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"We can be sure that the greatest hope for maintaining equilibrium in the face of any situation rests within ourselves." -Francis J. Braceland

Volume 1, Issue 6-- July 2004

In This Issue

Feature Article  |  Resources  |  Fast Facts 
  Survey  |  What's New  |  About Regina

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Feature Article - Balance

I often chuckle at how hard so many of us seem to be working to find the ever elusive balance that we seek. Some of you are probably personally convinced (and some days I am too!) that balance simply does not really exist. Perhaps you have told yourself that having balance is simply one of those urban legends. Sort of like the Loch Ness Monster, you've heard of it but never seen it.

So what is balance? There are many definitions of balance. According to Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, one definition of balance means to bring into harmony or proportion. Another is to bring to a state or position of equipoise. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to note the word poise in the word equipoise and that certainly sounds like something I'd like more of. Wouldn't you?

So, how do you get it? Simply put, you get balance by developing the ability to prioritize and focus on those things that are most important to you, and to let go of those things that aren't important to you. And, this requires that you have a personal definition of success, a clear understanding of your values, and a means for evaluating all of the demands on your time that you receive on a daily basis. You also need to define what balance looks like and feels like for you. And finally, you must stop comparing yourself to others!

Posted next to my telephone are the top three strategic priorities by which I evaluate or screen all demands on my time. When a demand for my time comes in, I review it against these strategic priorities and then I make a choice as to what I should do. There are only three things that I can do with any demand on my time:

1. DO it. Complete what is requested of me.
2. DELEGATE it. Ask someone else to do it.
3. DISCARD it. Decline the request altogether.

Like most women, you are probably very adept at doing what is requested of you. However, you could probably use lessons on delegating and saying no in the first place.

So, as we move into the second half of summer, my challenge for you is this. Consciously practice delegating and saying no more often. Then, do something just for you. If this fits with your vision of balance, then you are on the right track. If not, then you have more work to do. Remember, you hold the key to balance in your life. If you select which door you open thoughtfully, you will find that balance can indeed be yours. And that's a good thing.

Copyright 2004 Regina Barr, Red Ladder, Inc.

Resources
The Pathway: Follow the Road to Health and Happiness, by Laurel Mellin. This book is about mastering two simple skills: "self-nurturing" and "effective limit setting." The method and its implementation are described in this book. (Note: the author and book were featured on Oprah)

Women's Stressors, Personality Traits, and Inner-Balance Strategies, by Janet W. Kenny RN, Ph.d. This book explains numerous self-healing methods about how healthy emotions and attitudes can empower you, how healthy lifestyle behaviors can enhance your harmony and balance, and how various self-care activities can strengthen, your health and healing."

http://lwsonline.com/balance.html - This website discusses various measures employers can make to increase balance in both their employee's work life and personal life. (work-balancing solutions in a simple scroll down list format.)

http://www.ivillage.com/topics/work/0,,166534,00.html - This website offers a variety of information on balancing work and family.

Fast Facts
  • Fast Facts: Scientific studies suggest that 80 - 85% of all health problems are related to stress.
  • Your thoughts, emotions, and personality traits all affect your mind/body health, and strongly influence your reactions to stressful situations.
  • Stress is more likely when your life and mind/body interactions are unbalanced.
  • Many women are in mind/body disharmony and suffer unnecessary stress and illness.
  • A good balance between too much and too little stress should be a priority.

Source: Women's Stressors, Personality Traits, and Inner-Balance Strategies, By Janet W. Kenny RN, Ph.d

June Survey Results - Balance
60% of respondents DISAGREED that they tend to focus all of their energies into one thing, giving less attention to other things that they value.

Only 40% of respondents AGREED that their professional and personal life are balanced.

60% of respondents AGREED that they wish their life had more balance but they're afraid of letting some things go.

100 % of respondents AGREED that they usually devote more time and energy to their career over their family.

60% of respondents AGREED that they typically take time out for themselves at least once per week.

60% of respondents AGREED that they frequently feel overwhelmed with all the chaos in their lives.

Survey

Each month we will be asking for your input on a short survey. This month our survey is on Personal Visibility.

What's New

On July 21st, Regina spoke for Business & Professional Women, Minneapolis, on the topic: Getting Paid What You're Worth. Want to learn more about this important program? Contact us at info@redladder.com

About Regina
Regina Barr, President of Red Ladder, Inc., holds a BBA in finance/management and an MBA in management/ marketing. An advocate of lifelong learning, she is currently enrolled in the Master of Arts in Human Development at St. Mary's University in Minneapolis, MN. Her focus: leadership and issues facing women in business. Regina has over fourteen years in the financial services industry where she has a broad range of leadership experience in product, sales, and marketing.

http://www.redladder.com
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What our clients are saying...
„Regina is an outstanding leader that inspires you to be the best and to make a difference. She is an invaluable resource for taking challenges and turning them into successful opportunities.š - Cindy Haas, Vice President, Anchor Bank

Copyright (C) 2004 Red Ladder, Inc.  ~  info@redladder.com  
 651-453-1007  ~  Inver Grove Heights, MN  55076