Take a Break

What do we need to do to consistently show-up as our best selves?  For starters, we all know we need to eat right, exercise, and get enough rest. Being your best isn’t about becoming an Olympic athlete, although one could argue the same principles apply. It is about maintaining your health, fostering important relationships, staying sharp, and accomplishing what needs to be done and more!

Recently, I had the good fortune to attend the Human Performance Institute’s Corporate Athlete three-day training program.  If you aren’t familiar with HPI, they are part of the Johnson & Johnson corporation, and their principles are grounded in years of human performance research.  Specifically, they focus on managing energy, in order to be our best. Their Corporate Athlete program teaches “over-achievers” how they are often self-sabotaging their health, relationships, and achievement, under the guise of “I don’t have time to ______.”

What’s your _____? Don’t have time to eat well, exercise, nurture important relationships, develop strategy, complete important projects, stay organized, or proactively accomplish the things you need to accomplish?

I bet the majority of you can relate to “I don’t have time.” What’s fascinating, to me, is the remedy to most of the “I don’t have time” issues is very simple, but many are completely resistant to it. Would you like to show-up being your best everyday?

If not, stop reading now.  If your answer was yes,

I have a simple tip for you…Structure your day.

It has been said we do what we believe, and we show the world our priorities through our actions.  If you claim your priorities are to be healthy, foster great relationships, and excel in your career, but you spend your time in ways that don’t further them, what are your real priorities? And how do you feel about that?

Whether you are ready to believe it or not, if you truly want to be your best, the following are mandatory:

  1. Stay hydrated. Drink a glass of water when you first wake up, and don’t go more than an hour during the day without hydrating.
  2. Eat well. For peak performance, eat breakfast in the first 60 minutes of your day.  Through the day, eat 3 small meals, and 3 small snacks.  Essentially, this means give your body nourishment every 2-3 hours. While awake, DO NOT go four or more hours without nourishment.  Look it up – your body starts depleting itself, in unhealthy ways, by the fourth hour.
    • On average, your body needs 20% protein, 40% fruits and vegetables, and 40% whole grains. The healthy fats are good for you, so enjoy them everyday!
    • A snack equals 150-300 calories. Watch out for too much sodium, man-made ingredients, and sugars. Yogurt, cottage cheese, fruit, vegies, nuts, and real health bars are examples of great snack choices, to keep you effectively fueled through your day.
  3. Move! “Sitting is the new smoking.” Every hour – not more than two – get up and move.  Walk down the hall, do some stretches, circle your ankles, wrists and neck.  Remember to take some good deep breathes too.  Just move!
    • Incorporate aerobic and resistance training into your week. Allow one day of rest, not more than two, between real heart-pumping, muscle conditioning exercise.
  4. Implement a routine for daily/weekly work & home activities; plan time to work on projects. Calendar the “big rocks” to ensure you get them done, but don’t fool yourself by scheduling every minute of your day with a specific activity. Scheduling “open” time ensures room for variation and flexibility, with some time for the unexpected.
  5. Sleep. I’m talking 7-8 hours each night. We function best when we go to sleep and wake-up at about the same time every day.

None of this is “new”, but much of it is ignored with the excuse of “I don’t have time”. If being your best – for yourself, your loved ones, and your career – is important to you, practice managing your energy and investing your time, through structuring your days to assure your priorities are treated like priorities.  I promise you, you will feel better and you will be much more effective!

Call or email us today for more information on being your best!

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