The other day I sat down to do some work. I had actually scheduled this time a week earlier and reserved a private room at the library so I wouldn't be disturbed. I had assessed my priorities days before and already knew exactly on what I was going to work. I was really excited and proud to have planned, prepared and followed through with my goal. However, about twenty minutes after I started to work, I completely lost steam. I lost my energy and concentration and the ideas and words just stopped flowing. I was so frustrated I finally packed it in and left.
The problem was I was TIRED and HUNGRY. Time is such a precious resource when you are an entrepreneur with a family and to have wasted this opportunity was infuriating. We had had a very busy weekend with lots of commitments and in the mix of things, I had failed to take care of my number one business asset, my body. Without the proper sleep and nutrition I could not do my job.
Fortunately for me, this was an isolated incident. I know how important a healthy body is so I make it a priority to take care of myself. As an entrepreneur YOU are the business, YOU are your brand. If you are not in tip top condition your business suffers. You do not have the energy to go that extra mile, your creativity suffers, your looks suffer and your mood plummets. Not exactly a formula for success.
Between the myriad tasks of running a business and the unending demands of family life it can be easy to put your needs last. This is a huge mistake. If your well is empty you have nothing to give. You must make your health your number one priority. However, it is not enough to just say your health is your priority, you must also take ACTION. Here a few tips:
1. PLAN and SCHEDULE your workouts for the weekon the weekend. Be as specific as possible. What time will you workout? How long will you workout? What exercises will you do? Cardio, how long? Weights, how many reps? The more specific you can be in planning, the easier it will be to follow-through.
2. PLAN what you will eat. If you know what you are going to eat ahead of time it takes the stress out of making healthy choices, plus it forces you to actually buy the things you want so they are there when you are hungry.
3. PLAN to get enough rest and go to bed around the same time each night. Set your watch or phone alarm or set a reminder on your computer if you work at night to a time 1/2 hour before your bedtime to promt you to start winding down.
4. PLAN and SCHEDULE some down time for your brain every day. As entrepreneurs we are constantly thinking of the next thing that needs to get done or the trying to come up with the next great idea. If you do not give your brain a chance to relax and recharge you will actually be less productive and creative. Read a non-business book, meditate, people watch, even stare off into space. Just stop thinking.
I'm sure you notice a pattern here. Good health does not happen as an after thought. You must plan and prepare for it, commit to it and take action. If that seems hard for you, think of it as a business investment because it will truly pay off.