We often see the term work/life balance as if you can only do one at a time, as if you can only be happy if you find the proper mix. The myth of work/life balance is that they are two separate entities. This is not true. If you have a job, you probably spend 8 or 9 hours there five days a week. That’s a big chunk of your life. If you have a business you probably spend even more hours working on it. Some people do both.

Your work is your life. And your life is your work. Therefore, your job and your life are the same thing. There is nothing to be balanced. That’s something you need to understand when planning for your future.

Of course there are other aspects to your life, like family, friends, and your play time. But we spend so much time at the office or working on our businesses that you really can’t separate the two. And if you don’t work, your home life is probably your job.

That’s why it’s important to choose work that you enjoy. If you dread going to your job every day or working on your business every day, then your life will suffer.

Here are five steps for a better life including personal time, work and business:

  1. Start by envisioning how you want your life to be. Imagine your whole life including work time, family time, play time, and all day long. Think about how you want to spend your time and how your work or your business fits into it. Where does it take place? Who does it include? What actions do you want to repeat daily? What don’t you want to do?
  2. Own your success. Don’t leave success and failure in the hands of god, the universe, the secret, or any other person or entity in your life. It is all up to you and only you. You can do anything, but you have to put in the work to make it happen. It’s important to have faith and hope, but what you really need is to depend on yourself. There in no fairy godmother to wave a wand over your life.
  3. Create a clear plan of action. Hope and vision and goals will only take you so far. You have to take action to make them happen. And you need a plan that you can commit to. It has to fit in with the lifestyle you have chosen.
  4. Understand that you can’t be all things to all people. You can’t be your kid’s mom and her best friend. She needs to find friends of her own. They serve a different role. She needs you to be her mom. The same with business. You can’t offer the right product or service for everyone. You have to find your niche. Be precise about who you are and what you offer your family, your business, your friends. And you’ll find exactly who you need to serve and who you need to love. And they in turn will find you. If you try to please everyone, you will end up pleasing no one including yourself. Be authentically you.
  5. Invest in yourself to make this happen. Whether it be time, money, or energy, figure out exactly what you need to do so you can go out and get it. If it’s worth having, it’s worth planning out, working for, and investing in. If you need to learn a skill, find a class. If you need guidance, find a coach. If you need help, find an assistant. If you need love, find time to be loving.

These 5 steps will help in your personal life as well as your working life or your business life.

Hard work doesn’t necessarily have to mean longer hours. It’s about the amount of energy and focus you put into your life and work.

Work and life go hand in hand. The myth of work/life balance is that they are opposites on a seesaw and you have to find the medium. That’s not the case. They are climbing up the ladder to success hand in hand.

What steps are you going to take next?