The Multi-Dimensional You: Holistic Growth and Development

The beginning of the year often brings more focus on our goals, development, and what we want to change sometimes personally, most times professionally. Under the guise of ‘what’s this year’s objectives’ or ‘starting fresh’, you begin to evaluate what you can do to grow, how you can align your goals with your company’s goals, and what you want to do differently from the previous year. The problem is that when planning growth and development we give the most attention to our professional goals with little attention to the other aspects of our life.

You are a multi-dimensional woman with many colors and layers that make up the whole of you. It’s critical to your overall happiness and success to pay attention to each part of you. How you interact with others, yourself, how you spend your time, are all important. Designing a harmonious life requires you to acknowledge your many dimensions and align your growth plans accordingly.

I’m Not Talking Work-Life Balance

You may notice that I don’t mention balance. I don’t say work-life ‘balance’ for two reasons: first, work is a part of life. You don’t stop life-ing to go to work. It’s not a separate pie, it’s a piece of your pie of life (or the Life Synchrony Circle which is what we teach as part of our leadership coaching). The second reason I stopped saying ‘balance’ is that the definition according to Oxford Language means “a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.” It’s not possible to give equal attention to all aspects of your life. At any given time, your attention for one aspect may be more or less. In 2023, I gave more attention to my spiritual development and improving my health. The year before that I was focused on growing professionally. Two years prior I was tending to my dying mother. They were never equal and will likely never be.

What I promote is awareness of all the aspects of your life and mindfulness of where your attention to any area could be enhancing or detracting from you having the life you desire.


The Six Life Dimensions

There are six major life dimensions I teach in leadership development as part of my Life Synchrony Circle. They are health, finance, growth, spirituality, relationships, and recreation. As you read the explanations below, assess the percentage of time you believe you are giving to each area.

1. Health – Maintaining Vitality

Maintaining your health is important if you’re going to perform in the other aspects of your life. Career growth can’t happen if you are in poor physical, mental, or emotional health. Ironically this is the area many of us pay the least amount of attention to. As you are planning for your growth and development, assess the role of health in your life. Are you putting this on the backburner? Do you tend to focus on one element of health while completely ignoring the others? Maybe you have a daily exercise routine but are struggling with anxiety. Once you assess and understand the attention you are giving, or not giving, to the full spectrum of your health you can begin to incorporate related goals.


2. Finance – Securing Stability

Sustaining your lifestyle and preparing for your future, that’s why you work right? Well at least that’s why a great deal of your waking hours is spent finding ways to make money – so you can live the life you desire. Financial stability comes in many forms. As your attention to where you’re spending your time increases, ask if you’re satisfied with your percentages in this area. Are you giving too much attention to right now money and not enough attention to preparing for your future?


3. Growth – Continuous Evolution

The area that we’re most often focused on is our growth – Intellectually, professionally, and inwardly. In our upbringing we’re taught to gain more knowledge and grow personally so that we can achieve more success. You know from this article that there’s more to you than just that however we can’t overlook the importance of continuous growth and development as an element of designing the life we desire. Are you focused on the right topics to move you closer to the life you desire? What does the next step in your continuous growth look like?


4. Spiritual – Connecting Inwardly

Studies have found that people who have a routine spiritual practice live more fulfilled, happier lives. The connectedness to a higher source and dedication to inner work can keep you grounded, peaceful, and more emotionally intelligent. Having a sound spiritual routine is also where you find purpose and meaning for your life. This purpose is where you begin to find the alignment between your personal fulfillment and your professional direction. How are you integrating spiritual practices into your growth routines?


5. Relationships – Building Connections

How you connect to others, your social skills, and interactions, is a key driver into your emotional and mental health. It’s important to your sense of fulfillment to build and maintain relationships that offer you safety, support, and a sense of community. Are you engaging in meaningful interactions? Do you have people around you who share similar interests? Who around you can you count on for support and encouragement?


6. Recreation – Implementing Play Time

It’s play time! Yes, adults play too. Do you remember what it was like as a child to have play time? That time in the day when you didn’t have to do schoolwork or housework. The time when you were able to get lost in your dolls, fingerpainting, or riding your bike? If this nostalgic thought brought a smile and had you reminiscing with joy, I encourage you to bring the play time back into your life. Is ‘play time’ a regular part of your weekly routine? What about daily? What would bring you joy that you could add to your routine today?

When you assessed the percentage of your life/time you’re currently spending in each area what did you find? If you found that any one or two areas seem to be taking up a large chunk of your time it may be time to make some adjustments. Alternatively, it could also mean that at this time in your life, it’s required for you to put more focus in those areas – and that’s ok! The key is your awareness and honesty about how you’re addressing the many dimensions that make up your being so that the harmony you’re aiming to create doesn’t become an out of tune piano.

Click Here to learn more about the Life Synchrony Circle and how to use it as part of your leadership development planning.