Last week I talked about not being an idiot (Iike me) and sabotaging yourself by not doing the things that keep us on track.
I had lots of emails from people who said they too are guilty of neglecting the gym, their badminton, their kids, seeing family, and other stuff they know is important for their health and happiness, but that “things” too easily get in the way.
So I wanted to offer some practical ways to prioritise what you know is important, rather than just say “hey this is something we should do!”
Because it IS easy to say, and actually not so easy to do. Even for someone like me who teaches this stuff as part of my Financial Freedom coaching with my clients.
We’ll never achieve what we could
But we’ll never get to achieve what we’re capable of if we don’t take care of us.
We won’t have the energy, mental capacity, health, resilience or creativity needed to build a business of value.
An unusual perspective
I’ve got an privileged vantage point in my business. I’ve worked with hundreds of business, and I get to see their financials (so I see beyond the façade) I’ve been able to see what strategies work and the businesses consistently build solid value and strength, and where businesses just go round in circles year after year. Never building any value, never getting anywhere.
It’s the disciplined businesses and owners who make progress. The people who always find time for the important things, and especially those who know that looking after themselves is actually their biggest priority.
And the business who don’t? They put themselves and their health at the bottom of the pile. And of course what sort of message do you think that sends to the rest of the business? Woe betide anyone who tries to leave on time to get to the gym..…not to mention they’re the stressed out unhealthy ones, eating junk food to try and get some energy, bolstered by endless coffee. Not the most inspiring leader. And a recipe for long term disaster.
Heading for a breakdown?
But don’t get me wrong. It’s really easy to do and completely understandable. When you’re running a business everything feels on fire and far more important than little ole you. I know 100% what it’s like to be that person. In my last business I worked 80 hours most weeks, the gym was just something I “used to do before I ran a business”, I drank too much alcohol, didn’t eat well – I didn’t have time to plan meals, and it all lead to a breakdown around 11 years ago, where I ended up with ME and losing almost 2 years out of my life.
Ah. But. I’ll do all that stuff one day when…
When you’re in the midst of it all you say that one day, when the business is more stable / profitable / bigger etc then you’ll really take care of all that stuff.
But I have news. Business never arrives “there” – a magical place where it’s all rainbows and fabulousness.
Things always change, go wrong, people disappoint you or leave, you lose a customer, or need to re-think your marketing and website.
There. Will. Always. Be. Something.
SO we simply have to carve out that time for ourselves NOW.
Easier said than done – tell me how
Firstly acknowledge that doing things that keep you fit and healthy will have you at your best and capable of doing and dealing with anything.
Then decide for yourself what those important things are. I call them Pillars and my clients have all determined what keeps them fighting fit.
Typically these include:
- Great nutrition – eating to fuel your health and energy
- Holidays and treats
- Friends and family
- Hobbies and interests outside of work
And here’s how you incorporate them into your life
Don’t think you can slot them in around working commitments and after everything and everyone else.
They won’t happen.
There will always be something that’s more urgent and feels more important.
So we have to book these things into the diary and make them non-negotiable.
Work will always expand to fit the time available so if we take the opposite approach and plan in our personal priorities, we limit the time we have for work and make sure only the most important things that are worthy of our time are allowed in.
Seeing distractions for what they are
It then becomes much easier to see what truly is vital to your business. We can see distractions, interruptions, noise, and pointless emails and meetings for what they are.
Things that are taking you away from your life and what you’re capable of achieving
As easy as you want it to be
So having said this is easier said than done, it’s actually as easy as you want to make it.
Right now jot down a couple of things important to you that you’ve been neglecting and put them in your diary. Go on, Right Now before you go back to your inbox. Make them a recurring entry if that works.
Make a commitment to yourself that next week you’re going to damn well get to the gym (specifically on what day), get home early to see the kids, book that holiday, whatever it is for you.
And then hold yourself to account to make it happen.
When you’ve done it once, and know how good it feels, you’ll be well on your way to making it a habit!
It’s what my clients do
And I’m not just saying this (I never say anything unless I believe it) but the clients I work with 1-2-1 embrace this, and hold themselves accountable weekly. And they’re just making the most incredible progress in their businesses, and all without sacrificing their personal life.
In fact I had this feedback from a client just this week:
“Thank you Serena. I’m on a high at the moment thanks to you. Keeping that consistent approach week in week out is really helping me, my family and the business 😊 “