Once John and I got married we stopped celebrating Valentine’s Day. We didn’t like the
pressure of having to do something romantic on a specific day and, more recently Insta-worthy, to show each other and the world how much we love each other. Early on in our 17-year marriage, we learned that the secret sauce is deciding every single day to be committed, kind, respectful, supportive, vulnerable, and act with love at the center of it all. And to regularly sprinkle romance around in spite of careers, kids, pets, illness, aging parents and worries that can suck every ounce of loving and/or sexy right out of you.
Sure, the getaways and gifts over the years have been amazing, mixing up the monotony and
making us feel appreciated. But it’s the daily decisions, our unwavering commitment to US that has helped us triumph through life’s ups and downs. It’s our WHY for being together -- our shared values, vision of the future and desire to help each other grow—that we’ve leaned on through every tough season.
Building a successful business—and sustaining it—has required the same consistent dedication as my marriage. It’s enticing to sprint to earn an incentive or achieve a promotion. And sure, that gives us a hit of satisfaction, self-confidence, bragging rights and even a bigger paycheck. But if it’s not backed by daily decisions to make your business a priority, even when there’s nothing sexy or sparkly to run for, it makes it much harder to run the marathon. What’s going to happen when the shit hits the fan (as it most certainly will in biz and life), and you have to deal with less-than-desirable behavior from a colleague or a customer? Or when a new, younger, competitor comes along to tempt your people? Or when you get bored and have to come up with ways to stay excited? If you’re not motivated enough by your WHY to do the hard things every day, it makes it much easier to cheat on your business with other distractions. Which can lead to missed goals, misguided BS that this isn’t for you, and ultimately breaking up with your business.
It’s the same for those of us who declare that we want to keep our bodies and minds healthy.
We must have a big enough reason WHY to do what’s inconvenient or uncomfortable or
seemingly selfish every day. If your WHY is to fit into a dress for a big event, what happens after the event is over or when there are no big events and no zipper to coax up? When the trip is over or gets cancelled and your bikini never makes it out of the drawer? Those of us who watched the scale creep up and our healthy habits fall away during the pandemic were
reminded that daily decisions to promote our health must be anchored in a bigger reason than one event, one dress or one trip.
What would happen to your relationship, your business, your health if you figured out WHY
they were important to you? This year, buy yourself some flowers to celebrate your
commitment to serve yourself and your Priorities daily. And keep it up, no matter what the
calendar says. It’s the best way to love ourselves.