Building Your Life Resume

For many years I poured all my energy into my work life, whether it was working for someone else or for myself.  My identity was tied up in what I did for work.  A few years ago I was listening to a conversation between my recently retired dad and his friend about the things they were going to do during retirement, thinking “You know, I really don’t have anything at all outside of my work.”

It wasn’t until the death of a close friend that reality hit home, and I realized how important the other facets of my life are, and how unimportant work would be one day. That’s a bold statement to make to an audience that is focused on getting their businesses started.  Don’t get me wrong, everything I do in my work life I still find immense value in.  And I still work hard every day, both at my day job and my side gig.  None of that, nor the businesses I’ve started, would be things that I would change.

But not to the exclusion of all other parts of my life.

That’s where the concept of building my life resume came in.  Breaking things down into different areas of my life – be they work, family, spiritual, physical, etc. – allows me to focus on multiple areas of my life.  I still get the balance wrong sometimes, and I don’t achieve everything on my list, but the trajectory has certainly changed.  I’m using my time more wisely, and I’ve learned to (almost) compartmentalize things in a way that allows me to pay attention to things in the moment.

And the game-changer for me was putting goals out there in all facets of life, not just work.  I now have:

  • physical goals (I’ve lost 110lbs, run 2 marathons, and an ultra-marathon in the past 3 years)

  • family goals (we travel a lot more now and carve out quality time together)

  • philanthropy goals (I recently raised $700 in 4 days for Turning Point Youth Services and am looking for volunteer opportunities to help kids with mental health issues)

These are just a few examples that will hopefully inspire you if you don’t already have “life resume” goals. And yes, I still have challenges like everyone. But it’s rewarding to know that the measure of my success (and my happiness) goes beyond work.  It definitely helps put challenging days at work into perspective.

During the holidays, take the time to assess what you want the new year to bring for you, both in business and in life.  Set a timeline for achieving those goals, and work backwards from there to figure out how you’ll get there.  You’ll be amazed at how many things you’ll have checked off by this time next year.

Here’s to many more successes – in business and in your life resume – in the new year!

Written by Andreas Zapletal on behalf of Open People Network

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