Are you balancing all of your hats?

hats  photo by striatic

One of my favorite guiding principles / quotes is:

All things in moderation, including moderation.” (attributed to Mark Twain, but I can’t verify that).

This idea is one that keeps you centered – balanced across all of the different aspects of your life.  Let’s face it, as a business owner you wear a lot of hats – both in the business and out of the business.  You are the leader, the face of the business, probably the guy emptying the trash can…and on top of that, you’re a spouse, maybe a parent, a member of your church, a neighbor, a friend and possibly lots of other things.  If you let one of the roles you play become too dominant, all of the other roles will suffer.

Think about a workaholic that you know – maybe it’s an entrepreneur, maybe it’s a corporate hard charger trying to get up the ladder.  In either case, you might admire their capacity for hard work and possibly you admire their results or their success, but it’s unlikely that you envy their life overall, they aren’t in balance (and it’s not sustainable in the long run.).

This idea of having and embracing clear cut roles in your life is important when you start thinking about your planning for next year.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of recognizing your self-limiting beliefs as an important precursor to planning.

Along the same lines, it’s just as important to take time and recognize the important roles that you play and that you want to develop for the next year.  By identifying your roles, what’s important to you and makes up who you are, you can make insure your planning incorporates a balanced look across everything.

Let’s take a look at what happens if you ignore the roles in your life.  Think back to a time when it was really important that you made something happen at work – you start working long hours, you’re really focused on the job at hand and other things start to slip.  You stop going to the gym (who has time).  You don’t see your spouse much…but she understands right?  It’s okay that you’re not around…at least for a while!

You can see how that approach will play out over time.

However, if you can identify ALL of the things that are important to you in the long run, then you can start addressing each of your roles so you stay in balance.  (Moderation in all things…)

Getting started on your roles and planning:

As part of your planning process, identify 7 or 8 major roles you play or should be playing in your life.

Which of those roles is the MOST important thing you want to focus on for the next year?  Not to the exclusion of everything else, but something has to be your priority and this is a good chance for you to identify where you’d like to make some real headway in your life. 

Is this the year that you get healthy and make that a real priority?  Maybe you’re launching your business and that has to be number one.  Whatever it is, it should be the most important thing to you – with the recognition that it’s just one of 8 hats that you’re wearing.

Now come up with at least 2 or 3 goals for each role that you’d like to achieve in the next year, maybe you have more than that, but the important thing is to think through it and get it all out on paper.

That’s going to leave you with a huge number of goals – which is also a sure recipe for failure and a quick path to feeling overwhelmed…totally not the point!  So the next step is to look at that entire list of goals and prioritize it down to a top 10 list!  Ideally that top 10 will be spread out over all of your roles – likely weighted towards your highest priority.  If you could achieve all 10 of those goals, you would have a great year!

With your 10 most important goals to focus on, and an ongoing awareness of all of your roles and responsibilities, you’re now in a position to really be effective going forward.

To really stay on track, I’d recommend an ongoing checkpoint (maybe monthly, but probably weekly) to make sure that you are staying focused on your top 10 goals (and nothing else…) and spending time and energy on each of your important roles (staying balanced).

Have you factored your roles into planning and goal setting before?  What roles are you overlooking?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Shawn Kinkade  Kansas City Business Coach