require a job change, but it will likely require some change. If you have trouble:

• Turning off your cell phone, or not answering work calls/emails at home or after hours
• Being “all there” mentally and emotionally when you are with family/friends
• Leaving your office at a reasonable hour
• Relaxing and turning “work” off in your mind
• Making time to exercise, recreate and eat right
• Getting through a day without caffeine
• Saying no
then it’s time to evaluate your career and make some adjustments to live a healthier life.

You want to know the truth? Are you ready? Ok, here you go— you will never get it all done! No matter how long you work, there will always be more to do. And yet, we weren’t created to work 24/7/365. Stress, burnout and health issues besiege those who try.

Your work is part of your life—and a good part. But it’s not meant to be your life. Here are a few ideas to help create more separation between your career and the rest of your life:

Take a vacation: Americans earn the least amount of vacation days in the world, and still 35% of employed US adults don’t use their vacation days. Make a commitment to take all your vacation days…every year.

Go unplugged: Decide to spend daily, uninterrupted time with your family, a friend or even by yourself and refuse to answer work calls or emails. Put it in your schedule and tell your co-workers.

Leave the office: Schedule appointments that will force you to leave the office at a reasonable time. Agree to pick up the kids three days/week or to meet someone for dinner.

Be accountable: If you know that changing a particular habit will give you better balance but you can’t seem to change it on your own, agree to pay a friend $10 for every time you don’t follow through. It’s amazing how a little cold, hard cash motivates!

Life Beyond Sport Bottom Line: you were not meant to work all the time. Losing perspective on your career and believing that you're indispensable at work leads to unhealthy habits, sending the others areas of your life into a tailspin. Get perspective on your career, set some limits around it, and become more productive and happy.

Visit Stephanie's website: http://www.lifebeyondsport.com/