How the 4 Major Areas of Your Life Affect Each Other

Workaholics let their personal lives slide, fitness freaks forget to go to work, family first is often considered career suicide and thinking only of money makes you a scrooge.

When we know this, why is it so easy to fall into the traps?

The four major areas of your life are:
Health
Family
Career
Finances

If you do not take care of all four areas you will start deteriorating in all. They all work in tandem and no success in one can make up for failure of another or endure without balance in the four major areas.

Some examples of problems that can arise if you don’t take care of all areas

Relationships –> Health –> Career –> Finance
If you do not take care of your relationships, your mind starts to suffer, you become down hearted, sad, irritable which will in turn become an obstacle in your career which will ruin your finances.

Finance –> Relationships –> Career –> Health
One of the most common causes of fights between spouses is the ones about money. If you ruin your relationships, that anger will often move over to your career which will in turn hurt your health when you feel constantly stressed by the weight of your life.

Career –> Finances –> Health –> Relationships
Your career controls your finances, which in turn controls how well you can take care of yourself and an unhealthy person cannot be a good friend since they are too tired and irritable to be around.

As you can see all parts of your life are intertwined. I could go on but the point is pretty self-explanatory.

I let my health slide
When I started my first full time job, I stopped working out. I focused so hard at work that I was too tired to do anything else afterwards.
To make matters worse we ate very unhealthy lunches, beef, potatoes, sauces every day.

I quickly gained about 45 pounds.

The problem was that up until that point I had been doing very well at work. But when my health started deteriorating it was hard for me to muster the energy required to produce at a high level. This started hurting my finances and made me more irritable which hurt my relationships.

It wasn’t until I started caring for my health again that I could turn things around.
But the good side was that as soon as I did everything else came roaring back.

Do a goals inventory
Look through your goals.
Make sure all 4 major parts of your life are a part of your dreams so that none gets neglected.

If you have balance your success in all four areas will work in tandem and help each other. You will move faster towards your success and be able to do more, in less time than you ever have before.

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Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography

                                                                                                                          

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  1. The Juggles Metaphor – How to Find Life-Work Balance and Handle Your Life
  2. Go the Extra Mile and You Will be Rewarded
  3. How to Make Your Body Your Friend Instead of Your Foe
  4. The Secret to Success – The Ultimate Goal
  5. Motivational Tip #1 – Setting Your Goals
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22 Responses to How the 4 Major Areas of Your Life Affect Each Other

  1. Thanks to you Daniel, I have intentions in all four categories stuck in bright sticky notes to the side of my computer screen. You are so right – with lack in any area, the others aren’t enjoyed fully.

    It’s challenging to keep them all balanced and happy. Setting that goal is an essential first step. Like you say: “Make sure all 4 major parts of your life are a part of your dreams so that none gets neglected.”

    Do you notice, though, how difficult it is? Seems a little like juggling – you get three balls in the air and then, augh! drop one. Apart from setting goals to do this, how to you give equal focus to each area? How do you make sure you don’t drop a ball?

    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Great points Lori and I agree it is all but impossible to give each area an equal focus.
      I don’t think you need to have an equal focus. I mean you work 8 hours/day, but you don’t need to think about your health 8 hours, a 30 minute work out and a little thought while in the store should be enough. Your family should take time and you should spend 5-8 hours/day with them but your finances maybe just needs the casual thought and a couple hours/week to look over budgets and your economy.

      That way you keep the balance, focus and keep improving all the time in each area.

      What do you think?

      • That makes sense. So it’s about thinking about each area and making a plan and then working the plan? Keeping all the balls in the air!
        Lori

        • Daniel M. Wood says:

          I believe so.
          To use your juggling analogy, maybe the balls are of different weight so they need different amounts of effort to lift and throw.

          Does that make sense?

  2. Timo Kiander says:

    Daniel,

    This is a very important post.

    Balance is everything. It is also fascinating to realize, that there is synergy between all of those four cornerstones of your life.

    That same imbalance happened to me as well when I started to work full-time. I gained weight, because I just worked and worked and I didn’t pay attention to myself or to my well-being at all.

    Cheers,
    Timo

    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Hey Timo,

      Thanks for adding your thoughts.
      The funny thing about success is that you can make it really difficult or really easy.

      Like me and Lori discussed (in the comments above) as long as you are mindfull of all the areas of your life you get a balance and success starts fueling success.

      The problem is when we focus on only one area, then the others will pull it down and ruin any success in that area as well.

      What do you think?
      How do you find a good balance?

      • Timo Kiander says:

        Hi Daniel,

        I guess that for me it has been setting the limits.

        Whether it is my day job, hobbies or when building my online business, it’s all about setting limits. When you have crossed that limit certain limit (hours per day), it is time for you do something else.

  3. Marc Sokol says:

    Hi Daniel

    I highly recommend you take a look at Stew Friedman’s recent book, Total Leadership: Be A Better Leader, Have a Richer Life. Stew is at the Wharton School of Business. He has conducted research on the impact of getting people to make more conscious choices regarding balance of four areas of life: (1) work/career, (2) home/family, (3) community/society, and (4) self: body, mind, spirit. Not the same as your categories but close enough. He has some research to present demonstrating increased performance from people at work even as they put less time into work/career, and not just from their own perspectives but also from that of their managers. His interpretation is that people are more centered as they recalibrate their time and energy around their desired priorities AND that they force themselves to make more conscious choices at work about how to achieve their objectives in the limited time available.

    Interesting food for thought! A great resource for anyone who works as a life coach.

    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Thanks Marc, you know I am always open for more book advice.
      The 4 areas he uses are very similair, in many ways they are just broader versions of my own.

      How have you handled this balance in your life? Have you found problems balancing your life to get it optimal?

  4. Hi Daniel,

    Very good list and you are right. However I have a list that goes like this God First, Family second and Career third. I have found when I do it this way everything just falls in place and my heath is really wonderful. Faith makes me relax and not get strssed out and of course I do have to eat right. With family I am there for them if need be. Career will it may be a little slow in building, but I am balanced.
    So good to read your post again, I always love see what you have to say. Thank you,
    Debbie

    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Hi Debbie :)

      Thanks for leaving your comment.
      Faith helps many focus on what is important, you can give up some of the most complex questions and focus more on what needs to be done and what you should do to find balance and happiness.

      I am glad you have been able to find and create that balance in your life Debbie.

      //Daniel

  5. Hi Daniel,
    I like this idea. It’s like having, defining and managing your own eco-system.

    Adrian

  6. We all need goals. We need them to create a better life for each and everyone of us. With out goal we sail into the seas of life without any direction. Goal are the reason for today and the excitements for tomorrow.

    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Hey Jonathan,
      Very poetic my friend and I agree. Goals is what makes today fun, that gives us reasons to work today so that we can reap the rewards tomorrow.

      How much time do you spend thinking about and planning your goals?

      //Daniel

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