So, what’s sustained lifestyle? Here’s the definition, then we’ll unpack it:
Sustained lifestyle is when you have a high sense of achievement accompanied by a low degree of stress, making it something you can sustain for a long time.
First let’s talk about achievement. This is about doing something meaningful that accomplishes a desired result which gives you joy. It could be delivering a project on time, helping people in need, or coaching lesser experienced professionals. It’s about getting something done that matters to you and seeing the fruits of your labor.
Next is stress. This is the degree of mental, physical or emotional strain undertaken to achieve a desired result. Delivering a project on time with high-pressure executive meetings, project team infighting, and an unreasonable customer is much more taxing than one with cooperative execs, project team members, and customers. The end result is a completed project, but the execution was like pedaling uphill in tenth gear.
When stress and achievement are combined in the context of lifestyle, one of the four results are realized:
Here are eight tips to create a sustained lifestyle that’s enjoyable and fulfilling for you:
- Run to a vocation – Creating a sustained lifestyle entails having a post-career plan that you work to once you’ve left your job. The plan could be to discover your sustained lifestyle vocation or, if you already know what you want to do, how to make that sustained lifestyle a reality. Painting a picture in your head of what it will look like will help you get excited about giving it life.
- Be clear on your decision criteria – Deciding on what your sustained lifestyle looks like means being very honest with yourself on your decision criteria. Is a continued income important or necessary? Will you need something that continues to feed your ego? Is the flexibility to say no to things important? No right or wrong answers on the criteria, but be deliberate about defining it. This Excel-based assessment tool will help you think about your criteria using nine crucial contentment elements.
- Make each day purposeful – I have a theme for each weekday that focuses on some aspect of my vocation; Monday is Amazon book ads day; Tuesday is article writing day (Yes, I’m writing this article on a Tuesday.); Wednesday is mentoring day, etc. While I may move things around based on schedules, I know what my core activities will be on each day of the week.
- Agree on the guiding principles with your spouse/partner – Patty and I have several guiding principles on our sustained lifestyle, the most important being the freedom to do what we want from wherever we want. We enjoy travel and regularly do winter treks to warmer weather. We can continue publishing books and I can write regardless of where we are. Having an understanding between you and your spouse/partner about what is important and what you want to protect is crucial to a happy sustained lifestyle.