I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine who is very successful within the corporation she works for. I asked what she thought was the secret to her success and she answered almost instantly “I get shit done”. She said it very seriously and was not kidding; I asked her if she took this approach to her personal life and her answer was not so quick, she said that she often struggled to get things done at home or for herself.
I personally find this fascinating that someone can get so much done at work but doing the basics of day to day are often overlooked. Over the last 20 years I have worked in corporate finance and most recently I have become a small business owner, so I can relate to what my friend goes through. I want to point out a few observations from both my personal life and my professional career.
During the first 10 years of my career I was very goal driven because I saw it as a way to advance myself to the top, often sacrificing sleep and a social life to achieve my goals. Does this sound familiar to you? It’s during this time that we can develop some bad habits that become hard to shake, especially as we get older. What am I talking about? Sleep, proper nutritional needs, and a quality self-care routine.
What we can do:
Do you have goals? If you do, when was the last time you reviewed them? If you haven't in a while, consider creating some that are achievable and within your skill set.
Evaluate your goals and ask yourself if your daily actions reflect these goals – are you actively working on the habits needed to achieve your goals.
Carve out some self-care time – this must be non-negotiable. What is self-care? Simply put, it’s an activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.
One final thought to think about: how often do you listen to what your body is telling you? What do I mean by this? Have you or someone you worked with complain about their aches and pains but never seemed to do anything about it? Believe it or not, neglecting to take care of these sorts of things, leaving them unchecked for years until they become chronic, is all too common. Often the comment I get is “I just didn’t have time to go to the doctor, physiotherapist, chiropractor or gym”. What is interesting though about this is we somehow find the time to meet with co-workers or friends for a drink after work. How we prioritize our lives offers a lot of insight into what we value and how much, or how little, we value our health and wellbeing.
"I Get Shit Done!"
For me, just being aware that I wasn’t practicing self-care was a huge eye opening experience. Awareness was the catalyst I needed to begin practicing mindful meditation. Meditation can come in many forms and the form I chose was to be mindful, I try to be mindful in the moment and not project my thoughts beyond that moment. I feel that this allowed me to began working on positive habits because I was able to focus on one habit at a time. I will be honest it was not easy to start new habits; I was pretty content with how my life was however I soon realized I wasn’t living up to my full potential after I began working on new habits.
Working on a new habit every week has now become subconscious (positive), celebrating my accomplishments with my fellow coaches has been a very positive experience. I don’t know that I ever celebrated riding my bike to work 5 times in a week but I know that positive affirmation has become a source of internal motivation.
In closing, if any of this sounds familiar to you, if it sounds like you or someone you work with, I would like some of your thoughts on what you have done in your career to stay healthy (physically, mentally, and emotionally). How successful have you been at creating new habits to work on weekly, monthly, and yearly?
Coach Steve Volke