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The surprising question that will lead you to work life balance in the new year


                       (Billionaire Mark Cuban wants to spend more time with his family in 2017)



While hitting the post-holiday sales with a friend, she told me all about her resolution for 2017: “This year, I’m going to have a better work life balance.” Her declaration didn’t surprise me. This is the time of year my friends tell me that they work too much or they want to find a new job. Just this morning, I watched Live with Kelly, guest hosted by Mark Cuban. Mark told Kelly his resolution for 2017 is to spend more time with his family. I guess even billionaires have trouble balancing their lives!

At the start of a new year, it is typical to contemplate our work and home lives and rekindle our desire to find the work life balance. After many years of setting resolutions in which I fell short, I now realize that there is a simple question to ask when we want to take charge of our lives or set new goals:

How can I be happier?

Answering that question requires introspection. When we ask ourselves, “How can I be happier?” we aren't considering what goals we should achieve. We aren’t comparing ourselves with friends or co-workers.

Here is my suggestion: Before making your resolution for 2017, picture yourself with a smile on your face. What are you doing? What do you look like? Where are you living and working? Who is by your side? Now, think about what you need to do to be that person with a smile on your face.

Get out a pencil and paper and write down your plan. When I took out my pencil to make my plan, the results surprised me. Last year, I enrolled in graduate school. I took one class and loved it. I had planned to make my resolution for 2017 about getting through my grad school program as quickly as possible and loading up on classes this year.

When I sat down and thought about how I could be happier, I realized that enjoying family time with my son in high school before he leaves for college is what I want. So, instead of loading up on classes I am going to take one or two at a time and spend some quality time with my son on the weekends.

I asked my husband what would make him happier in 2017. At first, he spoke about promotions at work and financial goals. But when I pressed him harder, he admitted he would be happier figuring out a plan to ensure a comfortable retirement. His plan is more about rethinking our current spending and savings than putting in more hours at work to make more money.

So before you resolve to exercise more or get organized or make more money, think about how - and if – your goal will make you happier. Then, create a path to gain more enjoyment from your life. Keep a picture of a smiling you on your computer or cell phone screen and replace it with new ones throughout the year.

Wishing you a fantastic 2017!