How often do you feel you take one step forward and fall 2 steps back?
You may take on a next level role at work, and before you know it, you are skipping lunch, or you stop going to the gym after work, and you gain 10 lbs without knowing how.
You may want to serve on a committee, or investing time to support your community with a cause that you care deeply about, but you end up feeling more tired around your partner or kids by evening.
You want to be more present for your family and supporting them with day to day specifics during this COVID year, taking them to doctors appointments or helping them with groceries and chores, but you are now delayed with your work deadlines, and not feeling very good about yourself.
High performance means succeeding beyond standard norms over the long term, while maintaining positive well-being and relationships.
So often do I see this conflict come up, where consistently getting the results we want over and over at work seems to be at odds with also having good health and quality time spent with family. We end up feeling depleted, and defeated.
Here are 5 simple tools to get you succeeding consistently in all areas while maintaining wellbeing and nurturing important relationships in.
1. Set up baselines. Know your starting point.
Doctors often recommend baseline labs to see how you are doing, and when repeating them each year, we get to monitor your progress, and based on the results, we get a sense on whether the lifestyle you’ve adopted in the last year has contributed positively or negatively to your health state.
This is the same for your personal wellness as a whole. In order to see how you are truly doing from week to week, month to month, and give yourselves direct feedback to your daily choices, it is important to have a baseline to measure against. Our mind can be a tricky referee, especially if we tend to be self critical, so unless we follow a system to monitor progress, we might get discouraged quickly and also miss out on some key learning moments.
So take out a pen, rate yourself the following 5 categories on the scale of 1-10, with ‘1′ being deficient, and ’10′ being the near perfect. Then check back in every month, and see what comes up for you. Try writing a definition next to each category that’s personal to you. And don’t forget to celebrate when you see the numbers going up. If you see the numbers going down, be kind and acknowledge the barriers and patterns, and take time in learning about yourself in this area. Sometimes, simply giving attention to that area by awareness alone can be very powerful.
- Love Life
- Family and Friends
- Mission and Career
- Spirituality / connect with your higher self or faith
2. Creating intention triggers
It’s easy to fall off good habits when we are bombarded with new scenarios, stressful situations, back to back scheduling, or simply not keep the habit fresh in our minds. So if you can pair an intention that is clear and inspires you to act or think as your best self, along with a daily physical routine you now are creating opportunities to renew those intentions often.
For doctors, to prevent burn out, we learned that every time we twist the door knob when we enter the room for meeting a patient, we can trigger 3 words that represents how we want to show up in the appointment. I used “empower, engage, and partnership”. These 3 words guided me in the way I want to show up for myself and my patients.
Now, take a moment, think about each time you click the “launch meeting” button when you enter a zoom meeting and begin your work day, or when you come home and walk through your front door frame as you leave behind your work day, what are 3 words that you want to guide you towards your best self? Here are some of my favorite intention trigger words:
Confidence, joy, laughter, release, faith, authentic, ease, partnership, serve
3. Stack up your “whys”
Now, if you think keeping your weight off is simply because the number of the scale makes you unhappy, or a doctor once told you that 10,000 steps is the goal that you need to set for your health, most likely, you’re not going to run out the door to exercise, or change your diet. That’s why it’s so important to state the reason that inspires you for the change you want clearly. For many, it is about loosing weight fitting into the wedding dress, or quitting smoking or drinking before getting pregnant, or having the energy to spend time as your kids are getting older and want to travel and explore the world with them together. Those are powerful reasons and inspirations, or you want to be a role model to your son as they are developing their own health issues.
Write down ALL your whys. Take a picture of them, put them on your phone, your bed side, your refrigerator. Use these reasons to take you away from your demotivation.
4. Schedule it to make it happen
How often do you miss a doctor’s appointment, or a meeting that’s scheduled on the phone? Most people are good about keeping appointments, but might not be as consistent in keeping promises to themselves around their own health practices. If you want to see it happen, schedule. Start by scheduling ones that really energizes you. For example, schedule a mental health day every 3 months, or schedule your vacations for the next year. Or pick a clear goal that you want to work on, and put it in your schedule every week, and protect that slot like it’s something that you can’t reschedule.
I combined #3 and #4 and scheduled an intention trigger into my phone as an alarm every day at 6pm, which reminds me to bring joy to my home and family!
5. Protect your energy
Last and most important, energy is the fuel to all your endeavors in this life, and if you find that certain activities or commitments or relationships drain your energy, then you have to protect your energy at all cost. It doesn’t mean that you eliminate those activities completely. Simply become more clear when there is a source that has a negative effect on your energy, then you can create boundaries. Such as, spending shorter amount of time each interaction. or build your energy up ahead of time such as making sure you have good night sleep the day before, or having a good breakfast or meal before hand, or doing a mindfulness breathing exercise beforehand. Or go for a walk after to regenerate your energy. Sometimes, you can simply remember that “No.” is a complete sentence, and you can use it without completely articulating why.
Try these 5 tools and begin taking back control of your health and your energy. Start somewhere, and share in comment what are some WHYS that motivate you to be the better version of yourself, and what are some tools you use already to protect your energy!
Sign up for my 14 Days to Health video series to boost your energy, recharge your health and improve your day to day wellbeing.
I’m a certified high performance coach. Email me at support@Onnalomd.com if you want to learn how to apply to work with me.