What a year it’s been.
I started the year out in a sleep-deprived, diaper filled haze adjusting to live with a one month old baby. I’m finishing the year with a 20% increase in sales, a 23 (didn’t quite hit my goal of 25) pound weight loss and a one year old little person walking around the house. It’s been an adventurous 2015, and as I sit and reflect on the things I did right and the many I did wrong – I’m hopeful that 2016 is going to be even better having been through it.
In my business life, I’ve learned that working from home requires an intense amount of focus and regimented schedule. It’s easy to walk down the hall and sit at my desk in my pajamas, take a 3 hour lunch/Playstation break or get caught in a Netflix loop and find myself in the late afternoon having only checked one thing off my to-do list.
In my personal life, I’ve really lacked discipline when it comes to eating right & getting exercise. Making poor breakfast/mid-morning snack/lunch/mid-afternoon snack/late afternoon snack/dinner/dessert choices has been something I battle with when I’m not focused on my goals.
Late nights with a crying baby doesn’t help either of these things. It’s easy to slack and take a late afternoon nap or run out to a fast-food restaurant in the middle of errands when you’re juggling a baby, personal life & running a business.
Every year I set goals for the business, but I didn’t really take the time to set goals for my personal life. This year I did. One of my clients, Erica (of Erica Fit Love), tells the story of why she started her fitness journey. Sitting on the couch at 320+lbs and not having the energy to play with her son. I wasn’t in such a dire situation, but with heart problems being a part of my family (dad with a quad-bypass at 38, several other family members also with similar surgeries) – I knew my daughter would be my catalyst for getting better. My goal was to be under 180 by her birthday. I was close, made it to 182, 3 pounds lighter than when Kelly and I got married in 2008. (And was able to hold that weight through the holidays, which was a mini-success as well!)
A daily mantra of ‘moving more & eating less’ is always on my mind. I have an Apple Watch that does a great job of making sure I’m up and moving at least once an hour. I use the MyFitnessPal app to keep track of my calories. I have a standing desk and a treadmill that I try to use at least a few times a week so I’m getting fitness in while getting work done in the morning. All of these things keep my focus on my goal – living a healthy lifestyle.
Working from home can be a disaster if you don’t plan accordingly. I’ve spoken to a lot of other business owners that tried to work from home and couldn’t pull it off. Setting out to complete a set amount of tasks using Omnifocus as my to-do & project manager, using my newly found Spark Notebook and overall setting daily attainable goals is going to get me through another successful year of working from home.
I get asked all the time, “When are you going to get an office?” or “When are you going to get an employee?” – the answer is generally “Not yet”. Why? Working from home allows me to be with my family more which is one of the reasons I started this business the way I did. I want to spend time with my wife and daughter. I love my family, and if I’m spending even an hour commuting back and forth a day, that’s an hour that I could either be working or playing – depending on the day. This also allows me to keep my costs lower than my competition – which gathering by my increasing list of ongoing clients, is appreciated.
This year with control being my focus in work, I’m going to work on controlling my schedule, my workload and my client list. This means setting attainable goals, saying ‘no’ more often when it doesn’t fit within my goals and making sure that I achieve a good work-life balance by making a schedule for the week or ‘in-office’ and ‘out-of-office’ days/hours and sticking to it.
With the new addition in our lives, my personal schedule has taken quite a detour. Rounds of ‘#tuesdaysareforgolf’ hit an all-time low in 2015. My Playstation doesn’t even know who I am when I get down to the basement. I only watched Pulp Fiction four times this year!! It’s painful to think of the ‘me hours’ that I misplaced in 2015. But with that loss comes a wealth of love that I didn’t know could exist in spending time with my daughter. There isn’t a day that goes by that she doesn’t make me smile from ear to ear or belly laugh.
But I recognize that I still need time to unwind. If I’m not the best me I can be – I can’t be the best dad or husband I can be. Taking time away from work to get out and walk 18 holes, read books that have been stacking up in my office or picking up an old hobby of photography. As my dad always said to me, “There’s 24 hours in a day.” – of course, an obvious statement. But I take that as a guideline that you can fit anything into your schedule if you really want to make it happen. Taking a few hours a week to focus on personal growth will help all other facets of my life.
I sit here on the first day of an exciting 2016 not knowing exactly what’s in store – but prepared for anything. Except for maybe another baby. Not ready for that yet.
I’ve put myself in the best place possible to take on any challenges, celebrate all successes and enjoying every minute whether it’s at my desk or at the zoo hanging out with my daughter. But my goals for 2016 aren’t based in dollar signs or client numbers. They’re based solely on happiness. Am I happy? Are my wife and baby happy? Are my clients happy? If at the end of 2016 all three of those answers are yes – I’ve done well for myself for another year. And I’ll be working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to make sure they are.