Work life balance in the new year

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work life balance

Everyone approaches a new year in their own way, but I think it’s safe to say that we all hope it will be better than the one before.

For many of us, getting more enjoyment out of life means spending more time playing and less time working.

Last month, I was one of nine experts quoted in Linda Samuel’s blog post, 9 Guaranteed Solutions for Restoring Your Life Balance, and I couldn’t help but notice that all of us talked about being out of balance when work takes over, rather than personal issues or activities.

While pondering this, the following tweet caught my eye:

I’ve heard great things about Marie Forleo from a few different people, so I decided to read her post and watch her video, and I was not disappointed. Even though video isn’t my preferred method of consuming information, I was so impressed that I wanted to share it with you here:

If you don’t have 10 minutes to watch it, the key points are as follows:

  1. Daily meditation
  2. Rocks first, sand last
  3. Make time off predictable and required
  4. Change your choices

In 2014, I adopted MAXIMIZE as my one-word vision for the year. My word for 2015 was FOCUS. In both cases, my intention has been to make the most of my time by focusing on one thing at a time, with the ultimate goal of achieving better work life balance. With that in mind, my “one word” for 2016 is BALANCE, and I’ve saved the above collage to my desktop as a daily reminder of Marie Forleo’s wise words.

Current activities in my personal life should help me to “make time off predictable and required.” (You can read about them on my personal blog, Away from my desk, if you’re interested.)

I’ve got some exciting stuff up my sleeve for you too, and I look forward to sharing it with you soon.

What are you doing to achieve better work life balance?

Photo credits, clockwise, from top left:

  1. Janet Barclay
  2. Alexandria Brooke / Flickr
  3. Bastien Wiedenhaupt / Pixabay
  4. Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos
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A former professional organizer, I now eliminate stress for my clients by hosting, monitoring, and maintaining their WordPress sites so they don’t have to worry about security, downtime or performance issues. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

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  1. Avatar Sabrina Quairoli on January 4, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    I totally agree! When work takes over, personal life falls fast. There are several aspects that I have looked at this past December for the new year. I read a post about picking one word to represent the goal for the year, well, I narrowed it down to 5 words that represent this year for me. Here they are: Perseverance, Resilience, Motivation, Prosperity, and Integrity. Some mean the same, but I really like these words to represent my year for 2016. Another goal I have so I don’t feel like I am always in front of my computer is to have a small adventure on Saturdays or Sundays every weekend. My husband and I work from home so it tends to be hard for us to get out during the week. We really need to though, it helps with our creativity. Our adventures can be walking outside, playing in the garden, and going for a hike in the mountains. It doesn’t matter to me. I am looking forward to it. =) Thanks for sharing.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on January 5, 2016 at 9:12 am

      It sounds like you and I are on the same page, Sabrina! Enjoy your adventures!!

  2. Linda Samuels Linda Samuels on January 4, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Janet- Thank you for the lovely mention in your post on balance. As you know, balance is a favorite topic of mine and how cool that it’s YOUR word for the year. Last year my words were “white space,” as in preserve and be aware of the unscheduled time in my calendar. I haven’t picked a word for 2016 yet. I’m still evaluating and thinking about 2015 and what I’d like to focus on for 2016. There are years when it takes me most of January and even some of February to figure it out. Some things just can’t be rushed.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on January 5, 2016 at 9:15 am

      I hear you, Linda! Although I love the visual reminder of Marie Forleo’s message that this collage carries, I’m already having doubts about “balance” being my “one word” for the year. But it all boils down to making life more fulfilling, so as long as that’s top of mind, I’m not going to sweat it. 🙂

      • Linda Samuels Linda Samuels on January 5, 2016 at 10:01 am

        Janet- We’re a work in progress. The word “balance” suggests flexibility, evaluation, change and an openness to making adjustments as needed….because we’re on the look. It’s a good place to begin and can always morph into something else if needed.

  3. Avatar Margarita Ibbott on January 5, 2016 at 9:30 am

    My word for this year us Focus. It’s taking the time to work on the task at hand while being cognicent of the end goal.

    My goal is to get to Sweden and maybe Germany or Finland this summer. My task is to work on projects that will provide the funds to do this. My focus is put forth proposals, workshops or packages that will make those funds come in.

    Lots of planning these days with steps to get there.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on January 5, 2016 at 9:41 am

      That’s lovely, Margarita! I love how you’ve tied your activities to a specific goal – I bet that increases the likelihood of your taking the necessary actions to make it all happen. Can’t wait to find out where you go!

      • Avatar Margarita Ibbott ( on January 11, 2016 at 12:58 am

        Honestly, everything is tied together but if I don’t start with the basics the rest won’t matter…. Sweden here I come.

  4. Avatar Seana Turner on January 6, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    My word this year is “laugh” because I want to do more of that in my life. That is one way I hope to seek balance – not taking myself too seriously. I love the point that rest needs to be predictable… that can help us hang on through the tough spells!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on January 7, 2016 at 6:40 am

      I love it, Seana! I think there are quite a few of us that take ourselves too seriously.

      (I hope you’re planning to submit that Shoes post to the next Professional Organizers Blog Carnival!)

  5. Avatar Liana George on January 6, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    Great post Janet! Thanks for sharing so openly about your struggles and the hope that you have for this new year! As an entrepreneur it is so easy to get out of balance. It is critical that we have good work/life balance, not just for ourselves and our families, but for our businesses and clients too! I wish you all the best in this New Year and in your efforts to have a year of balance 🙂

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on January 7, 2016 at 6:43 am

      Thanks, Liana! Your kind words mean a lot to me, and I hope you have a great year too.

  6. Avatar Jill Robson on January 7, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Great post Janet! My word this year is “adaptable” we all need structure but we also need to learn how to roll with the punches. I love the video with Marie Forleo, and making time off predictable and required, loved her energy.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on January 7, 2016 at 11:34 am

      That’s great, Jill. I always say it’s important to have a plan, but just as important to be prepared for the possibility that things may not happen according to plan.

  7. Avatar Autumn Leopold on January 7, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Beautiful post Janet! Last year my word was Direction and I changed it a lot! lol But this year my word is Intentional. I want to be intentional in everything I do, everything I own and everything I say! I was not great at work life balance in 2015 but I am so much better already! 🙂

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on January 8, 2016 at 7:12 am

      That’s a great one, Autumn!

      As I read the various words people have chosen, I realize that even though they’re all quite different, if I apply them to myself, they all signify the same thing. So maybe it’s not even about the word, but about being aware of what we want to do differently going forward.

      Often the word we choose slips out of mind as the year progresses, so maybe we need a new word every month, to keep it fresh!

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