Successful Entrepreneurs Take Charge Of Their Vitality
Make Health Habits Part Of Your Home-Business Job
When you get up every weekday and go to work in an office somewhere, a big part of your daily (and weekly) routine is decided for you. The traditional "job," where you trade time for money, almost always includes the notion of "regular business hours." In a sense, you get paid for being at a certain place during certain hours of certain days; whether or not you get anything done is more of a qualitative factor (which may determine how long your employer is willing to continue the time-for-money arrangement).
I would argue that it's a lot easier to develop and maintain good health habits when you are forced into a routine, like that demanded by the traditional office job. If you know you have to be in the office by a certain hour, you can reverse-engineer your morning to get up early enough to work out and shower before you hit the road... and after a few days, that just becomes part of your routine (and the energy you expend in your workouts comes back multi-fold). It's easier to manage a nutrition routine, too, when the rest of the routine is already set. You know when you're going to get breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner, so the only thing left is to create the conditions where your choices are healthy (at least most of the time). And it's easy enough to plan out the water you drink, the supplements you take, and the sleep you can get.
These days, more and more sharp people are opting out of the traditional job (or have lost their job), and are starting great internet businesses they can operate from home. These entrepreneurs realize many advantages. They're no longer paid to sit in a certain chair at certain times, but for what actions they take to build their business - which usually takes much less time out of each day. Though they can take their business on the road any time they like, they are free from the forced daily commute. But some entrepreneurs struggle with creating a healthy routine when they suddenly become the master of their schedule every day.
Here are some tips on creating a healthy routine around five key daily vitality habits (I remember them with the acronym "NEWSS"):
You used to have to get up early and pack your celery sticks for that afternoon snack, as well as the supplements you'll take at certain times throughout the day. Now, you are free to hang out in your home office, mere steps from the kitchen where all sorts of munchies are kept (some less healthy than others). So make a plan that copies your former routine to the extent you can. You might actually want to take that baggie of celery into your home office and, just like with your old job, leave them until the afternoon break. You used to eat out for lunch? Maybe you still can... but if it's now harder to get a healthy salad from a quick nearby lunch spot, think about making a week's worth of nice salads that you will enjoy at your determined lunchtime throughout the week. I actually plan my work in order to take my lunch break at a certain time each afternoon while watching a favorite news program, and I've prepared a quick lunch I can grab out of the fridge before I head to the TV room. And if you used to take a healthy energy supplement at afternoon break time, it's easy enough to keep that part of your old routine... just have what you need in your home office, so you don't end up scrounging around in the tempting kitchen.
This is an easier habit to keep for some home entrepreneurs than for others. For some, the exercise routine they established blended with (and might have been dictated by) their commute to or from work. Maybe your old job made it easy to stop at the gym on the way to work (or on the way home, though studies show your workout is up to three times more effective if you do it first thing). In fact, you might have had a gym and locker room located right there in the basement of your old office building. Now, you have to create a new routine. Realize, by the way, that it's very good to change-up the old workout routine from time to time... your body gets more out of it. My suggestion is to set up a system that permits you to roll out of bed and do some exercise before you hit the computer. You might take up running in your neighborhood. You might have a local gym where a membership makes sense. Or it might be wise to invest in some home exercise equipment to permit you to replicate the old gym-in-the-basement routine you used to enjoy. Whatever you decide upon, make sure it's a type of exercise you enjoy enough to keep up in a disciplined way... and that isn't dependent too much upon the weather. Since I started my business, I'm actually finding it easy to get in two workouts most days, and I'm loving it!
You need two liters a day, or about 64 ounces. This is a no-brainer... get a half-liter water bottle and make sure you fill and drain it at least four times a day. I find it wise to slightly "front load" my daily water intake; in fact, I've usually had about 1.5 liters before I start work, and find it easy to get another 1.5 spread out through the rest of the day. And while we're on the subject of drinking, don't fall into any bad habits around caffeine and alcohol. Set limits for yourself and stick to them. I drink decaf, and only allow myself wine on certain days of the week... and I try to make sure I'm downing a glass of water with each cup of coffee or glass of wine.
Without the constraints of your former commute and time-for-money schedule, you should find it much easier to plan for at least eight hours of sleep each evening. This is especially true when the longer hours of the start-up phase are over, and you realize you can run your online business in far fewer hours each day than you used to work. You might work longer hours than you have to, because you're inspired or ambitious, but it should still be much easier to get your Zs. Six months into my home-business experience, I realized I was a much better-rested (and more energetic) person than my old job used to allow me to be.
You have to supplement your nutrition. Our modern diets, as well as the fast-paced lives we live, simply don't permit us to get enough of the good stuff. Do some reading, and I think you'll find a few different supplements that would really help you. Vitamins C and E, Omega-3 oils, multi-vitamins, antioxidants, energy and mental boosters, and digestive aids are some of the biggies. If you only take one supplement, I recommend a liquid nutraceutical that combines most or all of these supplements, in a form easily absorbed by your body's cells.
You're in charge now... congratulations! But don't use your new-found liberty as an occasion to get lazy about your vitality. Just as "a lawyer who represents herself has a fool for a client," as the old quip goes, so the employee whose boss doesn't require him to approach his days and weeks with discipline - won't. Don't be that boss. Manage yourself well, and your disciplined routine will continue to reward you with energy, vitality, and a much greater sense of well-being.
Have a question for Michael or want to leave a comment?