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Is Your Life Out of Balance?

What is Life in Balance?

by David Silberkleit

Empower LLC

Preface: Working harder does not produce the results we crave. I see it every day in my work as a business coach; people believe there is a direct relationship between time spent running a business and achieving goals. In fact, this belief is a trap that drives a healthy person to self-abuse. Most of us have been there: striving to finish just one more memo, phone call, or item on the, "to do" list before we can call the day complete. I refer to this behavior pattern as living out of balance, particularly when it results in a work week that feels like it will never end. No matter what business you are in ~ whether retailing bicycles or mobilizing communities to change the world ~ living out of balance is counter productive to your personal mission and destructive to your body and soul. I support clients to view accomplishments in work, health/well-being and relationships as equally important. Investing in all three domains pays the biggest dividends and is access to living in balance with new levels of excellence and accomplishment. And it's done by spending less rather than more time at the office. Here are the seven steps to balance that my clients use to produce huge results. I invite you to explore these tools, and I'd love to hear how you do.

Sincerely, David Silberkleit, President and Head Coach, Empower LLC

Seven Steps to Balance

1.  Define Success

What exactly does success mean to you? If you can't define it, you certainly can't attain it. A vague definition of success almost always leads to vague goals. Common goals which lack structure and definition are: making more money, losing weight, getting in shape, changing the world, or managing a business more efficiently. For many people, these are not goals but instead lifelong prison sentences. Generalized goals like, "making more money" are not attainable; you never know if you have fulfilled them. We continually raise the bar and never quite get there. Instead we continue to struggle, thinking we're getting closer to, "success." The alternative is to structure goals so that frequent accomplishments are attainable. Examples include spending an hour each week training an associate to perform a task (the one you most frequently complain about), exercising every day and measuring daily performance, setting a deadline to publish a world-changing message, and making the appropriate sales calls each day to produce a targeted revenue. Goals like these can invigorate and empower rather than drain and diminish.

2. Structure Exercise

 Exercise is essential. It is no surprise to learn that many great leaders religiously incorporate exercise into their routines and reap the benefits. But what if you hate to exercise and find an unlimited number of reasons to procrastinate? Building structure helps to defeat procrastination. Some suggestions: *Turn a regular meeting with an associate into a regular workout. *Schedule a regular exercise session with a best friend; support one another in maintaining the routine. *Learn a new sport with your mate~make a commitment to train together. *Compete in a favorite sport. Set a personal goal (enter a running race, for example) and train towards it. *Join a bicycle, ski, or tennis club (or any team of like-minded athletes) and commit to participating in a certain number of events.

3. Clean-up Messes

Whether it's a disorganized desk, a car that needs service, money owed or a cluttered attic, everyone has something that needs cleaning-up in their life. Each mess reduces our effectiveness and drains our energy~including messes that are not in plain view (like a closet that is overflowing). Make a commitment to clean- up at least one big mess each month and note the velocity you'll experience in all areas of your life as a result.

4. Design Your Work Environment

We spend countless hours at work, yet the environment is frequently uncomfortable, unhealthy, and prohibitive to achieving our goals. Problems include poor ergonomics, bad lighting and a lack of storage to organize and control clutter. Take time now to maximize the utility of your work space. Purchase bins, shelving or whatever it takes to keep the messes from recurring each week. An inadequate or cluttered office sets the tone for your day and for your work. It is difficult to be precise and well organized if your office is not. I also recommend decorating your office with reminders of your greatest accomplishments. A collage of small photographs surround my own computer monitor; there are 12 images of me enjoying favorite moments, hobbies and sports. These images energize me.

5. Structure Relationships

Many of us spend insufficient time with the most meaningful people in our lives: best friends, children, spouses or lovers. A regularly scheduled date is one way to establish a structure for time together. A weekly Saturday morning hike, or Sunday afternoon conversation are other ways to impose a framework for continuity in your relationship. The objective is not to kill spontaneity, but rather to ensure that there will be time with your partner, to guarantee that you will have more in your life than just your work. Some couples and best friends even make a contract to ensure they keep their word to spend time together and communicate openly with one another. Empower clients have produced the biggest results when they are surrounded by healthy relationships.

6. Personal Support

Many of us have a complaint about time. Hiring personal support is one way to create more free time for the things you love. Examples include hiring a chef, a cleaning service, bookkeeper or contractor. For example, I employ an errand service. I gladly pay for this kind of support; I'd much rather spend my time doing what moves and inspires me.

7. Spiritual Development

A spiritual program can be extremely valuable in balancing busy executives, lives. I recommend some spiritual practice weekly to recharge the soul. For some, this can be a regular religious service. For others, a yoga class, meditation, massage or acupuncture is a means to achieving a deeply relaxed state and renewed energy. Time with a personal coach, trainer, or therapist, as well as a solitary, reflective walk in the woods may also provide spiritual benefits. The key is to design a framework within which you can take care of yourself. You will be rewarded with maximum performance! Achieving a balanced life honors the three aforementioned domains; work, health/well-being and relationships. Managing all three areas is access to a balanced life allowing peak performance and dreams fulfilled.


 David Silberkleit is founder of Empower Executive Coaching, a national coaching firm based in Stamford, CT. David's specialty is helping business leaders optimize their quality of life. He is the former VP, Marketing for Archie Comic Publications. He is also an airplane and glider pilot, certified ski instructor, scuba diver, yacht racer and rock climber. He has toured ten different countries by bike including a trip in 1997 from Hanoi to Saigon by recumbent bike.

David Silberkleit Master Certified Life Coach
Empower, LLC
159 Thimble Island Road
Stony Creek CT 06405
203 488 9188


Author, "A New Adventure Every Day" Available now at bookstores everywhere- preview at Amazon:  A New Adventure Every Day: 541 Simple Ways to Live With Pizzazz


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