Setting unrealistic goals can lead to exhaustion and an inability to keep up with work commitments. Here’s how to find a balance between living healthy and working happy.
When you’re running a business it can be easy to neglect your own physical and mental health as a result of spreading yourself too thin. But creeping feelings of exhaustion, stress or burn out can start to have a ripple-effect on more than just your business.
“Too often I hear people say that work, being time-poor or changing schedules has resulted in lost motivation, and that it’s too hard to get started again,” says corporate vitality and executive life coach Nikki Fogden-Moore.
You need to reset your perspective on what health and wellbeing really looks like, she says: “Throw out the old rules of long workouts and strict diets. Start doing regular exercise so you enjoy scheduling your weekly fitness goals based around a roster, rather than strict plans that won’t work.
“No matter what you have been up to the past few months, and whatever your age, location or fitness level, it’s important to bring fitness and vitality back into daily life.”
Here are Fogden-Moore’s eight steps to getting back your motivation:
1. Find the purpose of your new mindset Remember why it’s important to be fit and healthy – reducing stress levels, increasing overall wellbeing, looking and feeling great. Keep that as your anchor.
2. Set a 30-day goal Not three months or six months, but a realistic four-week goal.
3. Plan your week Divide that goal into weekly milestones based around your schedule. For fitness, schedule 30 to 45-minute sessions every second day and 15-minute sessions on the days in between – you might use an hour but the smaller sessions make it seem more achievable.
4. Keep your goal and weekly milestones top of mind Write your goals on a piece of paper, draw up your milestone moments, training and weekly missions, and place it front and centre on your fridge or next to your office desk.
5. Re-examine your nutrition Consistent healthy food choices coupled with daily exercise will lead to results. Pre-prepare your lunch, dinner and snacks to avoid buying starchy or fried foods later.
6. Fresh is best Try to get 70% of your diet from fresh, healthy foods that are as close as possible to the natural ingredient.
7. Ask for support Let others know that maintaining a healthy work-life balance is important to you and that you need their support to ensure you don’t go off track. It’s human nature for others to test our conviction for new projects, so be clear that you need to be surrounded by positive influences and not dream-stealers. Get your kids and family involved, too.
8. Remember, it’s about balance Focus on what you can add to your life rather than what you have to give up. If you’re leading a team of people, then inspire them to think about their wellness as well by encouraging them to set small, tangible steps each day.
Integrate this new, more motivated mindset into your home and work lifestyle. Go for a walk at break time and provide nutritious food choices within the office environment – research shows a healthy workforce can boost a business’s bottom line.
You’ve only got one body and it pays to look after it.