Success is more than you think

Most of us think of success in terms of our careers. It’s far more than that. Our lives are not lived in a vacuum with career the only thing we need to do.  We also need to pay attention to our health and relationships.

A friend had been burning the candle at both ends focusing all his energy on his career. He ended up having a heart attack. Help arrived quickly, but he was terrified. His thoughts immediately went to his five-year-old son. He looked up the doctor, fearing for his life. “Please don’t let me die.”.

He didn’t think of his work. He thought of those most important to him.

His story was a wake-up call for me.  Time to do things differently and take care of myself. It was time to stop being a career-focused workaholic and ignoring my own health and my family.

We all need balance in our lives. If we don’t take care of all three of life’s aspects, we and our families suffer. The quality of our work suffers.

Three legs of balanced living.

Health

Feeling good can be its own success. When we’re healthy and fit, we have more energy and engage more with life.

Health is inextricably tied to food choices, movement, and sleep.

Nutrition

Eat to feel your best. We all have some food types that make us feel icky afterward and others that energize us. If you put regular gas in a race car it won’t run right. The same is true for people. Discover the right foods for your body type. The whole family will benefit from healthy meals.

Eating to feel your best isn’t a diet. It’s a lifestyle. If weight management is a concern, there are several lifestyle diets that can support you. Everyone’s body responds differently so try to understand your own metabolism and body type to bolster success.

Movement

Movement is the body’s lubrication. Our workstyles today don’t offer a lot of movement. Try to take mini-breaks every 15 minutes. Just for one minute, stand up, stretch, flex your body.  Studies have proven taking even a one-minute break every 15 minutes keeps your brain working at peak efficiency.  

Build movement into your day. Park farther from the store, take the kids or dog for walks, dance while you’re getting ready in the morning. 

One really easy trick is when you fold clothes. Take one piece at a time and fold it while you walk to another room to create your pile. Repeat for each item and you’ll be amazed how many steps you can rack up.  Every step does count.

If you look at many elderly people, (an aged parent or grandparent), they tend to be weaker and frailer. Much of that comes from a lack of movement. The adage “if you don’t use it you lose it,” does hold true. The patterns we follow now build us an edge so we can enjoy an active life even as we age.

Sleep/recovery

Most people don’t get enough sleep.  Studies show that if we aren’t routinely getting at least 7-8 hours our brain function drops. Our productivity and creativity drop. 

Stress can keep us awake. Worrying about your career, finances or personal issues pull down your ability to sleep and impair your work the next day.

One thing many people don’t realize is our electronic screens deplete the brain’s melatonin reserves. Melatonin is the chemical that helps us sleep. Turning off electronic screens an hour before bedtime helps you sleep better, longer.

You may find it’s a great time to do some relaxing stretches, Yoga moves, or meditation. Read something…a physical book or magazine, not electronic.

Have a relaxing cup of tea. Experiment to find what changes help you sleep better.

Career Success

Whether you think of it as your career, work or wealth, it’s what provides your income. For many people, 2020 brought a lot of career changes. Working remote, changing jobs or putting in a lot of overtime hours.

Hopefully, it is something you love. Spending your life doing something you hate is a bleak thought. If you don’t love what you do, make a plan to change.

What would allow you to do something you’d really love? When you love what you do, you’re more energized, productive and fulfilled.

Career change? Maybe you want to go into business for yourself. That takes time and lots of planning…and setting aside a nest egg.

If you run your own business, you want to learn, grow,  and implement. Discover what works and learn from what doesn’t. Your work benefits from making a plan and following it. 

Working remotely? Don’t let it take over your life. Schedule a start time and an end of work day time. Try an alarm on your phone to remind you it’s time to shut-down the office and spend time with family. 

Success in Relationships

Relationships are key to emotional and mental health. Family, friends, a partner/spouse each bring their own value. Relationships enhance your feelings of belonging and feeling loved. 

When we give and help others we get far more in emotional return. Giving without keeping score enhances every relationship. It makes you freer and happier. 

In your family work together, clean together, and play together. Not only are we raising the next generation of adults, together time makes magical memories.

Decide what your top goals are for today, this week, this month, this quarter, and this year. If it’s a big goal, break it into doable chunks. Put those steps on your calendar. In each area of your life, what is the one thing you will do today? Tiny micro-steps, make change happen.