7 Ways to thrive not just survive in January
Here we are in mid-January, a time where most people are still feeling pumped and enthused about the New Year’s resolutions they’ve set. Usually those goals are related to some aspect of health, fitness or nutrition, and usually they last a few weeks before fizzling out. So how do you set up your environment and adapt your lifestyle so that you’re set up for success? Most people fail by the end of January, let me show you how you can avoid being one of the them and learn the valuable skills needed to thrive not just survive the pressures of daily life.
Connect with what’s important to you
Set aside a few hours one weekend to write down what’s important to you. Don’t be tempted to dash this out but consider it deeply and thoughtfully. Once you have a comprehensive list, make a shorter list alongside of three absolute non-negotiables – the things that are most important to you. Spend some time considering how much of your time you spend on those things. A lot of people put family as one of their top priorities, yet when we look at how much time is spent with family, there’s a huge discrepancy between the two. It’s so important to be consistent, and this means making sure if you say something’s important, your actions and how you choose to spend your time reflect that. Being accountable for this with a partner or a coach can make it much easier.
Prioritise high-value over low-value activities
Consider outsourcing domestic or administrative tasks
If you’re a busy person, whether that’s at work or at home, and you value your spare time and having the bandwidth to do the things you want to, look at what you can outsource at home. If you’re doing your own ironing or cleaning, you could easily be outsourcing that for less than £10 per hour. There are now lots of app-based services where companies will collect and deliver anything including clothes, shopping, food – you name it. Consider getting a Virtual Assistant who will help you with chores, shopping, household or personal admin all for as little as £15 per hour. This isn’t being lazy or entitled, it’s about prioritising your mental and physical health, so you don’t end up burning out.
Get comfortable with the idea of saying no
Learning how to say no is a skill that more of us need to acquire. Competitive presenteeism (the feeling of having to turn up for work even when you’re sick to ‘keep up’ with colleagues), constantly accepting more work, agreeing to a travel schedule that’s making you ill, or just taking on too much will take its toll. The body keeps the score. You need to be selective, before you say yes because that’s the answer you think you need to give, consider whether a polite no would serve you better.
Make breath-work part of your daily routine
Having a regular time of day when you sit still, and practice breathing could be the single biggest gift you give yourself. Breathing slowly and deeply activates the parasympathetic nervous system, making you feel more calm, composed and in control. The exercises are easy and can be done anywhere. You sit upright and place your hand on your belly; breathe deeply, as though you’re slowly sucking as much air as you can into the pit of your belly. Pause for a second and then let the air out of your lungs as slowly as you can. Repeat, aiming for no more than six breaths per minute. Aim to do the exercises for 10-20 minutes each day, usually at the start of the day. It’s an incredibly powerful way of changing how you feel, particularly at times when you can’t change what’s going on. Change your emotional soundtrack by activating the parasympathetic nervous system.
Disconnect from tech and learn to live without the dopamine
If someone stood outside your house and repeatedly rang the doorbell, interrupting whatever you were doing, you would probably stop answering the door to me and get annoyed. Alerts on your various devices are essentially the same thing (or worse as those devices are portable). Every time we respond, we’re not being present, and we’re allowing ourselves to be distracted. Not only is this an inefficient way of working, but it’s also rewiring our brains so that we’re struggling to concentrate. Why then do we allow this to happen? One reason is dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that is released when we accomplish something. Somehow, our brains now associate the beep, buzz or ping of a new message with dopamine, and hence we’ve become addicted to our social media, email and messaging devices. Disconnect from tech and reconnect with nature, loved ones, books, film, sport, exercise or whatever your passions are.
Make your bedroom your recovery room
A busy and demanding schedule requires you to get enough sleep if you are to function well and stay healthy. Your bedroom should be your recovery room, and as such there should be minimal furnishings, no LEDs or electronics (irrespective if they’re off, charging or used as an alarm clock). This is where you sleep and let your body repair itself during the night. Making changes to your sleep environment can have a much bigger impact on your productivity and performance, and it perhaps the single biggest tip I can give you. See if you can make changes to your bedroom to promote good sleep.
For more information about Body Shot Performance, check them out at: www.bodyshotperformance.com.
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