This year, Thanksgiving feels like just another big to-do on my already too long list. As I prepare for the stampede of relatives that will soon arrive hungry, I'm trying to stay calm, take a step back and be grateful for having a wonderful family. Of course, I'm already mentally stressing about the craziness of the holidays that lies ahead. When will I get my shopping done?
That makes it an ideal time of the year for a check in with ourselves.
Today, my guest blogger, Alexa Sherr Hartley, offers a few great suggestions for conducting that check in. Hartley is an attorney and executive coach who runs premierleadershipcoaching.com, which provides in-person and telecoaching services to individuals and groups. Below is her advice:
Decide if you are happy. It is important to step back and take an inventory of your professional life. Ask yourself: Do I have balance in my life? What are my accomplishments, setbacks and goals? Look inward once a quarter. By taking stock at scheduled intervals, you provide yourself with perspective and give yourself the opportunity to see the big picture.
Reach out for help. If you are out of balance, do something. Many of us refuse help when offered and fail to ask for help when needed. This is a big mistake – no one can do it all, alone, all of the time. There is a supportive individual, and in some instances, teams of individuals, behind every woman who obtains her professional goals. It is insignificant whether the person supporting you is a spouse, nanny, parent, or community resource, but you must have someone. Delegating certain tasks makes you available for those responsibilities which you truly must perform yourself. To ensure that you are not forced to decide between your career and your family, reach out to those around you.
Get emotional support: What do successful executives or business owners have in common? They have people around them who provide emotional support. It is integral to staying in the game at work. It can be a great comfort to reach out to those in the same boat. Often, we relate best with --and garner strength from-- those who are struggling with similar issues. Rely on your colleagues and peers for advice; tap into them as a source of information.A formal or informal peer support group is a powerful resource.
Look for role models. Those who have successfully found a balance can be a great example of how you can find that balance too. If you can't find a role model in your work place, look for examples within your industry.
When was the last time you did an work life balance check in? Do you feel like this year family has taken a back seat to work? Are you planning to do anything about it?