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When it comes to thinking about your career, you may feel intimidated or overwhelmed. How do you strike a balance between chasing your career goals and maintaining a meaningful personal life? Harmonize all areas of your life with these tips:

Start with “why”

Ask yourself, why are you doing this? Why are you pursuing this major or career? Consider all the things you are passionate about. No matter what your passions may be, connect them to your career. In doing so, you immediately put your sense of fulfillment at the forefront of your priorities. 

Decide on your own definition of success

You’ve probably grown up with various definitions of success: running the fastest on the track team, scoring the highest on your math test, or receiving admission into a prestigious school. The truth is, if you want a chance at accomplishing your aspirations, you need to define success on your own terms. You will only be satisfied if you achieve success that truly matters to you. This means throwing out the perceptions of others and conjuring an image of prosperity that resonates with you. Be specific, and don’t be afraid if your dreams feel too big or too bold.

Be strategic with your time

Make sure your career and personal life are at equilibrium by using your time wisely. How? Make a plan, write down your schedule, and include potential conflicts. In doing this, you’re more likely to follow through with your goals because you will have mapped out solutions to possible problems. Use your willpower to do your work, and then use the rest of your time for activities you enjoy. Be selective with where you put your energy. If you are a big procrastinator, check out these ways to prioritize your to-do list.

Clarify your goals for the future

Similar to defining your success, set goals in all areas of your life. When embarking on a journey, it’s important to know where you are going! Make sure they are distinct and align with your priorities. Goal setting not your strength? Here are some places to start.

Keep jealousy in check

Don’t feel threatened by the success of others. Understand that everyone’s journey looks different, everyone is on a different timeline, and you aren’t in competition with anyone. If you ever feel envy creeping back into your system, connect back to your own definition of success. It likely involves improving yourself without any comparison to others. Remember, success is not a dwindling resource. Just because a friend is successful, does not mean there is less success in the world for you to achieve. There is plenty to go around!

Push yourself out of your comfort zone

You don’t have to do this all the time, but shake things up occasionally. When lost in a monotonous routine, you may forget to live fully in each moment. In doing something that scares you, your life will feel all the more vibrant because of it! Also, remain open to the possibility that your definition of success may change as time goes on. Change happens, and that’s okay. Embrace it!

Take time to reflect

Look at your relationships with your friends, family, and self. Consider all that you’ve accomplished in the past year. Ask yourself, in every area of your life (socially, professionally, academically, romantically, etc.), “Do I want the next year of my life to look like the last one?” Listen to your gut for the answer. Make a list of your accomplishments, take a moment to appreciate how far you’ve come, and give thanks for all that has made you the person you are today.

Remember that happiness is found within

You won’t find everlasting fulfillment in monetary success, another person, or thousands of Instagram followers. The sooner you realize that you are the key to your own happiness, the closer you’ll be to finding a work-life balance that’s right for you. Consider this quote from Aeschylus, “Happiness is a choice that requires effort sometimes.” It sounds silly to think that we can choose happiness when we can’t always control our circumstances. How do you accept optimism when you are dealt an especially difficult hand? Though there may be times when joy feels unattainable, you have the power to take any negative situation and turn into a positive.