Create a Life You Want to Live, Not a Life You Have to Live

I have been taking a “business course” with author and speaker, Rachel Hollis. Our last lesson, she told us to think about how to explain our business to others. I wrote down a very basic, straightforward answer in my notebook. Then this morning I woke up and realized, my actual goal is a little bit bigger than “helping people simplify their lives and improve their finances.” My major goal for this blog, for my life, and for you is to help you create a life you want to live, not a life you have to live. I lived a life I had to for a while. I’ve had family members who lived a life they had to live. Then you know what happened to some of them? They stopped living. Literally. I don’t want that to be me. Or you. So, what can you do to get out of the rat race and start working on living a life you want?

Why Fear is My Word of the Year

Word of the Year is a totally new concept to me. Sure, like a decade ago I would pretend to set a resolution knowing I wouldn’t stick to it. It seemed like the second I set a resolution or insisted on living up to a big goal was the same second I totally started panicking. Wayne Dyer once said this about quitting alcohol for 20 years, “If I’d have said to myself 20 years ago, ‘Wayne, you’re going to quit drinking for the next 20 years.’ I would have gone immediately and had a drink. Because it’s just. too. big.” –Man, I gotta start listening to that guy again.

Anywho, I haven’t set an actual resolution for myself in years. But this year, on New Years Eve I decided to pick a Word of the Year. The word I chose was “fear” and I want to share with you a little bit about why.

5 Tips to Hustle Less and Still Get What You Want

We live in a society of goal setters. People who want to accomplish big things in their life. Entrepreneurs who throw their “HUSTLE HARD OR GO HOME” coffee mugs around Instagram like it’s their job…because it just might be. Like most people, when I fell into the “hustling trap.” My intentions were good but I had no idea that in pursuit of my dreams I was actually doing more harm then good when it came to goal setting. As we enter a new year, my best advice to you is: don’t work too hard. Here are 5 tips to help you hustle less and still get what you want.

The “hustle fad”

Hmm…the history of hustle. Is there even such a thing? This whole hustle fad grew alongside a huge growth of people working as entrepreneurs and it. is. awesome.

The thing is, I got totally swept up in this whole hustle fad, that I started get way more stressed out. It was like my heart was constantly racing. Like I was sprinting for days without rest.

The thing with long term goals is…it’s a marathon. Not a sprint. Just like training for a marathon, there are certain rules you need to follow in order to hit the finish line and constant hustling ain’t one of ’em.

The dangers of over-hustling

Did you know the Japanese have a word for over-hustling? It’s called Karoshi. What it translates as (for real) is work death. There is actually a word for people who over-work themselves to the point of an early death.

Scary stuff.

I can’t help but wonder if this is all a part of the reason that wealthier countries have higher levels of anxiety than poorer countries. They are burnt out from constant over-hustling or fear of not hustling enough.

Check out these scary statistics on 20 Something Finance about how the US is the most over-worked nation in the world.

So what can you do to keep succeeding without totally burning yourself out on both ends?

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Take breaks every hour

I had already been sitting on my computer for over 3 hours when I turned on the Rachel Hollis Rise podcast with special guest Brendan Burchard. As I sat there listening, I was stopped in my tracks when I heard Brendan say people should be taking breaks every 50-70 minutes.

As I sat there feeling like my skin was crawling from sitting for so long, I started to think that maybe he was on to something.

At the beginning of the year I would spend hours working, working, working because really, I loved it. I loved working on my blog and I really wanted to start achieving bigger goals. But the thing was I was always stressed and anxious.

I wasn’t taking breaks.

This isn’t just for people who sit behind a screen all day either. No matter what goal you are pursuing, taking breaks is crucial to the survival of your sanity. So, be intentional, set a timer and every hour (or so) take a little mental break.

Set 3 goals for each day

Have you ever watched one of those crazy cat videos where the cat is just running around in circles, chasing an object that doesn’t actually exist? Like a light.

They give their all when it comes to trying to catch this thing but ultimately they keep coming up empty handed.

Don’t be the cat.

It’s so easy to feel the need to keep hustling that you actually end up not accomplishing nothing. If you have a big report to complete, you might spend all day researching facts and never actually getting to the report itself.

You go to the gym wanting to get in a big workout but you spend more time looking up YouTube videos of workouts that you don’t actually break a sweat.

I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. This kind of busy-work is actually a form of over-hustling.

To avoid getting caught up in an endless cat chase, each day, set small tangible goals that you have to accomplish and do those first!

Get all the hard, time consuming things out of the way right off the bat. Then the rest of your day can be spent finishing up those less demanding tasks.

Set time limits

I was over-hustling big time at the start of last year. I knew I needed to figure out a tangible schedule that I would be able to stick to. Since I work from home and homeschool my kids, I gave myself until 9am to get as much work done as possible.

I told myself that no matter what, at 9am I was done working until school was done for the day. Otherwise I knew I would never actually get to school. I love the hustle that much.

Setting time limits in order to accomplish the things that you want for the day is not easy. When you are in your groove and are loving your work, the hardest thing to do is stop yourself.

I get it.

But I promise, setting healthy boundaries and time limits is the first step to avoid over-working yourself and facing serious burn out.

Schedule leisure time

It’s important to not just schedule times for work but also time to do the other things in life that you enjoy.

Setting a timer while reading is not an ideal way to sit down with a good book. Doing so ensures that my day continues going smoothly and that I spent 15 minutes doing something enjoyable for myself.

This goes double if you are living life with a family. Don’t be one of those parents that hustles so hard that their children learn working is all their is to life.

Set non-hustle related goals

When I started setting my goals for this year, I had a ton of work or business related goals. Then I realized I have a life beyond a laptop.

Set goals for family time, for travel. Make sure you set goals for your mental and physical health. Maybe that means cutting out 30 minutes for a quick workout session every day or taking 5 minute meditation breaks.

The best way to avoid over-hustling is to ensure that you don’t let the rest of your life disappear while you work hard in one area. Be intentional about your life as a whole. Chances are you will find yourself meeting more goals than if you just spent all your time hustling hard.

Don't work too hard this year. Instead use these 5 tips to help you hustle less but still get what you want!