It’s not what happens to us it’s how we deal with things that counts. The more we strive, the more we take on responsibilities and this requires more decisions, balance and constant consideration.
Here’s my 10 tips to keep momentum and enjoy the journey.
1. Be consistent
Consistency is key. Each day you should be doing something you actually love, enjoy, makes you laugh and is good for you. Think of it as toping up your vitality bank. I am referring to simple routines that ensure you enjoy being present, the work you do and look after the body that you have all at the same time.
- Build fitness and wellbeing dates into your weekly planning, and make them transparent in your agenda.
- Choose a workout buddy to keep you accountable and meet up with them for at least two sessions per week.
- Have a team walk and talk as the huddle or take it outside and have your meetings in a new location.
2. Create a tangible corporate vitality program
Like personal health and wellbeing, corporate and personal health activities are the first things to go when budgets are tight and teams are stressed. But when you cut back on what makes you (or your workforce) healthy, your bottom line and performance are hit hard. There are costs associated with the show-up employee – the person who comes to work every day but is not motivated, does not perform or is sick. This includes entrepreneurs.
Are your current corporate wellbeing and training plans relevant? Is that getting you and your team a return on investment by increasing engagement, performance and productivity? Most businesses run health and wellbeing programs poorly. Good things take time and happen seamlessly with subtle changes and new habits.
3. Adopt the 1% rule
Can’t find an hour a day for exercise or to go and meet a good friend for lunch? No worries, find 15 minutes and start from there.
Functional fitness, using your own body weight, yoga-style stretching and skipping all help to create a toned and fit physique. And they add diversity to your fitness routine to keep things interesting.
- Pick up the phone and have a conversation instead of texting
- Book a coffee or quick post work catch up in the early evening
- You don’t need a gym, an extensive regime or a massive reason to reconnect with your fitness, your friends or your family throughout the day.
- Start looking at your agenda differently and how you can use 15 minutes to mix things up.
4. Involve others: Family and friends
Being a leader can be a lonely game – however when you understand that ultimate leadership is across all areas of your life it becomes easier to involve others and allow yourself a sustainable approach that seamlessly with both business and personal.
Be present where you are – but understand that there are qualities you have that serve you in both worlds and life becomes much easier, balanced and in harmony when we can be ourselves consistently. Make family, colleagues and friends a part of your plan. This will make your new approach enjoyable, rather than just another idea that never actually comes to fruition.
5. Listen to your body – Get off autopilot
A key element of leading yourself and others is inner wisdom and knowing when to relax, listen to your body and get the best out of your day. How well do you know yourself by now? Are you a morning or an evening person? What foods give you energy and what foods make you feel sluggish and uncomfortable after eating? What you fuel your body with is crucial for mental and physical wellbeing. What situations at work instantly stress you out, where do your strengths lie in dealing with issues?
Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high-blood pressure, diabetes and stroke. Lack of sleep lowers our immune system, reduces our judgement and can be a personal and performance liability at work, as well as at home. Switching off is just as crucial as being switched on. Most importantly, you don’t need to spend an hour every day to reboot your hard drive. With the right approach, it can take just a few minutes to recalibrate.
7. Have fun – it’s allowed
Do things that make your heart sing. Whatever activities you do, they should be for YOU. Success comes from combining what you love to do with what you are good at. It is amazing how bringing a bit of fun into your life can quickly create tangible results. Refresh your health, wellness and social outlook to keep the spark alive and enjoy the journey.
8. Be travel fit
Exercise is not location dependent. Whether you need to spend a week on the road, attend a conference or continually travel interstate for business, there are simple ways for you to integrate fitness into your travel schedule.
- Take your gym with you – pack a pair of running shows
- Back to basics – explore your new surroundings by foot or bike
- 15-minute express session – a quick walk or jog
- Skip your way fit – a skipping rope will roll up and fit inside your shoe
- Use the on-site gym or pool – find out what facilities are available
- Pack suspension straps – train on the spot for 15 minutes a day
- Use nature as your gym – embrace your surroundings
9. Digital detox – Disconnect to reconnect
Taking regular breaks from your laptop, phone, tablet and TV can rapidly produce great results. Quick digital detoxes can:
- Reduce the effects of dry eyes and strained vision
- Create a pause of mental clarity and creativity
- Reconnect you with your surroundings and purpose
- Help you notice your posture and breathing
- Improve sleep
- Reduce stress
Think of a digital detox as recharging your own batteries. If we do not fully recharge our batteries, we diminish our energy levels and ability to handle stress and daily tasks. Sometimes, you need to disconnect to reconnect.
10. Walk and talks
The best decisions can be made out of the office or on the move. Walking meetings have long been the go-to for the ultra-successful. Steve Jobs, the late founder of Apple, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey of Twitter have all been known to conduct walking meetings. It’s time more business leaders embraced this clever and efficient use of time.
You need to shift your approach to meetings. Get people out of the board room. Get your team to step outside or even walk the corridors to give them a fresh perspective and create a renewed sense of energy and purpose. Not only will you be able to solve ideas faster, you will gain a sense of connection to the people in your team.
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This is an edited extract from Fitpreneur: The Ultimate Leader Healthy, Wealthy & Wise by Nikki Fogden-Moore – designed to guide you to rediscover what you value most, tap into a new perspective and find your next level energy for greater business results with a sense of balance, peace and wisdom within.