Let’s face it, 2020 was weird, eccentric, and stretched our mind sometimes a bit too much. With borders closed, our personal life and the way we do business got an involuntary makeover. The challenges of 2020 are likely to stay around. To succeed in your business you absolutely must be at your physical and mental best.
The current situation is a breeding ground for burnout and longterm illness due to chronic stress. After the lockdown, I have seen many entrepreneur patients with very high levels of stress, insomnia, and digestive issues.
You don’t want to be in that camp, and if you do find yourself in it, you want to get out of it asap. Here some thoughts about how you can avoid the frustration of abandoned New Year’s resolutions and how to achieve lasting results.
New Year’s resolutions often don’t last longer than a few weeks into the year. Doctoral student Erika Kirgios and Prof. Katy Milkman from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania developed a technique called “temptation bundling” to improve the longevity of new year’s resolutions. The technique suggests combining new, challenging tasks with rewards, such as drinking a special tea only when you do this specific task.
In a study done with 6,000 participants, those who combined their workout at the gym with a free audiobook were up to 15% more likely to exercise than those who didn’t have one. While 15% might not sound like a lot, accumulated over time and across your plans for the year, it might give you the capacity to persevere.
Keep it simple
Whatever is your resolution, make sure to integrate it into your daily routine. Your life is already complex enough. Perhaps doing less or doing things in a different way can be a lot more powerful than adding 5 new things.
Make a plan
The WOOP method stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacles, and Plan. It can give you the right framework for defining goals as well as coming up with solutions to potential obstacles. These are then developed into a plan.
Keep in mind that it is ok to fail. Any workout you did or a healthy meal you had was a bonus for your body! Try using failure to motivate you rather than beating yourself up.
Doing more of the things you like and less of the things you don’t like is a general recipe for happiness. What needs to change to make you happier? Your brain needs creative downtime, movement, and breaks for your brain to create new pathways and remain agile.
A calm mind can think clearer, so keep that in mind when you work on your to-do-list. Give your brain a break by playing sports, cooking, cultural activities or simply doing something unrelated to your work.
Build a healthy routine
If you find yourself stuck in an unhealthy routine it can be pretty daunting. At the end of the day, giving up your needs for someone else’s benefit is not helping anyone and is generally a lonely road that leads to unhappiness and illness.
Just allowing “to be” instead of constantly “doing” can be a powerful tool in your desire to create better health and productivity. Even just 10 minutes spent on something every day can lead to impressive and lasting change. When things get tough your exercise and destress routine can make a huge difference to your physical health and mental endurance.
Are you perhaps standing in your own way and make things more complicated than they need to be? A coach or therapist can be great in helping you sort this out.
It doesn’t need to be a massive change. 50 squats or practising 10 minutes with a hula hoop every day can make a dramatic difference to your figure! You won’t see a big change after 3 days, but it might be easier to implement, and therefore gets done in the long run. If it doesn’t work for you, try something else. There is absolutely no need to torture yourself!
Pro tip: if anxiety is familiar to you, split your exercise routine into two parts, one in which you boost strength and cardio, and another part in which you calm down your nervous system with activities such as yin yoga, yoga nidra or qi gong.
There is a reason why you haven’t achieved the results you want. Not everyone has the discipline or knowledge to push through with it alone. It may help you join a group, course, trainer or coach to help you stay committed. Joining people you don’t know yet has the advantage of making new connections with similar interests and they are as committed as you are.
Foundation of health
We all know this, but let’s recap: what keeps us healthy is a balanced diet (less junk food, more fresh fruits and veggies – follow my IG panakaya_naturopathy or Facebook for ideas about healthy and quick meals), more sleep, less stress, time in nature and sufficient “me-time”.
Often it’s being tired and not having enough energy that prevents us from successful execution. From my experience, working on the energy levels often sorts out the rest. Calming the nervous system for me as a therapist is a priority, as it sets the tone for everything else.
If the body is chronically stressed, you won’t be able to digest, sleep or procreate. Your immune system will be weak, your liver can’t digest the restaurant meal you had with that lovely glass of wine. You will get fat around your waistline, and risk for cardiovascular disease increases to just name a few.
Keep it fun
If you hate going to the gym, then just don’t. Find something else. If you don’t get along with a trainer or a group, find another one.
At the end of the day, we can reset our goals on a quarterly basis, for our birthday, anniversary or other important milestones. Take a seat back and take stock regularly whether you are on track and where support might be useful to make 2021 as great as it can be!
Herbal teas are a powerful, yet gentle tool to calm your mind, improve sleep, and digestion. You can purchase my premium quality, caffeine-free, organic blends here.
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Jennifer Eisenecker is an ex-banker, German-certified naturopath, and business owner. Knowing how limited time and mind space often are, her recommendations are practical, easy to follow, and as simple as possible.
Jennifer’s multi-disciplinary approach involves going back to basics, looking at health from a trauma-aware perspective, and achieving health by calming down the nervous system to optimize your body’s innate ability to rebalance itself. She loves herbs and natural remedies.