1) Treat yourself as well as you treat your best customers
If you are not feeling great you cannot do your best work. My goal is to always give my very best in every situation. I know when I feel great I am at my most creative and productive so I will be able to do my best work. Make sure you eat, sleep and exercise so that you can be at your peak performance level. You cannot live it on the outside unless you feel it on the inside. It is not about being selfish or pampering yourself, it is about ongoing maintenance and investing in the future to set yourself up for long term success. Life is a marathon not a sprint.
2) The more you give the more you get
Too much navel gazing and dwelling on your own issues is not helpful. When you feel like you keep hitting a dead end or nothing is going your way you need to get out of your own way. Being self-absorbed or listening to the voices in your head is a recipe for frustration and failure. Go help someone else, volunteer for a worthy cause, and mentor someone just starting out. You will be reminded of how fortunate you are, how much you know and are capable of and how many gifts you have to share.
3) Schedule down time
Get comfortable with white space on your calendar. Schedule breaks during the week to take a walk or clear your head to brainstorm or troubleshoot things that come up. Plan a vacation and block your calendar. There is never a perfect time to be away but all work and no play makes Jane a dull and grumpy person. When you take breaks to recharge your batteries you have more energy and think more clearly.
4) Take social media holidays
It is not healthy to be always on. No one dies if you don’t answer an e-mail right away, update your status or retweet that message immediately. When you are on vacation or out with friends and family, turn off the technology. It can wait. Nothing says you care more than to give whoever you are with your full attention. It is so annoying, unprofessional and sends a terrible message when the person you are with is on their phone at a meal or during a meeting. Put your phone away.
5) Get a hobby
Being both interested and interesting is critical to having a good life. It really does not matter what it is — art, music, cooking,, knitting, movies, photography, book club, whatever — but doing something other than eating, sleeping and working will make your life full. You will meet like-minded people, improve at something that you find interesting and fun, pick up new skills and talents. And by keeping those synapses firing you will stave off Alzheimer’s too!
6) Exercise regularly
Walking for 20 minutes, taking the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator, riding your bike to work or playing golf or tennis is great. You do not need to be training for a marathon or join a gym for it to count. The key is to move and get your blood flowing. It is great for your circulation, digestion and waistline.
7) Express gratitude
It is easy to miss what is really important. We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason. Be kind every chance you get and be grateful for all the blessings you have. Do not take them for granted, if you are healthy you should be thankful every single day you feel good. The ripple effect of a smile or holding open a door can be tremendous so give it a try.
8) Make time for good friends
Friends are the family we choose, they laugh and cry with us, they tell you when you have food in your teeth or your mascara is running. Keep them close even when you are busy and stressed out, actually especially during those times! They remind you who you are, where you came from and where you want to go. They have your back. Good friends are gold, the rest are just a distraction.
9) Calm your mind
Whether you practice yoga, tai chi, qi gong, meditate or just sit enjoying a cup of tea and zone out for a few minutes every day, you owe it to yourself to just be still and quiet and breathe. It is good for your mind, blood pressure, heart, and outlook. You can do it first thing in the morning, just before bed at night or any time you want in your day. You do not need any special equipment, you can be in your office, at the kitchen table or on a park bench. Just make a commitment to do it every day whether it is for 5 minutes or 45 it is time just for you.
10) Try something new
Every once in a while it is great to get out of your comfort zone and put yourself out there. It will make you get out of any rut you are in and be more patient and empathetic to those around you who may not be expert at what they do. It can be hard at times to remember someone may be a trainee or filling in for someone out sick so when things do not happen quickly we can be testy. By cooking a new recipe, going to an improv class, learning a new language or playing a sport/instrument for the first time as an adult, it can be humbling. When you are used to being in charge and in control at work and at home it is a nice reminder that everyone has a gift and is good at something, no one is expert in everything. Let down your guard and have fun trying. It is ok to fail and be vulnerable when you try new
I started a global marketing firm 16 years ago after working earlier in my career at both big public companies and running marketing at 3 early stage start-ups. I am happy to have gotten such great work experience early in my career working for others but at age 51 I can honestly say that for me now, I cannot imagine working for anyone else but myself! I graduated from Stanford University and Harvard Business School.
Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO
Because Marketing MattersTM