“By changing nothing, nothing changes” – Tony Robbins
If you want to achieve a different result, you have to do things differently. It sounds simple but can be extremely hard to implement. In order to do something consistently and achieve a positive result you need to create a habit which can be repeated. In the Powerful Habits Series we will look at which habits you can look at changing or implementing in order to achieve better results.
A simple example of a goal many people will set themselves is to try to lose weight. Most people are aware that by improving their diet and exercising regularly they can lose weight – that doesn’t make it easy to do. If you are looking to make positive changes then it is vital that you break bad habits and replace them with good ones. Where a lot of people fail is by trying to change too much, too quickly. Many people trying to lose weight will try crash diets and grueling exercise regimes which are doomed from the start. By making smaller changes one at a time you are going to build a routine which is much easier to stick to and far less likely to fail.
The benefits of exercise for an entrepreneurs
After a stressful day most of us just want to get home and unwind (i.e. sit on the sofa and do nothing) but does this help reduce stress? Studies have found that heavy technology use increases stress, so if “unwinding” involves watching TV and browsing social media, it’s actually not benefitting you much at all. Exercise, however, has been proven to reduce stress and increase the production of endorphins – natural pain and stress fighters.
Distracting your monkey brain
Ever had a great idea pop into your head whilst carrying out a mundane task like washing up or driving to work? The reason for this is that you are keeping your “monkey brain” occupied. In order to stay creative you must keep the monkey occupied as much a you can. Exercising is one of the best ways you can do this. Daniel Priestly uses a great analogy in his book “The Entrepreneur Revolution”. In the book Daniel refers to the three key parts of the “entrepreneur brain”: the reptile, the monkey and the empire builder. The reptile is the survival part of the brain which senses danger and helps you through survival situations. The monkey is the worker and looks at the world as a set of challenges to be completed. The reptile and the monkey can be very overpowering (fear, stress, boredom etc) but if you can keep them occupied then you release the creative part of the brain – referred to by Daniel as the empire builder.
It’s a great feeling to accomplish a goal. The high you get from an accomplishment can motivate you to achieve bigger and better things. If you aren’t much of a runner you may think that completing a marathon is way beyond your capabilities. However, if you were to complete a 5km run, you may then set your sights on a 10km run. Finish the 10km run and you may consider a half marathon. Before you know it, running a marathon may not seem as impossible as it once did. The boost you get from achieving your exercise goals will filter into every aspect your life.
Regular exercise, of course, improves your health. There’s not too much that needs to be said about this. Good physical health promotes good mental health. In order to achieve peak performance you want both to be ticking along nicely. If you start experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety over a long period of time, it will eventually affect your physical health. Likewise, if you allow your physical health to deteriorate, it is highly likely to affect your mental well-being at some stage. Regular exercise will help you look after both.
Studies have found that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week provided a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality. Sleeping better at night has all sorts of benefits, such as improved memory, increased creativity and improved physical performance. If you want to be performing at your best then a good nights sleep is vital. Regular exercise is a great way to try to ensure you get it.
Getting into a regular exercise routine is by far one of the best habits you can get into if you want to be a better entrepreneur. Improved health, reduced stress and a better nights sleep are just a few of the benefits. Ensure you are performing at your best by making regular exercise a permanent habit.
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