While most of you already know the most basic practices, it’s still way too easy to ignore them, when doing the right thing feels like it’s getting in the way of your life’s “more pressing” goals.
If you run your own business or are trying to start on one the side, you are probably like me – working 14+ hours a day, eating terribly, not exercising enough, not sleeping, and probably even drinking at (work-related) social functions. You might be able to handle living like this for a little while, but it certainly not sustainable. Since 52businesses has started, I’ve gotten even worse. Soooo, I’ve recently made a commitment to try and change all of this.
1. Make time for Exercise – Exercising doesn’t take up time, it actually creates more time.
You probably already know this, but in just the few weeks that I’ve forced myself to make time for excise, I’ve found myself sleeping better, feeling more energized, and my head is far more clear afterwords. Perhaps that’s not groundbreaking, but it’s so easy for entrepreneurs to forget even the most basic tenets of healthy living when your trying to “lengthen your runway” at all costs–but, your health shouldn’t be one of them.
I’ve tried turning exercise into scheduled fun. If there are friends you don’t get to see enough, schedule times to play tennis, basketball, golf or whatever you enjoy. If you don’t get enough time with your significant other, schedule walks, biking or some other activity you both enjoy. We’ve even started holding scheduled “Sorkin Meetings” to add exercise into our necessary office time–we call it “Sorkening.”
2. Stop working while you eat – pay attention to what and how much you’re putting in your mouth.
For lunch, I generally eat a salad. Making salads at the grocery salad bar is often faster, cheaper (by up to 60%) and easier. You can also cook big one-pot-meals with lots of veggies – vegetable stew, curry, or vegetarian chili for example. I’m also lucky enough to call nutritionist Jodi Brown my friend, whom I’ve seemingly roped in to becoming my unofficial health advisor. So, I’d suggest you get as much advice from anyone who’s willing to talk to you.
Eating out tends to be the hardest, especially in New Orleans. Luckily, there are a few great new restaurants that serve fresh healthy food. City Greens, in the heart of the CBD, is a popular lunch spot for a reason: They’re fast, fresh, inexpensive, and friendly; but, above all else, they have tons of healthy options. (It’s also the first place I ever met with my now business partner, and good friend, Jason). The Ahi Tuna (sans their sinfully delicious bread) is both of our favorites! Obviously there are several restaurants around town that focus on healthy living–and even more popping up each year. But, if you end up having to go to a place with no healthy options, you can at least exercise portion control. I find that the best way is to ask for a box as soon as your food arrives, cutting your meal in half and putting the other half away. If I don’t do this, I almost always end up over eating.
3. Track your progress–hold yourself accountable.
I bought a FitBit that tracks my steps and makes monitoring my progress easier. Originally, my number of daily steps was embarrassingly low. BUT, now that I am forcing myself to be accountable, I surpass my 10,000-step goal, easily. But, the number one way to hold yourself accountable will always be to weigh yourself. If you’re not weighing yourself, then you’ll never hold yourself accountable. You won’t know what’s working and what’s not. Of course you may not be trying to lose weight, like I am, but weighing yourself is a pretty quick and easy barometer of your overall health…for the most part. (Assuming you’re adhering to tips 1 and 2).
As I mentioned, these ideas are not revolutionary, but I hope you find one or two of them helpful. We’re all worried about being more efficient and growing our businesses, but if you commit to making time a few days in a row, I believe you’ll be more likely to grow your bottom line, without growing your waistline!