How many of you noticed that there was no post yesterday? That’s right I took a day off during our two week start the new year off right series. Not because I don’t care about you or my lovely blog. But because I care about myself.
When was the last time you decided to really take a break? To not do any work, think about any work, or anything in general? When was the last time that you allowed yourself to really be in the moment, for a whole day?
It’s been awhile huh? For me it definitely had. So Saturday I decided that I’d give myself a little break. Feeling completely refreshed, I’ve come back now to tell you the secrets to success. In whatever you’re doing, these 5 secrets will get you up and running and headed in the right direction.
1. Take Breaks
From working on a project to life in general, it’s important to take some time off. This time off is a form of self love. You’re letting yourself unwind and giving yourself time to spend among things that you really care about. That’s really what our weekends are meant for. The problem is, it’s so easy to still feel the rush of the week on those days and to think about what’s going to happen on Monday. This secret to success is about not thinking about trying to be successful. Your body, mind, and soul will thank you! You’ll be able to return to work or a busy week with the kids with a new appreciation and with renewed energy.
Did I mention that it can benefit your work productivity? Frequent breaks are supposed to help your concentration when you’re working. It’s suggested that for every 30 minutes of work that you do, you should take 15 off. For me this time increment is also too small. I love my job but I also work to prevent burn out. For every hour of work I put in, I take 15 minutes to get myself back to a quieter mind. Figure out what time works for you. When you’re mind can no longer concentrate and you find yourself wondering, this is a pretty good indication that it’s time to take a break. When you decide to take a break, try to stay in the same mindset. Don’t hop on your social media account or browse your favorite store online.
When you decide to take your break (for no matter how long) recenter and refocus your thoughts. Get up from your desk and take a little walk or simply stretch out. Do something that will get your blood pumping and the creative juices flowing. For one day replace jumping on social media with a walk, yoga, meditation, or a mind map and see what a difference it makes.
2. Do What You Love Doing
Life is about being happy. As children we’re asked what we want to be when we grow up. There’s a fantasy that is given to us from birth about how amazing a career is. So many of us go down different paths from those initial self predictions we all made. I wanted to be a paleontologist! I’m a writer and coach instead now.
While I was never athletic and enjoyed being in nature more than an organized sport, I have always been a writer. I have books I made for me and my brother for when I was at least six years old. I have notebooks upon notebooks of random things I’ve written and stories that are incomplete. Thank goodness my grandpa didn’t mind me using the printer because I have multiple copies of chapters from the two books I did finish when I was younger. Needless to say, being a writer may not have been on my radar but it was definitely in my blood and subconscious.
Those early intentions and early love affairs that we had with something, really give us a look into who we truly are. That was back when no one told us we had to make so much money a year or that a certain career path may be off limits. You don’t need to change your job but you need to spend the time you’re not working, doing something that you love doing. It can be painting, or knitting, or hiking, or spending time with your friends, family, or pets, you just need to spend that time doing something entirely for you. If you need inspiration on what that might be, think back to your earliest memories. What did you really enjoy doing that you think you don’t have time for anymore?
Let’s kick some bad habits in the butt right now. Stop skipping your breakfast. Stop skipping meals. And stop treating all food as equal. None of these are good ideas. Ever.
What do you think the first thing athletes do in the morning is? They eat. They know they need to put energy in the tank if they’re going to perform the way that they need to. Just because you may not have a day of intense work out or a game day ahead of you, doesn’t mean that your body doesn’t deserve the same respect. How can you expect it and your brain to get going if you’re still depriving it from a long night of sleep?
If you eat your breakfast but find that your skipping other meals during the day, just stop it. If you don’t like having a big meal then break it up into snacks. Your bodily functions and chemistry rely on energy input. Defeat that midday sluggish feeling by eating foods that are colorful, high in protein, and do so frequently. I know there is this big push to be thin and meet certain beauty standards but your health matters more. And by health, your happiness is included in that equation. Being thin doesn’t equal being happy.
This being said, not all food is created equal. Don’t not eat something because you’re afraid of the calories or because it’s high in fat. Don’t eat something because you respect your body. If you know that eating fast food is bad for you and that it can give you that midday crash, then don’t eat it. Eat something healthy instead that you know your body needs! In the morning skip a candy bar or a doughnut and grab fruit or eggs instead. Making healthier choices becomes easier when you’re thinking about refueling your body rather than eating to eat or to fulfill a craving.
And I’m not condemning your snacks or your favorite foods. All I’m saying is you care about what you put in your car and know that it needs gas in the morning to get to work, so treat your body the same way. You can’t expect to get a full days worth of function out of a body and brain that haven’t been fed with the proper nutrition.
4. Self Love and Self Care
All of the secrets to success link back to self love and self care. If you’re not taking care of yourself, no one else will. You need to set the expectation and priority that your wants, needs, and happiness are all important. If you don’t then who will?
By making time to give yourself some love, you’re really making time to let yourself relax. You can’t do everything all the time, everyday. It’s just not possible. But say it with me: what you do is enough. So take a few deep breaths and get yourself back on track. You’re doing everything that you can and you are right where you are supposed to be.
Self love is a form of self respect that we so often forget about because we’re just so busy trying to do everything else. For more on self love and self care, I’ve written a post about why it’s important, how to do it, and why you deserve it. You can check that out here:
5. Don’t forget about your spiritual wellness
When we talked about refueling your body it shouldn’t be a surprise that you need energy to get through the day. Feeding your body is a natural instinct. But feeding your soul, not so much. We tend to forget that our spirits need some spiritual food as well.
This is why one of the secrets to success is to think about your spiritual wellness. If you’re religious, this can be how you nourish your soul. Meditation and learning about your morals is another way to feed it. Often times finding the right way to bring spiritual wellness into your life is more difficult then anything else. It’s hard to know where to start. Or it’s hard to admit that maybe an old system just isn’t working for you.
It doesn’t matter what religion you are, what your morals are, or what you believe in in general. What matters is that you know what these beliefs are. Even if your an atheist, you still have beliefs that relate to a code of conduct and what is morally right in the world. If you don’t really know what you believe in, do some soul searching. Read as much about spirituality and religion as you can.
Not only will it make you a better person, it can help guide you along your path. It will improve your overall sense of wellbeing! Being at peace with your spirit and remembering that you are one with it, is crucial to feeling like your life is whole. Something will be missing if you don’t have your sense of spirituality to pursue.
These secrets to success are so often overlooked that they can seem pretty obvious. The idea though is that you actually need to do them everyday to be successful. They’re the best kept secrets around because they are hidden in plain site.
What are your secrets to success? Do you think I missed anything?