You own a gym. You focus most of your time and efforts helping other people get fit and healthy. It’s not a bad way to make a living. In fact, one might say it’s quite an honorable profession.
But somehow, even though you own a gym, it’s easy to let your own well-being take a backseat. It’s like the proverbial mechanic not attending to her car. As ludicrous as it sounds, you are possibly in worse shape than many of your clients.
It doesn’t have to be that way. It’s not written anywhere that you must suffer to see others thrive. In fact, when you’re functioning at your best, you and everyone around you benefits.
Why Your Optimal Well-Being Matters
There are two reasons why you should be concerned about your current state of well-being:
- The first is obvious. You should be operating at your optimum potential purely because that’s how you are designed. You should be fit and healthy.
- The second reason is that you should be leading from the front. Your staff and your clients should see in you an example of what they could achieve in themselves. You owe it to yourself and your followers.
Owning and operating a business is time consuming, emotionally taxing, and complicated. Remembering yourself in all that can be difficult. One proven way to put yourself back on the track to optimal wellness is by laying down new positive habits.
Studies have suggested that about 40% of what we do each day is habit-based. These habits are created over time to allow us to complete activities more efficiently and effectively. Some habits are good, some not so good. The good news is you can reprogram your habits. While you never really get rid of those old habits, you don’t fire them off anymore. You effectively overwrite the not-so-good with improved alternatives.
Following are three activities to incorporate into your day. With practice, each will become a habit that contributes to your overall wellness.
1. Create a Morning Routine
Left to our own devices, many of us probably wouldn’t bother to get out of bed in the morning. At least not without a decent poke and prod. Yes, even us gung-ho super coaches. We are sometimes sloth-like creatures. Without something to motivate us out of bed, we’d quite happily lie there. And this is why mornings can be a tough time. The key to defeating morning lethargy is to create a morning ritual.
The morning ritual is a collection of activities you perform every day. As you practice this routine over weeks and months, it becomes habit. That habit starts your day off the way you want it to start. It sets you up to make the most of the day to come.
Lewis Howes, author of The School of Greatness, introduced this concept in his online academy. Howes suggests first defining how you would like to start your day, and then defining the three to five things you will do every morning as part of your ritual. Some ideas are: meditation, stretching, drinking coffee, surfing, walking, and reading.
2. Start a Meditation Practice
Meditation does not have to be a spiritual endeavor. Regardless of the specifics of the practice, meditation seeks to do one thing: allow you to be aware of the present moment. So, whether you stare at a wall, chant a mantra, or just focus on your breathing, the objective (for want of a better term) is the same.
The struggle for most novices is they can’t sit still long enough to discern any benefit from the practice. Meditation asks you to stop what you are doing and to pay attention to what is happening right now. This is challenging, especially as most of us live our lives focusing on the future or the past.
No one can tell you what your response to meditation will be. You might feel more content, happier, calmer, more relaxed, or something else entirely. What I will state is that if you commit to the practice you will see positive results in fourteen to 28 days.
To get started, find a guided mindfulness meditation. These generally take ten to 25 minutes. I suggest Sam Harris’s Nine Minute Mindfulness Meditation as a starting point. Another popular mindfulness practice is the body scan, I quite like Tara Brach’s 11 Minute Body Scan.
Meditation should be approached as a practice for the sake of the practice itself. The other benefits are side effects. Use your meditation time to simply be here now.
3. Schedule Your Day
Parkinson’s Law suggests that work expands to fill the time allocated to complete it. This is why you can sometimes feel like you’ve had a full day even when you haven’t accomplished much. The work expands to fill your day.
Most of your workdays get out of hand because they are vaguely defined. There’s no true start and end time. For most gym owners, this looks like getting to the gym early and leaving when some arbitrary amount of work is completed. You feel like you’re on the hamster wheel because your day is undefined. You can resolve this by creating a daily schedule and sticking to it.
Start by setting your daily start and end times in stone. For most people this will reduce the number of hours spent in the gym. You don’t have to be in your gym for hours and hours on end. You will soon find you get the same amount of work completed – if not more – in your reduced work hours.
Reducing and defining your work hours will also allow you to enjoy life outside the gym. The addition of some deserved R&R will definitely boost your well-being. Whether you choose to rest or play, you’ll have the hours in your day to do what you choose.
Remember to Remember Your Own Well-Being
You own a gym. You help others. Now, help yourself. Get your workdays in order. Start laying down some positive habits that lead you back toward optimum wellness.