Every mentor I’ve ever had has made one thing clear to me if not anything: Success demands singleness in purpose. Forever I had been applying that anecdote to every academic and career goal I wrote down in my journal. Fast forward to starting two companies, and I found myself somehow still unsatisfied with things in life outside of what I could contribute to my LinkedIn profile. I had not figured out how to streamline my steps to align to a single purpose. I had one over here, which was to excel at my job, which eventually turned into me being the boss. After that, what else was there. Years of creating a work-life I can be happy with, I’d missed the part about life-balance.
That’s when I made the decision to give my personal life more purpose. Starting with these five points, I’ve built my foundation for unwavering faith and purpose in my walk through career, love, family, and health.
Get up early
Perk to waking up early:
After you talk yourself out of everything you have to do, you have time to talk yourself back into it + a full day
— Erica/Twelve45 (@Twelve45_) October 11, 2016
Waking up early adds more time to the day time hours you have to get everything done before it’s time cook dinner, pick up the kids, or start working on how you’re getting that dream job. Try waking up an hour before you usually do to clean up, answer emails, or exercise. Beginning the day with a task will give you that first jolt of dopamine your body needs to set an example for the rest of your day. Noticing you always have a few extra minutes to spare will make you happier knowing you won’t have to rush.
Express gratitude for the present
Sometimes purpose can get lost when things get tough. It’s important not to let complaints about the way things are now let you lose sight about how much you’ve accomplished. So your swamped this week, overwhelmed, and feeling over-worked? Be grateful you’re busy with what you have going on, and find confidence in knowing that things could be worse — you could have no work to overwhelm you! Relationships are important here too. They’re not always easy-sailing, and the ones that mean the most to us require more TLC than others. Checking in on friendships, putting focus on loved ones when they need it, simply showing up says more than a “thank you”. In return you’ll have a solid support system when you’re in need of a pep talk.
Exercise… Just do it
I avoided this one like the plague, but anyone will tell you that once you get a routine going you’ll feel weird when you miss an exercise day. When your body isn’t getting enough activity, it begins to show not only in your health but your overall disposition and energy. Just like your brain, your muscles need to be challenged — often! Find out what works best for you. If you find you just like to clear your head, try jogging around your neighborhood or at a park. Running is one way to exercise and casually blow off steam from a tiring day. If you’re not into the gym-life, join an adult sports league or get some friends together a few times a month for a basketball or soccer game. However you do it, your mind and body will thank you. If you can push yourself to do this, you can get through anything.
Get some sunlight
In some ways we’ve developed the habits of our kids or younger siblings. They don’t go outside! If you work in an office all day and especially if you work from home — double up your outside time. Try doing three activities a week that involve 1) Being in the sun, and 2) something fun. Staying cooped up to meet that deadline or finish that business plan sounds like a good idea until the fogginess or cabin fever kicks in. Even if you just take an hour a day to go for a walk, the sun works magic on our bodies and our attitudes.
Work hard, play hard
I thought I’d mastered this one in college. Boy was I wrong! Another term I like to use for this on is, “Treat yo’ self!”. Make sure as hard as you go for your company and your family, you go just as hard when the time comes to let your hair down. For you this could mean letting loose with friends or it could mean kicking your feet up to relax alone. If you’ve been going non-stop for a few months, plan a mini-vacation or a day where you don’t have to worry about the million things on your to-do list.