We all define success differently whether we are reaching goals in our personal lives or our professional lives. As momentum builds, we’re challenged with new obstacles to overcome along the way to success. The tricky part is that some of these roadblocks that hold us back are problems that we aren’t even aware of or categorizing as problems.
To get back on track, ask yourself whether these three distractions could be holding you back from checking off that to-do list that will lead you to your own definition of success.
Not taking care of yourself
If you’re in poor health, stretching yourself too thin, or not in the right state of mind, then you might not be reaching your full potential. Holly J. Kile of HJK Global Solutions reaffirms, “The best thing you can do for your business as an entrepreneur is to make your health a priority.”
Be more cognizant of unhealthy practices you perform each day that could be affecting your mental and physical health and leading to burning out.
Are you creating a list of tasks that are too impossibly long to be completed in a 40-hour work week? If so, it may be helpful to track your time when completing each task so you have a realistic idea of how long it takes next time you add it to your to-do list.
Are you making time for exercise? Are you making healthy food choices or just grabbing fast food between meetings? Are you making time for lunch at all? If not, some manageable action items include stretching in the morning, taking the stairs throughout the day, and walking the dog in the evening. Pack a lunch the night before so you aren’t tempted by fast food or skip a meal altogether.
Do you have a tendency to put yourself down or seek approval from others rather than practicing self-acceptance? Are you putting all of the pressure on yourself to meet your goals? Practice self-care by creating a daily gratitude journal and practicing positive affirmations. Just like you would give your coworker positive and critical feedback, you should remember giving yourself the former as well.
Perform a daily health check to evaluate any unhealthy habits that are popping up and how to mitigate this lifestyle. Keep in mind that you are the most important tool in creating your own success, and therefore you must take care of that tool as best as you can so it can work as optimally as possible.
Refusing to step outside of the box
Success often requires you to step outside of the box. Whether you strive to be a successful parent to your children or you’re working toward a wellness goal after an eye-opening check-up; whether you’re trying to land that big promotion you have been after or you’re taking a leap of faith to start your own business—you must be willing to think outside of the box in all that you do.
Confining yourself to tools and practices that you’re merely comfortable with can be a key factor in what is keeping you from being successful. Doing the same thing over and over again is a recipe for monotony, boredom, and stagnated success.
Unfortunately, reading self-help or business management books religiously might not be the answer either. What works for one person, might not work for the next. It’s important to take risks, reflect, and innovate based on your goals and resources. If you’re dedicated to achieving your goals, you should also be dedicated to the exploration of new ways to reach your success.
Creating unrealistic expectations
Setting unrealistic expectations is one of the toughest roadblocks of all and we often set the bar higher than we realize. Putting an expiration date on a goal can be helpful in pushing ourselves and measuring success, but we must be forgiving with our deadlines and resourceful in our work.
Say one of your goals is to have an impeccable house while being a perfect parent and a star employee. Now, trying to do all three at once on your own is completely unrealistic. There are only so many hours in the day after all. Rather than taking on this daunting list by yourself, delegate some of these tasks to your partner, peers, and even children.
Starting with the house, enforce one of those classic chores charts and hire a professional when you’re in over your head. Your kids can help you tidy, your partner can help you cook and clean, and a professional can take on the tinkering. There’s only so much you can do in a day and if learning how to fix a water heater isn’t part of your definition of success, then delegate that task to someone who does find pride in that.
The first step in becoming a perfect parent is understanding that there is no such thing. After you’ve accepted that, ask fellow parents to join a carpool so everyone can make it to their extracurriculars on time every time. If you have toddlers, visit after-school programs to decide if that’s an option for your family. It can be stressful when you’re working toward a promotion to ask your boss to leave an hour early to pick up your children and it can put a burden on your relationship if you and your partner can’t compromise on a regular schedule. Finding work-life balance is a difficult, ongoing chore but it’s crucial to your success as a parent and employee.
At work, review your quarterly goals and daily to-do list. Is there anything you disagree with, such as a goal that doesn’t add up to the business’ mission or a task that is more in line with a coworker’s skills. It’s OK to question your workload and negotiate your goals with your manager. Better yet, if you’re your own manager, you should feel all the more empowered to delegate work to your employees or make a call on putting a less important project on hold.
Be sure to take advantage of resources around you. Take care of yourself, venture outside of the box, and reset expectations with the fresh perspective that we create our own definitions of success.
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