I am a recovering all-or-nothing addict. I so often find myself feeling like I can’t make a change, because I know I won’t do it perfectly.
I can’t work out more, because I don’t have time to go to the gym for an hour everyday.
I can’t launch my online course, because I would need a new website and rebrand.
I can’t clean up my diet, because I don’t want to be a vegan.
An all-or-nothing mindset keeps us playing small. It convinces us that there is only one right way to make a change, and small changes don’t really count. As you reflect back on the past year, start thinking about the resolutions or goals that you didn’t hit. This isn’t to make yourself feel bad, but only to look for powerful data. Was a part of you afraid that you wouldn’t do it right, so you didn’t try?
Before you set your 2018 goals, make the conscious decision to ditch the negative self-talk and all-or-nothing mindset. Small changes truly do add up, and your health is a great place to start. Here are five healthy habits to cultivate and five to ditch.
If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s safe to say that you don’t sleep enough. Sleep becomes more of luxury than a necessity when you’re building a business, but what if that mindset is keeping us stuck? Not sleeping enough affects every aspect of your health, especially your ability to think and problem-solve. Aim to start going to bed 30 or even just 15 minutes earlier, then work your way up from there.
Drink More Water
A diet of granola bars and coffee is not doing your body any favors. To be able to perform at your best, you have to feed your body the best, and that starts with water. Invest in a quality water bottle that you love and get into the habit of having it with you at all times.
Ask for More
How often do you hold yourself back from asking for what you want, because you’re afraid of the answer? Maybe you have a friend who would be perfect for your network marketing team, but you’re afraid she won’t be interested. Perhaps you know it’s time for a raise, but worry that your client can’t afford it. In 2018, stop trying to read others’ minds and just ask. You may be surprised at all the yeses you get!
You don’t need to set aside 30 minutes everyday to get the benefits of mediation. Even just a few moments of mindfulness can add up in a big way. A daily meditation practice affects our bodies on a physical level and actually lowers stress hormones. Here’s a quick guide to get started.
Say Thank You More
Making time to feel grateful will improve your health, as well as all areas of your life. A gratitude practice helps you feel better everyday, have deeper relationships, and even keeps you healthy. Find a method that works for you. Maybe you want to write down a gratitude list everyday or send a few thank you cards each week. Whatever route you choose, just make sure to keep it consistent.
Check Email Less
Checking your email frequently throughout the day seems harmless, and you may not even realize you’re doing it. So many of us mindlessly reach for our phones the minute we have some free time. Most of us are not happy with our work life balance, so constantly being available to clients and coworkers is going to drain you. Set designated email times during the day and stick to them.
We entrepreneurs are under a great deal of stress at all times, and after a while, it just becomes our new normal. Your brain is probably in overdrive as we speak, so just stressing less may not feel like an option. However, it’s time to make a change. Chronic stress leads to just about every illness, as well as anxiety and depression. Start scheduling calming activities like exercise and mediation. Even a few minutes per day can zap stress away.
Eat Less Junk
If eating healthier is on your list of resolutions for 2018, make sure you’re setting yourself up for success. Focus on incorporating more whole, fresh food and less processed junk. Don’t commit to a strict diet if you hate them and always cheat. Know yourself and play to your strengths. Ask a friend to join you and start making small changes today.
Most of us spend more time sitting that we care to admit, and it’s affecting our health. Sitting throughout the day puts us at increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and even death! Fortunately there are small tweaks each of us can start making right away. If you spend your day at a desk, make sure to stand up and stretch every hour. Stand to make calls or have meetings. Walk during your lunch break or at the end of the day. Wear a fitness tracker to keep yourself motivated.
Anyone else suffer from analysis paralysis? It is of course important to do your homework before a big decision, but be mindful of the fact that after a while, doing your research can become an excuse for not moving forward. If that feels familiar, get off Google and go make that project happen! You can always pivot along the way, but you have to get started first.