People as busy and stressed as lawyers often do not take the time to check in with themselves periodically about where they are in their lives. They tend not to stop and ask what is giving meaning and value to their lives. Sometimes the idea of doing so is frightening because of what they think they might find. In my coaching practice, I do meet many lawyers who want to make some adjustments about the way they are living. Most of the time the fear is unwarranted because even the smallest adjustment is all that is needed to make a world of difference. It’s not a matter of giving up the life you know. Unless it is a health issue, even when large adjustments are indicated, it is not necessary to make major life changes overnight. Everything can be done gradually, step by step. Life is a journey and there is something to glean at every stage. In fact, most people live much longer than previous generations and therefore have opportunities to develop and express many aspects of their personalities, talents and interests.
Take 5 minutes to do the following exercise. I promise the return on that investment (ROI) will be manifold.
Pick 8 words from this list or add your own words that represent the most important areas of your life. family, health, fun, work, financial, friends, partner, vacations, community, recreation, personal, development, spiritual, career development, work environment, home environment, support, system. Again, let the words mean what you want them to mean. Place the words on the spokes of the wheel. Place your 8 words at each spoke and place a mark on the spoke to indicate your degree of satisfaction at this time in your life of that particular item. For example, if your spiritual life is making you happy, you may want to indicate it as near a 10 (a high level of satisfaction). If you are not happy at work you may markt it a 2, near the 0 at the center (a low level of satisfaction). When you are through, connect your dots and notice how balanced or unbalanced your wheel is.
Now that the picture of the balance in your life at this moment in time is in front of you, ask yourself which of those areas are priorities to improve and which are fine as they are. Make a plan and a commitment to take only one or two small steps a week toward getting the balance you want. Does it mean making a weekly date with your spouse and/or your children? Might you be more careful in the clients you accept? How about phasing out some of those who make you miserable? Does it mean taking brief breaks throughout your day to refresh yourself by focusing on something of interest other than work? Perhaps a time management structure would make a big difference. Would you like to do something spiritual like taking a class or attending religious services? Does it mean developing a hobby or at least subscribing to a magazine featuring an interest of yours? What about music, listening to it more, learning or playing an instrument? Does it mean planning what you will do in the next stage of your life?
Article by: – Dorene Lehavi Ph.D