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Five Steps to Achieve Real Work-Life Balance

“The less that I differentiate between my “personal life” and my “work”, the less that I make the two compete with each other for my time and my energy, the less guilt I feel for spending too much time on one or the other, and the more “balanced”, well-adjusted, and happy I feel.”

I read this in an article today about finding true work-life balance, and I really love this perspective. I’m lucky. I love what I do. I love to exercise. I love my family. But it didn’t used to be that way. When I was young, I often struggled to do what I wanted. My work self was a stark difference from who I was at home. I loved to hang out with my friends and family and there were times that working was the last thing I wanted to do.

So when work took over my time, my life started to suck. I didn’t want to spend all day in an office working for someone else’s dream. I had a vision for helping people live their lives (including mine) better. I knew that the old way of doing life didn’t work, and I wanted to figure out how to encourage change.

So that’s what I did. I now work to make the lives of other people more energized, productive and positive. I knew I liked to write and talk to other people about their life, so that’s what I started doing. Pretty soon, my experience and research mixed with my passion, and I started to enjoy my whole day. Work was my life and I loved it.

Here is some advice for all of you pursuing that same reality, which I’m guessing, is all of us.

1. Pay Your Dues.
Sometimes you have to do things that don’t make you automatically happy. I had to go to school, do research and work for someone else before I could be my own boss. This took time, years even. And sometimes I hated it. Sometimes I was really hard. But in the end, it got me to the place I am today, and I wouldn’t take back that work because that work made this life possible.

2. Keep it simple.
You can’t achieve all your goals at once. You have to take things slowly or you’ll get overwhelmed and discouraged. You may have a whole host of things you need to accomplish before you can reach your goal, but all you have is today. All you can do is make this day better than yesterday. That means adding better habits slowly into your life, that means reading good books overtime, that means exercising a bit on a regular basis. Just do what you can with what you have today, and find the balance you’re searching for.

3. Be intentional with your community.
It doesn’t matter who you are, people need people to be successful and happy. Prioritize those people who love and support you. Spend time with inspiring people. Prune those relationships that are more toxic than helpful. Train your perspective to be one that provides a silver lining. Friends and family make your life good or bad depending upon who they are. Invest your time into a community of people who are good to themselves, to the world and to you.

4. Value your Health.
Do not. I repeat, do not run yourself into the ground. Take breaks on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. Sleep. Eat well with thoughtfulness. Don’t consume too many things that you know are bad. Take walks. Spend time outside. You don’t have to be perfect, but keep in mind that if you don’t care of yourself, your life will never be what it should be.

5. Take risks.
Life is scary and change can be even more so, but the simple truth is that if you don’t take new opportunities and do things differently, then nothing will ever change. Pursue new experiences, take leaps of faith, make mistakes, rediscover a childlike perspective people, and most of all don’t assume that you have the answers.


Is Expecting Workplace Happiness Expecting Too Much?

Employee HappinessIf you’re like most working adults, you have a Linkedin profile that connects you with other professionals. This month, one particular article caught my attention.

The article, “Four keys to happiness in your job” by Gary S., a CEO of oDesk spoke on what a person needs to thrive in their career. To me, all the factors were pretty self-explanatory and even common sense: impact, growth and development, financial reward and work-life balance.

What got my attention wasn’t the content of the article itself, but the comment a man named Kevin Rockwell left in response. “Nonsense to your 4 points…Most people could care less about what kind of impact they’re going to have on the world, their growth and development within the company, or for the flipping work-life balance. Geez, that last one is ridiculous. People want to pay their bills… Here’s a suggestion, Gary – one night this week sit down with your family to a dinner of noodles with cream of mushroom soup as a sauce and a side of pinto beans. Then get back to me about how important your four points are.”

Regardless of who I agree with, this debate sparked my curiosity and caused me to ask some questions around the office. One coworker in particular surprised me when I asked him if he cared about the impact his job made on the world. The man I asked is one of those fit, All-American men with a cheerful disposition, a happy family at his remodeled home and a job that he’s good at. But when I asked him my question, he stared at me with a stumped look. He said he had never thought about it. He said that as long as his impact and integrity at home were positive, he didn’t care about his job.


Why are the two not intertwined, I asked. Well, I guess they are, he said. He then went on to describe a past job at a large corporation you’re quite familiar with where he made lots of money but he hated every second of it. For you Harry Potter fans, he compared his workplace to Azkaban and his coworkers to dementors. He was literally drained of happiness.

Obviously we work because we need to pay our bills, but beyond that, shouldn’t we work because we enjoy it, we’re good at it, and we care about what we produce? From serving tables to protecting the President, we all have a role to play and when a person is doing his or her best at all hours of a day, expressing fully his or her values and beliefs in a consistent manner, a habit is forged that produces character. Life becomes integrated. What is held to be true, good, and virtuous in one setting . . . is true, good, and virtuous in ALL settings. There is no switching from “work mode” or “work values” to “home mode” and “home values.”

What do you think? Have you thought about these keys to happiness before? Do you care about how your work and home life integrate with each other?


Take Advantage of Your Strengths

Learn what your strengths are

Learn what your strengths are

Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Wellbeing, and Peak Human Performance.

We all have our own innate strengths. Some strength you may only discover in times of crisis. Other strengths you discover as you progress through life and pay attention to your skills.

You never know what you can achieve through your strengths and how you may actually help other people unless you apply them. The key is to stay focused on your goals and ignore the negativity of others. This is, of course, assuming you have goals. Not to be negative, but many people struggle to do what is required of them on a daily basis, much less dream bigger. Many may be overwhelmed with negativity and not even believe they can get better. If this is the case, read this.

Once you’ve changed your perspective and decided your goals (potentially the most important step), you can move onto applying your strengths and passions on a daily basis.

As a professional speaker, I work to motivate my audience through positive advice as well as the encouragement that anyone can improve their life. I didn’t start out this way. I was once a student wondering what to do with me life. It wasn’t until later that I realized what I loved to do- help others help themselves.

You will get much more satisfaction out of your work if you’re able to do something you are good at and actually enjoy doing. I know this might seem far fetched, but if you support your skills with a positive perspective, the right job will come to you.  At the same time, remember that everything takes work. Very few of us will just be that good at something without training. You may have an innate skill within you, but you still have to train it. This takes intention, consistency and passion. The right job isn’t going to fall in your lap, you have to develop your skills on a regular basis and put yourself into the world with the belief that something good will work.

As you develop your skills, you will grow confident and motivated at work.  and soon you will feel good in other areas of your life too. The secret to work life balance is simple once you get to this step because if you’ve successfully integrated your passions and strengths with your work, your life will be ideal. More on the logistics of this later.



To learn more on Andy’s programs. 


To Benefit from Exercise, Don’t Wait. Just Do.

Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Wellbeing, and Peak Human Performance.

Some_Motivation_Requiredu2sDetailWe all know that exercise is important. From Legally Blondes, “Endorphins make people happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands.” to a motivational speaker telling you to exercise consistently, you know what you’re supposed to be doing.

But sometimes, when we’re distracted, short on time, tired or grumpy, we don’t want to exercise. We want to sit on our butts and watch tv, eat pizza and have a beer. We’ve all had long, stressful days at work and came home with only the desire to be lazy. My advice- just do it anyways.

My favorite trick is to bring workout clothes with me so that when I get off work I instantly put them on, and I’ll be reminded and motivated to get out there before I go on with the rest of the evening.

Yes, you may feel tired and red faced when you get done. You also might be bored with you’re current workout, but you’ll always feel better afterwards. And not only do you get short-term satisfaction, you’ll also be treated to many long term ones too.

Other benefits include more energy, motivation, work-life satisfaction, less stress and better sex. Plus, eventually you’ll be looking as good as you feel. Plus, those feelings of laziness and discouragement are there because you don’t exercise regularly. Once you make working out a habit, those feelings will basically disappear. Remember, the benefits of exercise don’t require a fitness coach or doing Crossfit. All you need is a consistent practice to give you long term results.

Exercise is a To learn more on Andy’s programs. 


Better to Compete with Yourself. Not the pressure of others.


Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Wellbeing, and Peak Human Performance.

Competition can be good because it encourages you to push your limits and achieve more. However, if the focus of your competition is simply trying to be better than others in life, competition can eventually have a negative impact on your life. You are unique and there is no need to try to outdo others in all areas of life.

Instead, compete with yourself. Let your daily goal to do a well or better than you did yesterday. Competing with others and fulfilling some arbitrary goal is no way to live. Instead, be you you are, and improve upon that. Let other’s encourage you rather than pressure you. And don’t pressure yourself. Work with your talents and passions and build on that. When you constantly strive to improve yourself you will achieve great things and reach your goals. Competing with others will just waste your time and resources and ultimately not bring you any worthwhile rewards. Listen to a leadership speaker to learn about healthy competition.

That being said, it’s good to work towards your goals with others. It’s much easier to stay motivated when you’re dieting or exercising with others. Don’t compete with them. Just work toward’s your goals with others and be encouraged to keep going.

To learn more on Andy’s programs. 


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Change Your Day, Not Your Life
A realistic guide to sustained motivation, more productivity, and the art of working well
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About Andy Core
Author and speaker on work-life balance, productivity and wellbeing
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