Several years ago, after years of trying, my husband and I became parents to 3 kids within 19 months. I became fiercely determined to have a totally fulfilling life as a mom, and be very present for my kids, and also reach really big career goals. That was my definition of having it all – and I was on fire to figure out how to make it happen. I quickly discovered I wasn’t alone. In fact, many people are seeking a sense of balance in their lives. As Stephen Covey says,
“The challenge of work-life balance is without question, one of the most significant struggles faced by modern man.”
It can be incredibly difficult to feel a sense of balance when we are juggling careers, personal responsibilities, family time, self-care, recreational activities, social time, community service, and more.
I knew in order to achieve huge career goals and also be a very hands-on, present mom, I would need to streamline my life. I would need to eliminate the non-essential activities I was doing. I would need to cut out the time-sucking, empty activities like mindlessly scrolling through social media or checking email a million times per day, and be very intentional with my time every day. Each and every day, it would be important to tell my time where to go.
It required significant focus on my priorities, and a ruthless elimination of many time-sucking activities, but I stuck with my determination to achieve career success and also a fulfilling personal life, and I made it happen. By being very focused and purposeful about where I spent my time and energy, I achieved the elusive sense of balance, and now I help other entrepreneurs and driven professionals achieve it too.
People who have achieved fulfilling, successful lives have specific habits. While most people find it very difficult to be amazing and satisfied both at work and in their personal lives, the successful, fulfilled people know it’s not impossible. Learn from the habits of successful and fulfilled people to reach higher levels of fulfilling success:
1. Have clarity about what you want
Successful, fulfilled people know exactly what they want to achieve. They know what’s important to them and set crystal clear targets to aim for in their careers and lives. These people don’t have vague aspirations. Instead, they set very specific goals that align with their priorities, and they direct their time and efforts toward achieving these goals.
Find out more about how to identify the thing you want most in Why I Can Be the Only 8% of People Who Reach the Goal Every Single Time.
2. Define success on your terms
Successful, fulfilled people define success their own way. They understand they can only be satisfied if they achieve success that truly matters to them. While they appreciate the value of hard work, their definition of a successful life is often more holistic than just achieving financial results.
3. Stand your ground
Successful, fulfilled people understand the importance of saying “no.” They set boundaries so they can focus their lives and work on what matters most. They avoid falling prey to enticing goals that don’t align with their true purpose, priorities, and passions.
4. Be highly productive
Successful, fulfilled people know how to get things done. They know in order to have “it all” and balance their careers and personal lives, they need to avoid wasting time. When they aspire to do something, they get it done.
6. Make decisions confidently
Successful, fulfilled people powerfully make decisions. They make choices that align with who they are and what they truly want. They courageously turn down opportunities that don’t line up with their values.
The best way is to start to build confidence from within, check out this article about How to Build Confidence From Scratch.
7. Know your priorities
Successful, fulfilled people have clarity about their priorities. They work hard, but avoid a “succeed at all costs” mentality. While they achieve great results in their careers, they also are high performers in the other areas of life that matter to them.
Learn to organize your life by setting the right priorities for yourself in How To Organize Your Life By Priority And Not Urgency.
8. Don’t get jealous of others
Successful, fulfilled people congratulate and praise the achievements of others. They don’t feel threatened by the success of others. Instead, they are happy to create their own version of success and they greatly enjoy their lifestyle. Read more about the impact of endless comparison with others in The Cost of Envy.
9. Be disciplined
Successful, fulfilled people know they are in charge of creating their best lives. They realize that ultimately, they are in control of what they do with their lives, and they accept this power. They see the vision of who they want to be and they stick to their plan.
Learn more about the importance of self-discipline in Why the Conscientious Mind Is a Successful Mind.
10. Know how to delegate
Successful, fulfilled people declutter their lives. They delegate tasks at work and in their personal lives. As a result, they can enjoy more time freedom and do more of what they love.
Going is alone doesn’t work. If you want to know more about the benefits of delegating tasks to others, read The Delights of Delegation.
11. Be grateful but not complacent
Successful, fulfilled people appreciate what they have. However, they also strive to achieve more of what truly matters. They do this because they know they will use their success to make a positive impact on the world.
A fulfilling life is not an aspiration, but an everyday habit
Building habits takes time but you can start with these small things:
Get clear about your priorities.
Who do you most want to be? What do you want your life to be like? These questions can be tough and can be an evolving process, but when you are clear about what matters most to you, you can start eliminating the activities that don’t align with what matters most.
Write out a schedule for your day.
When you tell your time where to go, you can decrease the time spent on time-sucking, empty activities. Being intentional with your time can help you achieve your career and personal goals.
Decrease the noise.
We are bombarded every day by thousands of distractions that threaten to take our time away from what matters most. Very simple (yet not always easy) strategies such as shutting off our phones, or only checking email at set times, can help us be more present, productive, and fulfilled.
Achieving high levels of career success while having a satisfying personal life is definitely possible. I’ve done it, and so can you.
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