What does your perfect life look like?

the perfect life? her magazine founder letter nineveh madsen

I was recently in San Diego for the Perfect Life Retreat hosted by some of the greatest marketers and business owners of our time, including Craig Ballantyne, Bedros Keuilian, Lewis Howes, Jason Ferruggia among others. No, they did not pay me to plug them. I paid them. In other words, I am constantly investing in myself – expanding my knowledge base in fields that matter like marketing for example and in my personal development.

I choose to forgo the Mercedes, the bigger house and fancier crap right now. I watch so many people rush to buy things, stuff to impress others – many often times stretching themselves to chronic stress and for what? Nice kitchen countertops. Don’t get me wrong, I love nice shit. I plan on having nice shit, but that shit can wait. When you make enough to afford nice shit, the need to prove anything to anyone, including yourself – starts to subside.

Your knowledge, health and happiness are the most valuable assets you’ll ever have and need. They are the key to all the ‘things’ you desire. Invest in those three areas. Most business owners or high achievers understand that in order to excel in life, you need patience and a long term vision. Unfortunately, mixed messages via media (social, mainstream etc.) trick us into thinking everything delivers instant gratification.

The best things take time to feel. Sometimes the rewards won’t be felt for years to come, and that is TOUGH especially when we are hardwired for wanting it now and feel the endorphins of having it now. I see this a lot with fitness. People sometimes get quick results with a training program. Elated by their new bodies, they venture on their own thinking they can reap the benefits by coaching themselves. Eh. Wrong. The same mentality can be applied to business. Who you are today won’t get you to where you want to go tomorrow. You see? Kaizen: the commitment to continuous improvement. That’s what you have to apply to your life if you want more.

don't give up what you want, for what you want right now her magazine nineveh madsen

One of the most important tools I walked away from during my last conference was structuring my day. Ballantyne introduced us to the Perfect Life Formula – a way of life that encourages you to block time for whatever is important in your life whether it’s work, fitness, family or all three. At the end of the day, you’re asked to reflect, jot down what you’re grateful for and list the next day’s priorities. At the end of each week, you’re asked to honestly assess the progress made. It’s a 90 day roadmap to improving your life, and it sounds so simple but too many people are lacking this kind of goal setting and reflection in their lives. I was one of those people. I look back on my TV career and analyze why I didn’t achieve more than I did. It’s an easy answer now: I lacked the tools. I had no ‘plan’ – I was floating and daydreaming about my next step.

I had NO ROADMAP. I had no CONCRETE VISION of where I was going and what I wanted. I think about how far I’ve come in the last three years – I look back and am blown away at the growth. Growth in my mindset, knowledge and skillset.

So with that, here are THREE things you can do right now to propel your life to the next level.

GET DOWN WITH THE VISION BOARD. I mean really get down girl. Bust out your Pinterest board and start pinning everything you want in your life in 2018. This includes material things (I know I said all that stuff about holding off on nice shit; I just meant don’t spend ALL your money on it. ;-)) ‘Ain’t no shame in wanting the LV purse, the Mercedes (yes, that’s on my board) or the David Yurman ring (that’s on there too). After you get done pinning all that nice stuff, thinking about where you want to be monetarily. What about all the things you want to accomplish in your career? I have words like ‘women millionaire’ on my board and quotes like “Rich is not the goal. Five million in three years is.” I also have something that says ‘How I got a book deal’ because that’s one of my goals – writing and publishing a book. Then think about what you want personally. I have a separate board for that. I put a picture of my husband and I with kids. I’m now pregnant after struggling with fertility for three years. I GOT REALLY CLEAR on what I want.

STOP FLOATING. Organize your life. Organize your day. If you don’t run your day, it will run you. Running an online women’s magazine and heading up a Marketing & PR department for a tech company will teach you a few things. If you don’t plan your days/weeks – you’ll feel massively overwhelmed. Sheryl Sandberg even recommends a paper calendar for to-do’s. Digital calendars are not enough, trust me. I am loving the Perfect Day Formula 90 day success planner right now and apparently you can only get it at Craig’s retreats. It really has me intentional about my work weeks. Find an organizer that works for you.

CUT OUT THE CLUTTER. I want you to comb through your budget and monthly expenses. I want you to take a hard look at where you’re spending your money. Is it on B.S.? What kind of crap can you cut out so you can make room for more important things like your health, personal and professional growth? Can you commit to paying yourself first? Make a list of ALL the unnecessary things you’re purchasing. Ask yourself if you can cut 50% of of those habits and allocate the money to a fund you spend on YOU. Don’t give me that look girl. I see you at the hairdresser every six weeks; I see you with those $90 acrylic nails, $200 eyelash extensions, botox and fillers. People always gasp when I tell them I have maids who come once a week to clean and do our laundry. How can you afford that!? Easily. I’d rather forgo folding laundry than have a kaboodle of makeup. My makeup literally fits in one bag. I’d rather have maids than buy a house with an extra 2,000 square feet. See where I’m going with this? It’s all about priorities. I see people complaining about how they can’t afford this and that, but Americans collectively spent $5 billion on Black Friday and another $6.59 billion on Cyber Monday. That’s according to several news sources, but other credible sites like Forbes have the combined number even higher with people spending an average of $743 between those two shopping holidays. That’s more than what the Perfect Life Retreat ticket cost me. Just sayin’ – I’m equally amazed at the long lines I see outside the Apple store when the new iPhone model is released. The iPhone X is a GRAND! Bottom line: people spend money on what’s important to them. So make the list of what’s important to you (and make sure it’s a no judgement zone). There is nothing wrong with wanting and buying the iPhone X, but if you want more, if you want to be more, than you have to exercise some discipline.

I hope you find these tips helpful! And I hope you enjoy our winter issue of HER Magazine. Click here to access our publication for free. 

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