Bob was a normal sort of guy. One day, he set the goal of making a million dollars. He took a job in sales because he figured that was the quickest way to get there. And, after a few years of hard and determined work, he did.
Bob’s a success, right? Bob’s the guy we all want to be – whether we’re in sales, or in a big company, or working for ourselves.
But – here’s the rest of Bob’s story.
During his time on the road, he barely saw his wife and kids. He missed them, sure, but he thought there’d be plenty of time for them after he’d got that money safely in the bank. Bob didn’t pay any attention to what he ate. He didn’t have time to exercise. He barely had time to eat.
He made that million, but in the process, he severely compromised his health – and lost his family.
Bob is not the guy we want to be.
Are you risking losing everything that really matters, in pursuit of your goals? What’s most important to you in your life? Here are a couple of big areas:
Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. More than half of us are concerned about the level of stress in our daily lives. Around 30% of adults get six hours or less sleep per night.
How many of us are sacrificing our health in pursuit of our goals?
However much money you make, or however big a “name” you are, your health isn’t something you can easily get back through fortune or fame. Many of us live for the short-term, and forget about the problems we might be storing up for the future.
Are you cutting years of good health from your life by racing to accomplish everything right now?
Don’t forget about mental health either. Overwork, stress and anxiety can all lead to depression.
For both good physical and mental health, make it a serious priority to:
- Get some exercise each day – a 20 minute brisk walk is much better than nothing (and it’s important for your mind as well as for your body)
- Eat a fruit and vegetable rich diet
- Take some “time out” – just five or ten minutes of meditation, prayer or quiet time can work wonders
Like your health, relationships can be damaged beyond repair. If you’re working long hours to provide for the partner and kids that you never see, something’s wrong. If you’re too stressed or busy to spend serious time with your children, you’re storing up problems for you and for them in the future.
If you think that having lunch or coffee with friends is a waste of time, you may end up isolated, lonely, and without people to turn to when you need help.
People without many friends get sick more often. Those with a strong social network are more likely to survive major health problems like cancer or a heart attack.
When you think about the love you have for your parents, partner, kids or friends, you realise that your relationships are what makes your life truly worthwhile and meaningful.
So if you find yourself too busy, too tired, or too cranky to enjoy spending time with your family and friends – question whether you’re sacrificing too much. Look for ways to keep your relationships healthy.
Turning Things Around
It’s easy to say that you shouldn’t sacrifice your health or your relationships for the sake of your goals. But how can you carry on reaching for your dreams without risking losing everything else?
Chase Fewer Goals
Don’t try to do everything at once. Some of us find it very hard to focus on one thing – we want it all! But narrowing your focus makes it much easier to succeed.
If you could only achieve one goal, or work on one project, or pursue one interest, what would you pick? Make that your priority – and make all your other goals, projects and interests subordinate to it.
Often, we’d be a lot less stressed and a lot happier if we just slowed down a little. Life isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. Don’t use up all your energy and resources right now.
Do you really need to finish your book this month? Does it matter if you don’t get out of debt before Christmas? Will it make any difference if you don’t start that new business this year?
I’m a firm believer in using deadlines as a motivational tool, and I certainly don’t want to encourage procrastination. But often, taking a little more time can make the journey much more enjoyable.
What price are you paying to reach your goals? Is it worth it?
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