We weren’t made to work 24/7/365. Many of us try, but the result is always the same. Burnout. Health issues. Damaged relationships. Going hard without taking a break is like saying we’re too busy driving to stop for gas. Eventually, we’ll be forced to stop.
We’ve seen it over and over, yet the list of coaches who have had to leave the game in order to regain some semblance of life balance continues to grow. The latest addition to that list is Arizona State women’s basketball coach, Charli Turner Thorne, who announced that she’ll be taking a nine-month unpaid, voluntary leave of absence. While thankful that she’s wisely made that decision to better care for herself and her family, (and kudos to ASU for allowing it) it’s disheartening that it’s come to this for her and so many others.
There’s no magic formula or one-size-fits-all solution for finding life balance, and perhaps that’s why it’s such a tough nut to crack. Yet, one thing does apply to all of us: little adjustments along the way make a big difference in the end. A plane flying from New York to LA that makes a 2-degree shift in its flight pattern will end up at another destination. The same is true in life. Make small adjustments now and over time they will impact your destination.
Matt Bollant (UW-Green Bay), Amie Bradley (Trinity) and Stephanie Yelton (Boston College) participated on my Life Balance Panel at the WBCA Convention last month. Here are a few small adjustments that have made a big impact on their life balance:
- Matt turns off his cell phone before he turns onto his street so that he can engage with his girls when they run out to greet him. He turns it back on after they are in bed.
- Amie plans out her meals in advance and only goes to the grocery a few times a month. This is especially important since she has 5 kids!
- Stephanie and her husband decided to have groceries delivered to their home to save time.
So the choice is yours. You can make adjustments now to prioritize your health and relationships, or one day you’ll be forced to make those changes. And chances are if you wait, the stakes will be higher.
One great place to start is by using my Life Balance Tool. It will help you evaluate your current situation in 7 different life areas and define what success looks like to you in each area so that you can identify gaps and make adjustments. Get it for free here.