It's easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of creating, maintaining, and growing a business (or just life in general) and forget to properly take care of your most important asset: you!
If you neglect your physical health as a business leader, you're not only robbing yourself of your full output potential each day, but you're jeopardizing your ability to keep your business and life aspirations...alive. You might have a great business or business idea, and you might even have already achieved great success -- but who cares if you're the richest person in the graveyard?
If you're serious about building and maintaining your business, you should be equally serious about building and maintaining your health. The two are inextricably linked.
Aptly timed for the New Year, what follows is a series of health-centric resolutions you can easily keep (and start immediately) that will yield a better you and, as a result, a better business.
Now raise your right hand and repeat after me:
1. I will get out of bed the moment my alarm goes off.
No more snooze button in your life. Hitting the snooze button can actually disrupt your brain's waking mechanisms and launch you into sleep inertia -- which can take up to four hours to wear off. Compounding day after day of groggy mornings can lead to decreased productivity, which can be a catalyst for stress and anxiety, and none of that is good for your physical health or business.
Avoiding the snooze button is tough -- but you can make it easier on yourself by placing your alarm device on the other side of the room.
2. I will jumpstart my day with exercise.
Now you're up. Time to get moving -- literally. As soon as you slide out of bed, knock out a few light iterations of your choice of body weight exercises. Stretching, push-ups, air squats, sit-ups...get your blood flowing and your sleepiness will dissipate almost immediately. And look at that! The sun's not even up yet and you've already burned a few calories.
And hey, early morning exercise isn't just for the birds -- just ask Richard Branson.
If you need help remembering to get your blood flowing each morning, try leaving a big, inspirational note by your bedside that you'll see when you wake up that'll inspire or remind you to get in a few reps.
3. I will drink 16-24 oz of water first thing in the morning.
(And stay hydrated all day.)
Drinking at least 16 oz of water on an empty stomach first thing in the morning has several amazing health benefits. Among them is a roughly 24% boost to your body's metabolism -- can't think of an easier way to burn off a few unwanted calories.
Help yourself out with this one by filling up a water bottle the night prior to the amount you're comfortable drinking in the morning. Place the water bottle by your bedside where you'll see it upon waking. Then keep this water bottle by your side all day (and drink from it!).
4. I will schedule my workouts.
Just as you would schedule a meeting (although hopefully you aren't scheduling many of those), you should schedule your workouts. Put them on the calendar so everyone knows, to include you, when you're working out and not working. Your workout time is now just as important as any business matter, because staying healthy is serious business.
5. I will exercise during the workday.
Yes, you read that correctly. And no, you're not too busy to do this (remember the richest dead person in the graveyard thing?). Oh, and you should allow (and strongly encourage) your employees to do the same.
Why? Because science says workday exercise improves mood, which improves performance. Not to mention exercise in general reduces the amount of sick leave days taken. So what if you or your employees step out of the office for an hour or so each day to get sweaty -- the health and business payoff is undeniable.
6. I will get a workout partner.
This forces accountability. Blowing off a workout when you've got a workout partner doesn't just affect you anymore. And a good partner will either push you or make you want to push yourself harder each time you work out.
7. I will sign up for races/fitness events.
Maybe this requires stepping out of your comfort zone a bit, but giving yourself fitness incentives, deadlines, and goals is a great way to challenge your body and stay committed to living a healthy lifestyle.
And there you have it. Whatever your specific goals are for this New Year, there's room for all seven of these resolutions. As you introduce them into your daily lives, remember to be consistent. After a few weeks they'll become habit, and your body (and your business) will thank you.