How to keep focused on your mission

This post originally appeared in my free weekly newsletter that’s filled with tips and tools to keep you living well every day. If you liked this post, and want to have more messages like this delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe here! Thanks.
 

Have you ever found yourself doggedly working for a specific goal, only to wake up one morning asking yourself “how did I get here?” So often, we get caught up in the minutiae of our current project that we lose sight of our overarching goal or mission.
 
The same thing can happen in our personal lives – we get caught up in cleaning up the dinner dishes, driving kids to soccer practice, getting up going to work coming home going to sleep that our actions lose their intended meaning.
 
This is a dangerous place to be. When we lose sight of the overarching goal or mission, we stop making the best decisions. We choose what looks best at the moment, we determine the most reasonable, practical decision, instead of what ultimately serves our project or life best.
 
If on the other hand, you keep your eye on the prize, it’s so much easier to stay on your path. Sure, you may make minor calibrations, but you lose the need for major overhauls. It saves time, money, and sanity.
 
So how do you keep your eye on the grand prize, even when you’re caught in the weeds?
 

1.Make sure you know your mission from the beginning.

Whether large or small, at some point in the life of your project you have to justify to yourself (and potentially to others) why you are doing what you are doing.
 
Who are you serving, and what is the value of what you are doing? Name your why, as Simon Sinek says, and make sure your product or project solves a problem. If you’re naming a why for your family – what are your core values for your time together? Rally the troops, whether it’s colleagues, family, or friends, and figure out why it is you do what you do.
 

2.Make sure you know what your mission is NOT.

Amazingly, knowing what you’re not doing or what you don’t stand for can be just as important as knowing what you do. No project or product solves every problem or addresses everyone’s needs, so what are purposefully not addressing?
 
Naming what you’re not is one of the most important boundaries you can set, because inevitably, someone will ask why you’re not adding a certain feature or addressing a certain need. You need to know why you aren’t you running and swimming or why you choose to bring store-bought food to the potluck. If you’re not clear on what you’re not, you’ll end up living other people’s values instead of your own. You end up diluting your mission and message.
 

3. Regularly reassess.

This might be daily, weekly, or monthly. Take a moment to look at your main mission and ask yourself if what you are doing still supports that mission. Make sure that the mission still feels right to you, and still addresses your core values.
 
These periodic assessments are what ensures that you stay on track, and that if you have to make adjustments, they are small.
 

4. Keep your mission always accessible.

This could take the form of pop-ups on your phone, post-it notes on the bathroom mirror, artwork, a bracelet, or a phrase you always repeat.
 
You want to know your main mission. You want to keep it continuously showing up in front of you, so that when something tough happens, when you want to turn back, when things aren’t going well – you know why you’re here.
 
When you keep reminding yourself about your why, all potential decisions are filtered through that core mission. It simplifies your decision making process, and ultimately means you spend less time fixing mistakes or re-doing.
 
Imagine with me for a minute: imagine that you get to strip away all the things from your life you are just doing “because”. Imagine that you get to simplify your job description to the things that bring you meaning and value. Imagine that you don’t have to spend time going back and forth, trying to decide what you should focus on next.
 
Instead, imagine going to bed feeling powerful and satisfied. Imagine that you go through your entire day with a sense of “flow”, knowing that your actions add value and are enjoyable. You suddenly have time to forget the overwhelm, and start focusing on the now.
 
We make a million tiny decisions each day that either bring us closer or farther away from our main mission. Choose carefully.
 
I’d love to hear what strategies you use to stay rooted in your why – in the comments below, share one thing you do to keep yourself focused on your overarching goal.

  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig
 
 
 

This post originally appeared in my free weekly newsletter that’s filled with tips and tools to keep you living well every day. If you liked this post, and want to have more messages like this delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe here! Thanks.
 

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samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.

Join the Happy Healthy family to get special invites, event discounts, and lessons on living with intention.


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A simple trick to recapture wasted time

Photo by @qyosaurus & @etrosie

 

This post originally appeared in my free weekly newsletter that’s filled with tips and tools to keep you living well every day. If you liked this post, and want to have more messages like this delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe here! Thanks.
 

I was at the ready: pencils sharpened and to-do list in hand. I had just returned off my flight from Brazil, and I knew what I was supposed to do with my Thursday morning: get back to work.
 

I stared at my computer. And then stared some more. My brain was trying so hard to get working, but there was like an impenetrable fog around my entire head. I continued making attempts at writing paragraphs, answering emails, anything that I could claim was “productive”. And finally, after doing battle for an hour, I admitted defeat, and I climbed into bed.
 
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Interview with an Entrepreneur: Chad Myers

Running a business and still making time for yourself is not easy. There are always more ideas to test, work to be done, and people to meet with.

 

Is it possible to be a successful entrepreneur and still eat well and exercise? How do you balance healthy living with productivity and business success? I went out to find entrepreneurs and members of the start-up community who are working hard and living well so that we can learn from their successes and struggles in building a healthy business and life.

 

First up is my good friend Chad Myers.

Chad is the founder of Lexercise in Raleigh, NC, and knows the importance of good health. Take it away…

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Turn your one day dream into today’s reality

achieve your dreams today photo

This post originally appeared in my free weekly newsletter that’s filled with tips and tools to keep you living well every day. If you liked this post, and want to have more messages like this delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe here! Thanks.
 
Do you have a case of the one-days?
 
One day I’ll be happier. One day I’ll start working out. One day I’ll get more organized. One day….
 
What is your “one day”? Why is it not “today”? Most of us would say that we’ll do something one day not because we fear the effort or lack motivation, but because we simply don’t have time.
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Road Snacks: Kale & Quinoa Travel Bites Recipe

healthy snacks for travel photoHello Friends!

This week I’m off to Brazil for the Global Healthy Workplace Awards and Summit. I’m very excited for the conference and opportunity to visit Brazil again – I traveled to São Paulo last summer and fell in love with the culture and the country.

What I am not looking forward to is 15+ hours of travel to get there. Luckily, I have some podcasts to catch up on, books to read, and the perfect snack ready to go. These delicious treats are filled with eggs, quinoa, and chickpeas for tons of protein, and the kale sneaks in a good dose of greens.
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Transform negative emotions to find clarity

This post originally appeared in my free weekly newsletter that’s filled with tips and tools to keep you living well every day. If you liked this post, and want to have more messages like this delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe here! Thanks.

 

What do you do when a negative emotion arises? Unfortunately, most of the strategies we use are not very good at helping us move past those emotions. Some of us ignore the sadness and put on a happy face, perhaps you talk to yourself about why your anger is justified, or get stressed about your stress. I am a classic ruminator, telling myself a story over and over in my head about what I am feeling and why I shouldn’t let it go. But I’ve been using a new strategy that has completely changed how I deal with my negative emotions to lessen their impact on my life.
 
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Are all sugars created equal? Look beyond the label

sugar photo

 

When you look at a nutrition facts panel, there is one devilish line that seems simple, but causes stress and anxiety for millions of Americans: Sugar.

 

Talking about sugar and health requires a nuanced message. We can’t demonize all carbohydrates – we couldn’t survive without them. But we do know that too much sugar is a bad thing: The World Health Organization recently recommended that adults get less than 10% of their daily calories from added sugars. Meanwhile, there are many different types of sugars – natural, refined, and added are just some of the descriptors we regularly hear – and yet, it’s not clear from nutrition panels or the popular press if it actually matters where our sugar comes from, or if all sugar is unequally unhealthy.

 

So today, let’s dive in to the world of sugar, and I’ll share what can you do today to make healthier sugar choices.

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Make things happen

make things happen photo

This post originally appeared in my free weekly newsletter that’s filled with tips and tools to keep you living well every day. If you liked this post, and want to have more messages like this delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe here! Thanks.

 

Life is pretty simple: you can let things happen to you, or you can make things happen.

Want to meditate? Make time for it. Need to stay focused at work?  Close your email. Want better connections with your loved ones? Look away from the phone and have a conversation.

These sound simplistic or contrived, but so often we spend time and energy blaming the world around us for the situations we find ourselves in, rather than acknowledging and accepting our present moment, and then doing something about it.

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You can master networking *and* take care of business

be a better networker photo

 
There’s a funny paradox in running a business: on the one hand, your business is built on the fact that you can out-think and out-sweat your competitors to bring a compelling product to the market.
 

However, your great idea is worth nothing if no one hears about it. And so we take time away from the creating and strategizing to network. We get coffee, a beer, a walk. We know that these meetings can garner key insights to our business, our process, or our customers that we wouldn’t have been able to formulate on our own. But we also realize that this time spent in networking is time spent away from our core work.

 

If you’re struggling to manage your meetings efficiently,

if you’re taking too much time to schedule and plan,

if you feel like you’re not getting the most out of your meetings, 

here are 3 keys to networking like a boss, while still getting your job done:

 

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Why imperfection trumps perfection

imperfection photo

I’m going to tell you about a moment I am not proud of.
 
I was driving to work Tuesday morning, and I drove up behind a guy in a new Prius. I was perusing his “eat local” and “eco friendly” bumper stickers when I saw him stick his hand out the window. And in his hand was a cigarette.

 

I had an immediate reaction. I started saying to myself “what is this guy doing? He’s driving around, proclaiming his love of personal and environmental health, and he’s smoking? The cause of not just cancer and disease, but also a major contribution to litter and environmental damage?”

 

I know. Not attractive. Luckily, about 10 seconds into my diatribe, I realized what I was saying to myself and stopped the mind chatter. Maybe I can blame it on early morning fog, but some judgmental part of me took over and decided that if he was going to support one area of health, he should be equally applying that metric to all areas of his life. Ohhh that pesky “should” word. Always a red flag.

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