The start of a new year is a time for a change and a fresh beginning. When we make New Year’s resolutions and really think of how we’d like our lives to change, it often becomes apparent that we’ve been putting work first and neglecting our personal lives. This is the perfect time to refocus and try to find more balance and separation between work and play.

People put so much mental energy and mindshare into work, even continuing to perform work duties and think about the job long after the workday is over. Unfortunately, we often neglect to put the same emotional energy into ourselves and into our social relationships. This leaves us feeling unbalanced, unfulfilled and unsatisfied.

I believe it’s important to make our personal lives a high priority. For me, I love to go out with friends for dinner, dancing or karaoke at the end of a busy day. This creates the feeling of living a whole second day, which leaves me amazingly rejuvenated instead of more exhausted. Of course, that’s not for everyone, but it’s important for you to find the activities that rejuvenate you. Even rebooting on a weekend can boost your energy significantly for the week ahead.

Maybe it will help if you think of your “playtime” as a second job. The idea is to feel like this time is just as essential as heading to work. Make decisions on playtime plans and follow through with your agreements!

How to Achieve Better Work/Life Balance

Try these tips to achieve a better equilibrium for 2018:

1. Commit to “Me Time”

It’s easy to break plans with ourselves. But this backhandedly diminishes our own value in our minds. We make the decision that spending time on ourselves is not as important as time spent with other people or on work. It’s important to shift this idea. Plans you make with yourself are as important as plans you make with others.

2. Schedule Downtime

Schedule time for downtime just as you would schedule activities you need to get done. At the beginning of each week, plan activities such as socializing with friends or seeing a movie, and then stick to them.

3. Balance Spontaneity

Being spontaneous about personal time can be great. But you can’t rely on this method when your goal is to actually create balance. That’s because it’s inconsistent. Instead, balance spontaneous times with planned ones.

4. Search for Pleasure

Allow yourself time at least once a day to indulge in an activity you find pleasurable. It can be something as simple as a meal with someone you care about.

5. Prioritize Vacation

Commit to taking at least some of your allotted vacation days. It’s important to take time away from work to recharge and appreciate more of what life has to offer.

6. Put Away Devices

Mobile devices can take away our lives if we let them, and they tend to put the focus on other people’s lives and on work. When the workday is over, set a time to shut down your devices and engage in activities that are not related to work.

7. Be in the Moment

When you’re devoting moments to downtime, let go of thoughts about work. Let yourself fully engage in the moment and soak in the value of the activity. Also, put as much energy into making downtime plans as you would work meetings. This will allow you to truly reboot and feel refreshed.

Prioritizing personal time can create a sense of fulfillment, rejuvenation, and happiness. This year, try to keep the balance lasting throughout the entire year.