A successful lifestyle can get really full, really fast. Relationships, parenting, social life, volunteering, personal hobbies, R&R, holidays, etc., these all compete with the financial and professional aspects that we often use to define “success.”
The reality is that a truly successful individual doesn’t figure out how to be successful and then weave those other elements into their life. They plan, schedule and incorporate everything into a uniform, holistic lifestyle that suits their needs and proclivities.
From work-life balance to financial wisdom, personal relationships to workplace promotion, here are three steps to help you invest in every aspect of a healthy and successful lifestyle this year.
Define Your Lifestyle
You can’t move forward with any strategies or details until you’ve defined what your successful lifestyle looks like.
If you think you’ve already got that part down, it may be worth taking a second look. Here are a few red flags that you may be going about the process the wrong way:
- You’re shaping your lifestyle based on someone else’s definition.
- You have an ideal lifestyle, but you haven’t thought of it or updated it recently.
- Your lifestyle is a vague, underdeveloped end goal.
Stephen Warley, founder of the blog Life Skills That Matter, defines “lifestyle” as “how you choose to experience your life.” He adds that a lifestyle “is the pattern of habits for how you spend your time, energy and money. Those habits include how you work, have fun, learn, energize yourself, spend time with other people and generally engage with life.”
No two lifestyles are the same. If you want to invest in your lifestyle this year, make sure you take the time to define and understand what that means.
Prioritize Your Activities and Responsibilities
One of the biggest challenges in the pursuit of living a healthy lifestyle is lining up your reality with your goals.
You may want to stick to a schedule. But that plan gets thrown off when expectations and assignments from others pile up. You may need more downtime in between work projects. But if you’re good at your job, demand for your skills and labor rises, and your time comes at a premium. You may want to stick to a budget and save. But external factors like rising inflation and turbulent markets can undermine your ability to do so. The same principle applies when budgeting your time and any other aspect of your life – all facets of expectations must be budgeted keeping in mind the rising inflation of your life.
Trying to control all of these details of life is impossible — and the sooner you accept that reality, the faster you’ll be able to invest meaningfully in your lifestyle. Instead of becoming a control freak, use organization and prioritization to keep a sense of order, peace, and stability.
Use a lifestyle planning tool that fits your style (it can even be a pen and paper, although digital notepads and organizers are more diverse and accessible). Input every responsibility and activity.
Then, prioritize what matters at the moment. Where should you invest your time and energy right now? Painting a clearer picture through organization is a great way to align your reality with your lifestyle goals.
Maintain a Holistic, Big Picture Mindset
As you define your lifestyle and work to align your day-to-day reality with that idyllic end goal, you need to maintain a big-picture mindset. It’s a simple statement — and yet, it’s impossible to achieve without deliberate investment.
The distractions and demands of the present can cloud a healthy long-term mindset. For instance, you might find that you’re working late to appease a needy client at the expense of your scheduled time to exercise or spend quality time with your family. On the flip side, an unaddressed lack of motivation at work can quietly derail your long-term financial and professional goals.
Speaking to the need to serve your values and priorities throughout life, LifestyleInvestor, Justin Donald, says, “You have to think about what you value in life as a father, husband, entrepreneur, and businessperson, and you ask yourself, what do you want ten years from today? Usually, the easy and best answers are not always the same.”
If you want to be a truly successful individual who is living out their ideal lifestyle in a holistic manner, you need to face that question head-on. How do your current decisions impact your future, whether it’s a month, a year, or a decade away? Don’t shy away from the answer. Use it to inspire you, motivate you, and give you the confidence to make healthy decisions that invest in your personally defined, comprehensive lifestyle.
Embracing the Lifestyle Journey
“Investing in your lifestyle” is a buzzy phrase that has been abused and overused in recent years. Too many of us adopt it with a “grass is always greener” mindset. If only we could magically get the right promotion, save enough money, or tend to the right relationship, we’ll be able to achieve a successful lifestyle.
The truth is, living a successful lifestyle is about the journey, not the goal. It’s occasionally a hard reality for go-getters and entrepreneurs to grasp. You’ll want to define it, align it, and embrace it on a daily or monthly basis in every area of your life. Only then will the investment bear the fruit that you’re looking for. You’ll plan and execute on the plan – but remember the forever rising inflation in time commitments in your calculations so you can make your lifestyle the satisfying journey you want.
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