Following on from my article last month, I introduced you to the exciting new product that we are developing behind the scenes that’ll help us attract more business owners into the Renegades circle.
Everyone wants different things, but we all want to be successful and this month I continue to discuss what an important part your health and wellbeing plays in being healthy on the inside and out. I firmly believe that if you look after yourself in a small way, you’re better equipped to deal with the demands of running a business and juggling a family and private life.
Let’s be fair, if you feel like shit then you normally can’t muster up enough effort to have a great day. You may get away with the odd day for a cough or cold but if its sustained then everything suffers. This is why when I appraised myself and my situation, I knew things had to change for the better.
How many times have you used that old excuse of working long, tired, no time? Bollocks! It’s a matter of priorities.
Your biggest asset is you and your health and well-being. It doesn’t matter if you have the best ideas, or you are the greatest ever entrepreneur – when you’re dead, you’re dead! If you can’t muster up the energy to do everyday tasks then you’re going to struggle with the demands of running a business, being an entrepreneur, a wife, mother, husband, and a father.
I discovered that if I wanted to work on me, then I had to make time for me.
The good Lord isn’t making any more time.
Your biggest asset is you and your health and well-being. It doesn’t matter if you have the best ideas, or you are the greatest ever entrepreneur – when you’re dead, you’re dead
It doesn’t matter who you are or how much money you have, there’s still only 24 hours in a day. At some stage in that day you have to factor in sleeping and eating, the rest is up for grabs.
I heard a great saying the other day, “Busy is a choice”, I love that saying. How many times do you ask, “How are you?” or “How’s things?” and the reply is, “I’m so busy”. My inner voice screams “Really, really, everyone’s bloody busy”!! I obviously don’t say that, if someone has a genuine problem, I love to help but, on most occasions, they’re just moans and groans about life in general and life choices that people make.
My father used to say whenever he was asked that, “How are you?” question, he would always say “Good, Excellent or Great”.
I found out, as I grew up, he’s a wise man, he used to say, “It doesn’t matter if life is bad and things are getting you down, nobody wants to hear about how bad it is, so they simply don’t listen”.
He’s right, if you ask someone how they are, and they start back with, “Terrible because Auntie Ethel’s got a cold and Mum’s cat got run over….” Straight away you think shut up and switch off. We all have our own issues and problems.
What I’ve found is by saying, “Excellent” or “Super Well” people genuinely say, “really, how so” and are now interested and perked up themselves. I’d much rather people say, “Steve is such a positive person, always happy…” Than “Did you see Steve today, he’s a miserable old bastard…” your behaviour and demeanour can positively or negatively affect you and those around you.
I said I would share what works for me so here goes:
The alarm is set of 0545, I either go to the gym or I get to the office, whether that’s the home office or work office. I try and do between 3 and 5 workouts a week. Doing it by yourself at that time of the morning can be tough, so get a kindred spirit or do as I did and get a personal trainer. When I started that, could I afford it? No, my mindset was, could I afford not to? The answer again was. . . No. You don’t need to be loaded to get a trainer, again it’s about priorities. A decent trainer will cost you about £25 a session, that’s 3 bottles of wine a week or one take away – you pick!
I normally do 2 sessions with the trainer a week, Monday and Friday mornings are my preferred choice. Monday ensures the odd glass of wine on a Sunday lunch doesn’t spread to two bottles over the day! Friday finishes the week off when the energy levels can be sagging slightly and sets the weekend up perfectly. On the other occasions I’ll do a session the trainer has given me, hit the weights or even take a class in the gym.
One way I have found that spurs me on besides the thought of getting killed by my trainer is to set myself crazy challenges. I have done Duathlons, Obstacle Courses, Triathlons, 10K runs, I’ve already mentioned that Cardiff Half Marathon.
Most recently I set myself a target of raising £10,000 for a Cancer Hospital that saved my Mother’s life when she had breast cancer. She was 70, it was 15 years since she had the treatment. I agreed to cycle 400 miles in 5 days across the North Island of New Zealand with a bunch of other crazy folk I had never met before. That kept me going for a year!
On other days when I get in the office, I try not to get into work stuff until after 0830. That’s the same as if I’ve been training. On these days I do some self-development stuff. I write, I read, I listen or learn.
Recently I’ve started using an App called Headspace to meditate and that has really helped my sense of wellbeing.
The App allows you to meditate even if you’ve never had a go before or if you are a seasoned expert. It helps you and sets you on course.
For me I found it when I was struggling with a feeling of anxiety, but I use it now most days just to give my mind that time, perhaps 20 minutes, to switch off and declutter.
It certainly helps me as I find myself thinking fast from the moment my eyes open until they close at bed time.
Meditation gives me that peace and time to put things back in the places they should be. It’s like my brain files things where they should be while I am concentrating on my breathing!!!
These mornings are my saviour and it’s my working on “me time”.
A word here for all those people who say, “Oh I hate mornings” or “Sorry, I don’t do mornings. I was one of you, but I changed because I wanted to, and I saw the value in changing. I made a choice, you can too.
If you had asked my wife if she could see me getting up before 6am and doing what I do now, she literally would have died laughing. When we first met, I’d be in bed until after 8 most days. I was lazy and depressed. That allowed the negativity to keep eating away and I gave it the fuel it needed to survive by my routines and choices.
I find that once I’ve started the day off well, I make a sensible breakfast choice, I have energy, I feel good and that feeds through the rest of the day. When I feel like that and a challenge comes in then I’m ready to face it and find it easy to roll with the ups and downs of the day with a positive frame of mind. When I was in a bad place and bad routines then if a challenge came in, I’d blame every man and his dog and wished I’d never got up, the negativity would feed my day and it would go pair shaped from there.
There’s a saying, “Win the morning – Win the day”, and there have been loads of books and people to follow on this. Miracle Morning is a book that I read. It advocates getting up very early. I liked it but I made my own way. One guy that I follow on Social Media is Jocko Willick. He’s an American ex-Navy Seal Commander and he’s passionate about his morning rituals. He has started a 0430 club on twitter and takes a photo of his watch every morning showing something like 0431 Rise and Shine with his favourite #getafterit. Maybe he appeals to my ex forces mentality, but it does make me smile.
The morning is key for me. But what time is best for you? When will you be able to start a positive routine and stick to it?
I get the exercise done and, in the bag, early doors. It’s at a time that doesn’t give me an excuse that it could hamper with family – they are all still in bed and work can’t get in the way because that hasn’t started yet either. It gives me time to think and plan and I can sometimes kill two birds with one stone by listening to an audiobook or podcast while training. Self-development and exercise done by 7.30am!! If you honestly think you have no more time in the day – set your alarm earlier. I appreciate that those with young children may disagree but find your space at other times. If you have a young family, that normally means they are in bed for 8pm so instead of watching Netflix with a glass of wine, start your positive routine then. Get your running shoes on or just do something with your spouse or partner, read a book, work on yourself until 10pm. I know you’re tired, funny enough I am in the morning when I wake up for the gym! It’s a matter of choices. As I said at the beginning, be happy with your choices but don’t complain if they are not serving you.
One thing that does help me on those early mornings is a positive mantra I say to myself every morning when I wake up and swing my legs out of the bed onto the floor. As I sit there for a moment gathering myself together, I just say, “Great people do great things” and I’m away. Its sounds better than, “Move fatty!” I am sure you’ll agree. Find your mantra, something that works for you. There are no shortage of great quotes and motivational snippets to help inspire you. Just Google “Motivational Quotes”. Another of my clients was hit by the idea in one of our sessions to use the phrase, “You choose your attitude” and he uses that every day now. That has worked well for him.
Napoleon Hill talks about positive affirmations and mantras in his famous book Think and Grow Rich in the chapter Auto Suggestion. If you haven’t read that then that can be one of the first things you do in your new routine!!
Look at every aspect of your day and how you can install good positive routines that eventually become habits. Email can suck the life out of every day. We’re fixated in holding our smart phones and replying instantly to emails as they arrive. Try and segment the day and only answer emails at certain times of the day.
Again, I don’t have all the answers, many will have all the excuses, others will give it all a try and adapt to make it fit for them and gain little wins and that’s all you can hope for.
Fact of the matter is this. . . If you want things to change in your life you have to make changes yourself. If you keep doing what you’ve done, you keep getting what you’ve got. Think into your life and what you want from it, I doubt that lethargy, reactive and negative will be words at the top of anyone’s list. If that is the case make sure what you do every day ensures those words can’t get on your list as its filled with other more positive ones like confidence, proactive, energy, positivity etc.
Your behaviour and demeanour can positively or negatively affect you and those around you
There will be some tough choices and you need to give yourself a talking to in order to stop the lure of Netflix and the red wine bottle but, remember, these are YOUR choices – nobody makes them for you.
A great routine doesn’t have to start at 5am, what about 8am or 11am, what about using your lunch break or 3pm. Why not 9pm?
Do something every day that evolves around your values and energises you.
Walking, reading, meditating, breakfast with your family, a song sung at the top of your lungs with the kids on the school run. Whatever it is makes little difference, as long as it’s positive.
Give yourself permission to spend time working on you. One of my clients has triplet girls and the mornings are filled already with breakfasts, teeth cleaning, school uniforms, hair, pony tails and that’s before 7am!! How can you possibly throw some me time in there? We talked about giving himself permission to take an hour in the day, after all he works late, after the girls have gone to bed so why can’t he allow himself that hour in the day. By giving yourself permission, you avoid that feeling of guilt, “I should be at my desk…” that feeling is serving nobody. I’m sure that when you spend that Saturday morning at your desk you’re thinking, “I should be with my family” or when you work to 10pm every evening you say, “I should be with my wife”. That feeling is common amongst us business owners and is not helpful. If you’re like me, you’ll never get it spot on but with permission you will be better at it.
There are so many other things that people do and believe in, like journaling and time blocking but I don’t do those things.
Other people make to do lists, but I find that they make you feel pressured and worse, especially as we tend to make long ones and leave them unfinished.
This leads to frustration, feeling of inadequacy and helplessness.
Something that I do and advocate for everyone’s health and wellbeing is to write that list and make it as long as you want but when it’s done sit there and get a highlighter pen and mark the one, most important thing that you can do today that makes today a success.
Once you’ve done that, just do that one and you can leave the office with a win.
It doesn’t matter how big or small that task is but by highlighting it as the one thing and doing it – you’ve won the day and you can go home with a sense of accomplishment.
How many times do you write that list and don’t even do anything but spend all day running around like a crazy person? You fill the entire day and sometimes don’t even have time for lunch. When you get home your lovely spouse says, “How was your day?” and you feel like you’ve achieved nothing.
You can stop that ever happening again by picking that one thing and doing it.
Go home every day a winner.
That’s a great tip for being healthy on the inside and the outside.
All the things I’ve outlined over the last two months help me achieve good health on the inside and the outside.
Mindful of outside negativity
Never compare yourself to others
Doing what is right and works for you
Owning and taking responsibility for your choices
So, over to you –
How can you feel healthy on the inside and the out – every day?
What will you do tomorrow morning that could change your entire day?
How can that first hour really set you up to win the day.
What will you say to yourself when you put your feet on the floor as you sit on the edge of the bed? What will your mantra be?
What will you give yourself permission to do today?
Be intentional about looking after yourself on the inside and the outside and it’ll make a huge difference in your life.