While the path to success takes a vision, creates and applies goals, and schedules actions to achieve results, without rest, renewal, and reflection you can get off course and even worse burn out! Success is not a sprint; it is a marathon.
There are times we get so focused on the next step, the end goal, or the success we have already achieved that we keep pressing forward, sometimes even seven days a week – maybe not in actual activity, but at least mentally. This is a recipe for failure, not success.
You have seen children that get over tired, maybe in the grocery store or even your own, and they get frustrated with the most simple activities or directions. The only remedy is rest; they awake a new person.
It is no different for adults. Many times the message we are sold is that in order to be successful we must drive toward our goals 24/7 or we are a failure. If you take a look at the lives of those who sell that message, generally you will see broken relationships.
There is another way, a way that will lead to long-term success. Our bodies and minds are not made to work 24/7. We need nutrition and rest to restore our bodies and renew our energy. Rest is RARE and is defined as
• Refreshing quiet or sleep
• A period or interval of inactivity, repose, solitude, tranquility, or mental calm
• Relief from anything that wearies, troubles, or disturbances
• Ease or inactivity after exertion
Let’s look at some practical ways to incorporate rest into our lives in order to obtain long term success daily, weekly, and annually.
Daily RARE tips:
We can incorporate rest into our lives by getting at least 7-8 hours of deep sleep. Several things can affect not getting enough sleep, which include caffeine, overstimulation, and not scheduling time.
Increasing the amount of caffeine to make up for lack of deep sleep usually leads to even less sleep. For those who have added more and more caffeine to their lives in order to wake up, focus, and get a lot done, it will mean reducing caffeine intake, at least after lunch time.
Overstimulation can be mental or physical. To reduce racing mental activity, it is best to do a brain dump. Get EVERYTHING running around in your brain out of your mind and onto a piece of paper – it does not have to be neat, orderly, in priority order, categorized by personal or professional life – it just needs to be on paper!
Indicators that a brain dump is necessary – lack of focus, unclear on the next steps, feeling overwhelmed or anxious. For some it will mean at the end of each workday a transition to personal time with family and friends; for others it will be just prior to going to sleep. And for some, it will mean keeping a piece of paper handy and writing down any great idea, random thought, or task that needs to be done to free your mind to focus.
Most of us think we can get more done than is possible so we do not schedule enough time – that includes what we schedule for sleep. Two keys to scheduling sleep
1. Schedule your sleep time
2. Do not make exceptions to the schedule a regular activity
Do you have a bedtime and get up time scheduled? If not, take your calendar out and decide where you will block out 7-8 hours of rest.
How many times have you said, "Let me do this one more thing before I go to bed," and before you know it, you are one or more hours past your bed-time and wake up feeling exhausted? Do this for more than one night a week, and fatigue starts setting in and we start using crutches, like caffeine, to keep us going.
Weekly RARE tips:
Do you schedule a day of rest? One day with no activity? For those of you with an active spiritual life, that means having a day with no volunteering, serving, or giving to others. The body needs to have a period of inactivity in order to be physically, mentally, and emotionally restored.
Resting also means unplugging. NO, we don’t have to be available to anyone’s needs, wants, desires, or expectations via social media, cell phones, etc. 24/7.
Try this for one week and see if you are not totally renewed and ready to go after success with renewed vigor, focus, and ideas.
Annual RARE tips:
What do your vacations look like – lots of activity or a time of rest and renewal? Plan time for both!
Make sure there are at least three days annually that you can start with a time to brain dump, review your goals, and unplug from outside influences, then take time to physically, mentally, and emotionally rest.
I believe in you! You can achieve more success than you can imagine, especially if you take time to rest.
Mother of two amazing adults, business owner, cook, and writer are only a few of the countless hats Joy Randall wears each day. She is an overcomer and achiever who “walks the walk”. Joy has brought joy the lives of many with her smile, words of encouragement, writing, and belief in them when they have had none of their own.