This website requires JavaScript.

Finding Balance In 2022

Finding Balance In 2022
Photo by Shutterstock

We live in a productivity-driven society where trying to balance work and family life is one of the most common sources of stress for any working adult. Often, people are unable to find a point of balance between their businesses or careers and their families and one is given more priority than the other. This leads to a number of dysfunctional outcomes: mainly strained familial relationships, and eventually, inefficiency at work, as well as poor physical and mental health.  
The start of the new year is an opportunity for a new beginning to gain new perspective on this balancing act, and to think through how to adequately fulfill your roles both at home and at the workplace. Allow me to give you three crucial steps to ignite that new beginning in your life: 
First, make a family vision statement. This is probably your best tool to take this foremost step with your family. If organizations see the value in drawing up vision and mission statements, shouldn’t your family the core unit in every society be guided by common goals? This not only helps your children understand the why’s of things (Why is daddy or mommy working so hard? What is the endgame?); it also allows your family to set priorities. What really matters to you and your family? Setting a common goal for the family helps you make decisions. If your choices are not made  consciously, you might find yourself failing along the way, or going nowhere 


I first learned of the concept of a family vision when I read Ken Blanchard's book, Lead Your Family Like Jesus. Vision is important because leadership is about going somewhere. If your family members don’t know where you’re trying to take them, they will have a hard time getting there let alone get excited about the journey. Just like those companies, you need a compelling family vision, too.  


Strong and stable families do not happen by chance; a positive family culture is built intentionally through the years. Culture here is defined as a way of working together toward common goals that have been followed frequently and successfully, that people don’t even think about trying to do things differently. A clearly articulated family vision statement is a combined, unified expression from all family members of what your family is all about – what it is you really want to do and be – and the principles you believe in. 

How do you go about creating one? When it comes to discerning that vision, there are four parts: 


  • Purpose: What’s the purpose of your family? What business is your family in? 

  • Picture of the future: What’s your picture of the future? What will your family future look like if you are accomplishing your purpose?  

  • Values: What does your family stand for? What values will guide your journey? 

  • Goals: What needs to be accomplished? What goals do you want your family members to focus on today? 


Our families are the greatest enterprise in our lives; it is worth the time and effort to define what kind of family we want to aspire to be. 

Second, talk to your family regularly. If you used to think that you’re the only one who can solve this balancing act, then you are wrong. Conversing with your family will allow them to have a say on how you’re tackling the balance between work and family in your life. You’ll find that they have a lot of helpful feedback. Also, when they feel heard, they will react better when you have to stay late at work one evening or have to leave the dinner table early to finish a big project.  


Your family vision statement would be a good springboard for such discussions. If your family can’t answer the questions on the four-part vision statement above, then you don’t have a compelling vision. Without clear vision and direction, the rest of your parenting skills and efforts won’t matter. If you cut children loose without any directions or guidelines, they will lose their way. The family unit will be fractured as everyone heads off in the direction that he or she decides is best.  


Make sure communication flows constantly, because we tend to forget why we are doing what we are doing. Constantly remind yourself and your children what you intend to achieve at the end of the day. When transitions happen, we ask questions like, Why is it important for your child to pursue this studies? How can keeping bad influences hinder him or her from achieving her goals in life? Why is dad shifting careers? "Why did mom choose to be a stay-at-home mom? These questions are better answered when the bedrock of all our intentions and motivations is a family vision or set of common goals. 

Third, ask for help. Like what we established, you cannot do this by yourself. Have you family pitch in. Knowing and having a common goal enables your spouse and children to share the load.  


I am the main provider in our family. And although none of them are fully involved in the business that I run, they all pitch in every now then. My wife would coordinate with my accountant, and sometimes, with clients. She’s a professional editor so she helps edit my published writings like this article before it gets submitted. My eldest daughter helps me with tech stuff since we’ve done many virtual engagements lately. And my youngest would rally her friends in social media just to give her dad that extra public boost. It truly works better and balance (and peace!) is achieved if everyone is helping, like a team.  


To working parents with smaller children out there, sharing your family vision to extended family members and friends would also help get them to support your vision!  How many couples have been helped when relatives, communities or fellowship groups have come alongside them when they needed it the most even if it means watching over the kids for an afternoon or evening, or helping with chores! It’s good to belong to such community, especially if you share common or similar goals. 


Lastly, know that you can never truly, fully achieve “balance. Learning how to balance work and family life is truly hard. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. That’s why it is important to understand your family vision, your common goal, and then prioritize. Every person and family must find specific solutions to their issues depending on their defined common goals and specific family needs. 

At one point in a conference debate, I shared that I didn’t believe in "work-life balance" but I believe and advocate for work-life integration. Because people will struggle to attain balance between work and family, I realized that there will always be times where people will have to let work or family take priority. It would be impossible to perfectly balance everything in your life at all times. For example, if a family member is sick, you may need to skip a work event. Or when an important deadline must be met, you might need to miss dinner at home and stay working late at the office as long as you don’t allow that imbalance to become the norm. There is nothing wrong with working hard to get ahead you may have a few days doing so; but don’t forget to meet your family commitments. As long as your family understands why you are doing what you’re doing and you don’t absolutely neglect one in favor of the other, you will find them cheering you on and join you when you’re done with work to celebrate. 


About the author 


Boris Joaquin is the president and chief executive officer of Breakthrough Leadership Management Consultancy, Inc. and is a registered Investors in People (UK) specialist and corporate educator under the Duke CE Global Educators Network (UK). Joaquin is also an accredited facilitator by the Blanchard Institute (US), and a Chartered Professional in Human Resources. He founded the Project Purpose Team, Inc. and co-authored the book Project Purpose: Find Your Why to Find Your Way. Joaquin and his wife Michelle have two daughters, Ysobel and Julia.