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A balanced life makes a better life.

A balanced life makes a better life.

“I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family 
and the world is a healthy you.” –
Joyce Meyer

I confess I suffered from “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” I spent too much time working; eating badly; downing Red Bulls, Rockstar Energy drinks, and coffee to get me through each day.

One deadline, we came to work on Thursday morning and did not go home until Sunday afternoon. Yes, we achieved our business goals, but lost the war on managing our minds, bodies and spirits.

Watching my dad, as a young boy, I saw him get up at 6am every day, leave before we surfaced, and return home after dinner or when we were already asleep. He was a CEO of a major corporation. Weekends, holidays, work, work, work… That behavior subconsciously created a psychological and emotional blueprint in my brothers and me that to be successful, one must work long hours.

My first job was in the Hotel Industry. A normal day was considered 18 hours. Everyone in management from Food Services, Banqueting, and Front Office all put in crazy hours. Weekends and holidays were our busy times. Christmas, New Year and Easter- I worked 
them all.

My first enterprise required the business to be open 365 days a year. The first year, I worked every single day. To me, that was normal. It was only when my health, happiness, and well-being began to suffer badly that I was forced to face the fact that if I didn’t make changes fast, 
I wasn’t going to go the distance.

Five years into me starting TheHomeMag, being on deadline every 4 weeks and not sleeping well when our first child, Tayla, was born, really hit me like a brick wall. I suffered “burn out”. I literally I could not get up and out of bed one day.

It was this momentous and scary episode that finally forced me to make these profound changes for a better life.

1. I made health my number one priority. Without energy, mobility and focus, you literally cannot have a successful and happy life. 

2. I changed my diet and went back to exercising. Remember, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. 80% of what your waistline looks like comes down to eating the right foods. I cut out my Red Bulls and coffee; reduced sugar, dairy and gluten. I focused on eating mainly protein, salads, and vegetables; reduced complex carbs; and added breakfast, which helped my acid reflux. I started out slowly and built momentum gradually.

3. I stopped work at 6pm every day. No more late nights burning the midnight oil. I got home to eat dinner with my family. It was hard in the beginning, but guess what? The work I did not finish each day and had to pick up the next morning did not cause my life or business to end.

4. I bought a Fitbit and did 10,000 steps daily, and I tracked my sleep. It was horrible in the beginning. I averaged 5.2 hours of sleep a night, waking up 10-14 times and tossed and turned 27 times. Once you know your number, you can start making changes.

5. I bought a new bed to get better quality sleep. My average sleep is 6.45 hours a night now and I only wake up 4-5 times and do 10-12 turns. Better, not perfect. But I feel so much better. “Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” – Thomas Dekker

6. I added yoga and meditation to relax and calm myself. I read an article stating that by lying awake at night in bed and continuously processing your challenges of the day kills brain cells. I learned to shut off and push those thoughts away at night until the next day. This helped me tremendously.

7. I stopped watching TV. Too much negativity and drama! I broke up with my iPhone and iPad at night. You may remember I wrote about that in a previous letter.

8. I started taking vacations. At first, I took mini breaks, 3-day long weekends, and now 3 week long trips.

Results stemming directly from these changes have been the following: I have more energy; I feel better; no more brain fog, and now I enjoy my business way more. Life is an adventure, and I’m excited about the future.

My hope is that if you are putting in crazy hours at work and letting your health slip, this will help you to take action to give yourself a break from only focusing on your career and focus on yourself too. A better, stronger you is a gift to yourself and all those around you. Make yourself the best high energy person you can be, and life only gets better!  

Enjoy your Summer!!!

“Health is not valued until sickness comes.”  – Thomas Fuller

— Ralph