Let’s start with the notion that there is no magic pill. There is no one strategy that cures our ailments, makes our biceps grow, and decreases our 5k PR. We must be the entrepreneur of our own health.
In order for us to “reach our goals” (read: find success), we must find a combination of effective and efficient strategies to take care of ourselves. Why must you be the entrepreneur of your own health? Because no one can do it for you. Even the wealthiest and best “outsourcing” of assistance can’t workout and eat for you; you must put in the work. More on getting help below.
Most people overlook their “first order of business,” which is their health, not their career. We spend time furthering our careers at the expense of our body and mind. But what should come first?
Should we choose to prioritize our career and figure out our health later, or spend time getting our training, nutrition, sleep, and stress management (read: physical and mental health) in order to be able to better pursue the career we want?
Tough choice, but there is a proverbial line we don’t want to cross; let our health slip too far and we face extreme consequences. Feel like it’s difficult learning a new language as an adult? Trying getting all of these health habits in order at the same time…it’s very difficult.
It’s difficult to string together days, weeks, months, and years of practicing consistent, healthy habits. Just remember – you also “ran” that many days/weeks/months/years in the direction to get to where you are today, good or bad.
So how do we go about being this “entrepreneur” in charge of our health?
To start, here are five things a great entrepreneur does:
If we had a dollar for every, “But my sister is in town for the weekend and we’re going out for her 30th birthday AND my best friends from college are here AND it’s my co-workers engagement party”… there is something going on every single weekend.
You’ll always face social pressure to drink at work functions and weddings. Your significant other will feel guilty about eating dessert and drinking wine alone if you refuse. And that pack of Skittles will always contain added sugar. There is no way around it.
Find one. The answer you should be giving is, “Hey thanks, I actually just grabbed a drink of my own (soda water and lime)” or “I’m getting up early to crush this [insert activity] – want to join me?”
You don’t need to make them feel bad about their decisions, you only need to ask them to respect yours. Put your foot down (and your fork) and do what you want…then ask them to join!
Recommended Strategy: Write down the five instances in which you say “yes” to unhealthy activities. Then list why (read: your excuse for partaking) each situation is difficult. Is it the environment? Specific people? Develop default answers to say no.
It is impossible to pay someone to workout for you. It is possible, however, to pay someone to help you workout (and stay accountable!). We can find coaches for just about everything now, and they should be utilized for:
Maybe you love thinking about your workouts but despise cooking food. Maybe you’ve developed a great meditation practice but still have trouble falling asleep at night. These are instances in which we can outsource our weaknesses or hire help to do our thinking for us.
Ultimately, YOU must DO the work. But just as a great leader delegates responsibility, so must you in order to effectively prioritize your time. If you’re time poor, let someone else spend their time cooking up good workouts and food for you while you spend time on your business, then prioritize crushing the workout or really enjoying the meal when it arrives.
Recommended Strategy: Draw out each part of your health that you want to work on: Fitness, Nutrition, Sleep, Stress, etc. What are the categories you are weakest in? What are the categories you really don’t like spending time on? Hire a board of advisors (note: compensation here does not have to be financial; trade services, use a free app, or attend class) to solve for each deficiency.
Every great innovator is under constant self-review. The hard part about entrepreneurship is that you’re navigating uncharted waters; this also goes for changing parts of your health. No one has been there before as you. You are unique and have unique challenges. The same foods that are “healthy” for us might not work for you (e.g. food allergies). The same workouts that help so many people (e.g. HIIT) may not help you (e.g. if you have consistency high cortisol levels).
If there is no blueprint for success, how do we know what is working? Self-review. We must document, be present, and rework our plan to continually reach our goals. Challenges will arise, and we must be self-aware enough to correct course before it’s too late.
Recommended Strategy: Create micro, meso, and macro goals for each year that pertain to each section of your health. The “micro” and “meso” (read: daily and monthly) goals should be reviewed after a pre-determined period of time (review micro goals every week and meso goals each quarter). What works? What doesn’t? Iterate, and repeat.
This is where the money is made. We’re constantly falling into the trap of the perfect workout, the perfect diet, and the perfect mattress as advertised by your favorite Insta-famous influencer. What is “perfect” for them may be the worst thing ever for you individually. We’ve got thousands of brands of protein powder, boutique fitness options, and online training e-books to choose from…
There will be staples to your health that are non-negotiable (e.g. you must drink enough water), however, the dosage, timing, and variety may be unique to you (e.g. how much water, when, etc.).
Recommended Strategy: Pair the “experiment” section with the “self-review” section. Upon review, what worked and what didn’t? Maybe you realized you love to run – awesome. What surface? What distance is your favorite? Sign up for a race.
Just Do It. Nike got it right; we must do. This is also why we encourage you to experiment – it keeps things fresh, exciting, and interesting. We tend to overthink our “perfect” workout (see above) instead of just getting to the gym (the real barrier to better fitness).
In order to try new things, we must do them…not just think about them. In order to do them, we must prioritize and protect that time. We must be able to say no to other activities so we can do the ones we want.
This is the final differentiator from those who have and those who have thought about it; actually doing it. Want to quit that job? Want to run your first marathon? Just do it.
Recommended Strategy: Book your workouts in your Google calendar (or go-to planner) and savagely protect that time as you would your next promotion meeting. It should carry equal weight and importance.
Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur in the world of business. However, everyone must be the entrepreneur of their own health by necessity Why? Because no one can or will do it for you. It’s always been on you.
Now, what’re you doing to DO today?
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