How to be Prepared for the Challenges of Life by Valorie Burton

The path to success is never a straight line. Sometimes things don't go the way we planned it. Here are ways to be prepared for the inevitable challenges in lfe.


Save for a rainy day towards a six- to eight-month emergency fund.

Aim to live on 80% or less of your take-home income so you have some margin for error.

Figure out how much you need in order to retire and have a plan to get there so you can avoid a crisis later in life.


Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables so that you maximize your immune system and your ability to fight off illnesses.

Exercise regularly to minimize the likelihood of health issues such as diabetes, stroke, and heart attack.

Get plenty of good rest each night so that you have the energy to deal with all that you face during the day.


If you did not have a role model of a successful, happy marriage growing up, intentionally choose a "relationship role model" to mentor and coach you.

learn to love yourself before you attempt to love someone else. "Love your neighbor as yourself" doesn't amount to much if you don't love yourself.

If you are married, talk to your spouse and set ground rules about how you will interact and communicate when you have disagreements. For example, you may agree in advance that you'll never call each other names and regardless of how angry you get, you have to kiss goodnight and sleep in the same bed.


Join a professional association or other network where you can build relationships in your field outside of your company. This way, if you are laid off or it's time to move on. you'll already have developed connections.

Don't burn bridges, build bridges. Be friendly. See the big picture. Recognize that every battle isn't worth fighting at work. When opportunities for promotion or a raise come up, you don't want to lose out because people don't feel a connection with you.

Be known for something. This is one of the ways successful women navigate their way upward in a challenging work environment, being offered jobs and promotions when others are struggling to find work. Are you the one who gets things done quickly? Are you able to manage difficult people? Are you known for your accuracy and making sure all i's are dotted and t's crossed? Do you always come up with creative ideas to solve your company problems?

Whatever it is that sets you apart, that's your personal brand. It's also what will keep you working and open doors of opportunity. Resilient women know that work success is about more than just fulfilling job requirements. It's about the added value you bring to the table. That added value can mean added job security.

This is an excerpt from: Successful Women Think Differently

A bestselling author and Certified Personal and Executive Coach who has served clients in over 40 states and eight countries, Valorie Burton has written nine books on personal development, including Successful Women Think Differently and Happy Women Live Better. She is the founder of The CaPP Institute, providing tools and training that build resilience, well-being, and productivity for life and work. Join 25,000 subscribers to her weekly e-newsletter at and visit her company site at

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