As an entrepreneur, you have a lot to juggle.
While there's no denying that being an entrepreneur makes it harder to consistently find time to exercise, that still isn't a valid excuse. Think of your health and fitness as the head of an octopus and the tentacles as the myriad of other facets of your life. Without the head operating in its most optimal capacity, those tentacles aren't going to function to their highest capabilities.
Operating a successful business requires habits and strategies to make it run in its most efficient and effective manner. Becoming consistent with your fitness requires the same thing.
When it comes to being a fit entrepreneur and exercising on a regular basis, here are three habits that will help your consistency.
1. Develop a ritual
At its most basic level, a ritual is a habit that initiates from a specific behavior that you perform.
Why is a ritual so important?
Because it eliminates the option of deciding if you want to do an activity or not. As an entrepreneur, you make enough decisions and adding more will only lessen your chances of actually exercising.
When it comes to rituals, a great example comes from American choreographer, dancer, and author Twyla Tharp. She describes her ritual as:
"I begin each day of my life with a ritual: I wake up at 5:30 a.m., put on my workout clothes, my leg warmers, my sweatshirts, and my hat. I walk outside my Manhattan home, hail a taxi, and tell the driver to take me to the Pumping Iron Gym at 91st Street and First Avenue, where I work out for two hours.
The ritual is not the stretching and weight training I put my body through each morning at the gym; the ritual is the cab. The moment I tell the driver where to go I have completed the ritual."
When it comes to your fitness, the ritual isn't the set of squats or scanning your key card at the gym--it's the behavior that initiates the process of getting to the gym.
Determine a signal to initiate your ritual. Telling the cab driver was the signal for Twyla. For you, it could be the ringing of the alarm clock and having your gym clothes already laid out in front of you signaling that it's time to exercise.
2. Schedule it
You schedule important sales calls. You schedule meetings with your staff. You schedule doctor appointments. You schedule date nights with your partner (at least I hope). You schedule your kids sporting events.
Why not your workouts?
As Tony Robbins states, "If you talk about it, it's a dream, if you envision it, it's possible, but if you schedule it, it's real."
Schedule appointments for your workouts. Treat your body as if it's a business. You wouldn't neglect clients, business meetings, or work sessions--so don't neglect your health.
A simple way to schedule your workouts for the week is to take time at the beginning of the week and schedule your activities into a calendar. Prepare in this order.
- Schedule family events & personal non-negotiable events with a color
- Schedule work events & normal work hours with another color
- Now, schedule your exercise appointments with another color
Odds are, you have a spare 20-40 minutes a day to find some time to exercise.
3. Adopt a long-term mindset
You know that inconsistency and neglecting clients affect your businesses long-term bottom line. View inconsistency and neglecting exercise as affecting your long-term health.
Adopting a long-term mindset with your health and fitness allows you to see the big picture and provides perspective. Just as you prioritize habits in your business to ensure that you're around for the long haul and not just for a season or two--view your health with the same mentality.
The decisions that you make today will manufacture the outcome of your tomorrow.
Your health equals your wealth. Run your body like a business.