As an entrepreneur myself, I know what it takes to build a business from the ground up. It’s often a challenge that takes on new meaning the moment you set foot down that path—stretching you to grow, learn, and do things that you never would have imagined that you would or even could do.
Being an entrepreneur takes a level of commitment and focus that is hard to understand until you have actually experienced it for yourself. And once you get into that groove of laser focus on achieving your vision, it’s easy to let areas such as health and fitness go a bit to the wayside.
You may feel like there’s no way you could possible fit one more thing into your day.
You may feel a bit guilty for taking any of your precious attention away from your business, because you are afraid that any brainpower spent on frivolous things like planning and making healthy meals or exercise would be a distraction from achieving your big goals.
You may feel that, in all honesty, the value just isn’t there. Your health is okay, and yeah maybe you aren’t feeling your best physically, but all in all, you feel good enough to keep pressing forward.
Am I ringing any bells yet?
I’m here to tell you that creating a lifestyle of health and fitness is far more important to the ultimate success of your business and the quality of your life than you might think. In fact, it’s detrimental.
What’s the point of having a successful business if you’ve paid the price of your long-term health in order to achieve it?
And I’m not just talking about physical health here either, your mental health is also extremely important to the future of your business.
Creativity, clarity, focus, stamina—these are all very necessary for a CEO to have and I’m going to show you exactly how you can not only bring physical health into your life, but mental health too, just by making 3 fairly simple (once I explain them) adjustments to your routine.
Here are my top 3 tips for the learning how to shift yourself from the “overwhelmed and overworked entrepreneur” to the “living well in every way, enjoying her business and life in general, and oh by the way, very successful entrepreneur”.
1) Schedule your workouts like an appointment with a VIP
And then KEEP that appointment! Because that’s what you are, ya know… very important.
In order to make fitness a priority, you have to treat it like one and, like any other really important appointment, you have to be willing to make space for it in your schedule.
Most people that say they don’t have time for exercise, actually could find time… they just dislike the idea of working out and/or don’t see the immediate value, so they choose not to make it a priority.
Exercise doesn’t have to be grueling, it can actually be something that you look forward to doing. My motto is that fitness should be something that you “get” to do, rather than something that you “have” to do. Thank goodness that you have this amazing body, right? This body that allows you to workout… these lungs, this strong heart, these arms and legs… this body that is so easy to take for granted!
When you shift the way you choose to look at exercise, it can become a really special, life-giving part of your day. It’s that much needed time to stretch, blow off steam, and regroup.
Taking 30 minutes to an hour away from work to go move your body and get the endorphins going can allow you to return to your to-do list with renewed clarity, energy, and focus.
2) Plan, batch, and no-big-deal-atize your healthy eating
Healthy eating really doesn’t have to be difficult. I can throw together a bright colorful salad in 5 minutes or less… which is a lot less time than it takes to go get carry-out or heat up a frozen dinner.
The trick is to multitask food prep into your routine. For example, on Sundays and Wednesdays, when you are making dinner, make 3-4 times as much protein so that you will have enough cooked for the next few days—protein meaning chicken breasts, turkey burgers or meatballs, legumes, sirloin burgers, etc.
While your protein is cooking, chop veggies for salads not only for dinner that night, but for the next few days as well.
Then, when it’s time for lunch during the week, all you have to do is pull your prepped ingredients out of the frig, throw them in a bowl and eat. This works for on the go meals as well.
If you tend to travel and eat at restaurants often, you’ll typically be able to find some sort of grilled fish or chicken and salad or steamed veggies on most menus (if you don’t see it, just ask).
Eating healthy is really no big deal… if you can convince yourself that it’s no big deal. It’s a baby step process, changing one small thing at a time, until suddenly those small changes add up to a lifestyle of long-term, sustainable healthy eating.
There’s no magic switch-flipping secret that’s going to make you a healthy eater overnight, so do be patient with yourself and know that every healthier-than-before choice is moving you in the right direction.
3) Never underestimate the power of “me-time”
Me-time is the key to unlocking the door of creativity. Many entrepreneurs don’t realize the power of me-time, or time away from your business where you do something that you love to do… unrelated to business. This can be a hobby, exercise, or both or it can be an appointment to do something special to treat yourself, like a massage, girls night, or family day.
Taking time to fill your cup up, so to speak, is so crucial to being healthy and to having a successful business because you need that time to recharge.
Have you ever noticed that you get your best ideas in the shower, on a long run, or when you are doing something where you are not taking in information? Sometimes it’s tough to tap into the creative part of yourself when you are in action/getting things done mode.
Gary Vaynerchuk would tell you that in the first few years of business you have to work so hard you bleed through your eyeballs, and while he makes a good point that dedication and will to succeed are important and obviously he has succeeded through these sorts of efforts, I’d like to add that a little less action for the sake of a little more self-care can prove not only the same or better results, but also a better quality of life.
A really great question to stop and ask yourself often is, “Why am I doing this?”
Yes, it’s because you have a vision and want to be successful, to make your mark on the world, or maybe even to change the world, but at the bottom of all that, there’s an underlying truth to your desire for success.
You’re doing this because you think that the achievement of this goal or a certain level of success will make you happy (feel free to insert other similar words here like validated, worthy, important, fulfilled, etc).
And sometimes entrepreneurs and people in general think that they need to put off present happiness for long-term gain. I say, you can have both.
You can choose to be happy right now, while building your business, and the simplest way that you can do that is to give yourself the time to recharge your batteries. The important thing is that whatever you choose for your me-time, it should be time spend doing something for you. Many people look at taking time for themselves as being selfish when really it’s not. You have nothing to give to others and your business if your tank is empty.
Me-time is the comfort food of all comfort foods, and oh by the way, when you give yourself the gift of a little me-time, you’ll actually find yourself looking to food for comfort a lot less because you’ll already be full of comfort!
Don’t get me wrong, you wouldn’t be an entrepreneur if you didn’t love the thrill of molding the clay of your business. The growth that you experience in this time of building is certainly fulfilling, exciting, and awesome, but it’s important to make sure that the growth and focus in one area of your life isn’t to the determent of other equally important areas.
So, which of these 3 tips resonates most for you and how are you going to bring it into your routine so you can fully live well in every way starting today?