Many of you may know that Inspire has moved to a new home. Nestled in a converted stables perched on top of Muswell Hill, there’s a whole new energy to our business now we’re away from the bustle of the metropolis.
We agonised over leaving our trendy London address, but with young kids at home, and the pull of their smiling faces at bath-time, we know we made the right choice. And the new-year has brought more choices that put the focus on where the balance is in our lives and how we can organise ourselves to take advantage of what we love.
In my recent work at Microsoft, talk keeps coming round to Steve Jobs, as we focus on recognising the “Early Warning Signs” of excessive ego at work. As Steve Smith, author of Egonomics, points out, do we have to wait until we are fired, or lose something that is dear to us to act on the signals. So I started looking at what signals were around me. My wife was getting increasingly annoyed at the pressure I was putting on the bathroom scales, she is looking amazing at 40, doesn’t she deserve a husband who looks after his waist? My daughters have both told me I am the worst Dad ever in the past few months, shouldn’t I look at focusing on them some more? And as I had to have my wedding ring surgically removed despite my doctors assurance there is nothing wrong with my hands, shouldn’t I seek some alternative treatment for the virtually constant pain?
So the signals are not always clear unless we are looking for them and open to change. If you want to ensure balance in your life, then it will be critical that you recognise the signals and act on them promptly.
Rather than saying more about how we have lost weight or developed a calmer family having moved to a more sedate and local office, we’ve outlined a 7 step guide to tipping the balance in your favour:
1. List 7 things that could be interpreted as a warning sign that your life is not in balance
2. Score each of these with the highest being the issue that causes a lack of equilibrium and then pick your top three
3. For each of the three, list the impact of leaving the issue unresolved. What will happen if you do nothing about this issue, what are the consequences of maintaining the status quo?
4. For each of the three items, list at least 3 things you could do to put balance back into this area of your life. Be bold and adventurous in your ideas.
5. Pick three actions that you believe could tip the balance in your favour of a happy and contented lifestyle.
6. Schedule the next step to make each of these actions a reality
7. Share the actions with someone close to you to build a support structure to help you succeed
When I did this, the three things came out were:
1- My wife commenting on my weight and energy levels (commenting is being polite)
2- Kids not going to bed well
3- Physical pain in my hands every morning
Only I can interpret the cause of the above signals. And only I have the solutions in my hands – however looking at my challenges and solutions in black and white is incredibly empowering and helped me develop a set of prioritised actions, listed below:
1- a new eating regime (supported by a great app – my fitness pal. I’ve lost half a storm already and no carbs at PM has made our evenings much more fun.
2 – giving the kids an hour in the morning (and breakfast) at least 3 times a week. This is a long term one, but these hours are some I the best hours of my week. My kids just seem to respond so well to a really focused dad with loads of time for them.
3 – me taking on a 1-2-1 yoga teacher. It’s proving challenging to get up and do the practice but the benefits are on show for all.
What will the benefits for you be if you adopt a more proactive approach to tipping the balance in your favour?
Let us know what you are doing to make a difference to yourselves.