Day 1 of my challenge was a little dicey. It was Monday (that’s enough to make it dicey) and I was out of town this weekend which means no trip to the grocery store which means no food in my house which means I sustained myself on cookies most of the day (thank goodness for Girl Scouts). So much for the eating clean part of the challenge 🙂
All that is to say my Monday was off because my planning was off. I didn’t take the time Sunday to set myself up for success. Still, I spent my Monday reconnecting with people – kids, colleagues, even friends so even though I didn’t do so hot in the Be Well category (I packed gym clothes, but didn’t use them), I did a pretty awesome job of Keeping in Touch.
This experience reminded me of two important ideas about striving for well-being:
Living a balanced life isn’t all about having a perfect day. It’s about having balance in the long term. So instead trying to jam everything into one day, take a week or even a month as your timeframe. Nigel Marsh does a great job explaining this idea in his TED Talk on work-life balance. He reminds us that it’s probably pretty rare that we can have our perfect day (for example I couldn’t go for a run with my husband, do yoga, meditate, have lunch with a friend, come up an innovative and powerful idea about education, coach the debate team and watch Downton Abbey every day), but if I make an effort I could do all that every week).
I love connecting with people – hence one of my goals around keeping in touch. So the fact that I got to do so much of that today was a major win. Of course most of those connections had to do with work and career. This leads me the second idea of this post: what if instead of balancing our work and our personal lives, we integrated them? The term work-life balance implies that there is necessary competition between what we do to earn a living and what we do to make our lives meaningful. Does that have to be the case? To learn more, check out this HBR article on work-life integration. The more I think about it, the more I think that work-life integration is the best way to structure our lives. Sure – it’s not easy, but definitely something worthy of working towards (pun intended).