It’s that time of year again…we’ve nearly finished another year and are beginning to think about New Year’s Resolutions. One of the most common goals in the new year is a healthier lifestyle. But, did you know that completing a diet can not only be good for your health but your business too?
I recently completed the Whole30 diet and learned some valuable business lessons in the process.
Willpower – It’s easy to get in the habit of giving yourself what you want; after all, it’s usually enjoyable. But, sometimes you must deny yourself a momentary pleasure for a greater reward in the future. Whether it’s choosing an apple over an apple pie or weighing your business options, exercising self-discipline and self-control is critical to long term success.
Cheerleaders – There comes a point in any diet when you wonder if it’s worth the effort. Maybe you’ve searched and searched for a compliant meal and still haven’t found one. Or, maybe you’ve been tempted by the delicious stroopwafel for the hundredth time and aren’t sure you have enough discipline to say no again. (Both are personal stories from our Coworking Europe trip!)
It’s in these times that you need a cheerleader – someone to come alongside you and remind you why you made the decision to pursue this goal in the first place. Someone to renew the energy and determination you first had. In nearly every aspect of life, cheerleaders play an important role, but especially when it comes to achieving our goals.
But remember – people can’t cheer you on if you don’t share your goals with them. Selective sharing of business or dietary goals creates a layer of accountability and ensures that you’ll have someone standing beside you when you want to quit. Surround yourself with friends and colleagues who will challenge you to complete the goals you set for yourself and look for opportunities to return the favor.
Control – Any control freaks out there? I started Whole30 in a desperate attempt to control something in my life when everything else seemed to be spinning out of control. The truth is, you can’t control everything, but you can control some things! I can’t control the fact that sugar is added to nearly every pre-packaged meal, but I can choose to cook homemade meals instead. The same is true in business – I might not be able to control what happens to me or my work, but I can control how and when I respond.
Planning – On Whole 30, I began planning on the weekend what I would eat, when I would cook, and where I would shop for the following week. I considered every window of spare time and diligently planned my time to make sure that I had healthy options throughout the week. Healthy meals don’t make themselves and great business ideas don’t suddenly spring into reality; they require planning.
Self Care – Maybe the most important lesson I learned on Whole30 was the importance of self-care. Generally, I really want to focus on helping others, but I am learning that I cannot pour into others if I don’t first take care of myself. In the same way, so many of us want to give back to our communities and support other businesses, but we can’t do that if our own businesses aren’t healthy. Investing in ourselves pays dividends to our communities in time.
30 Days – When my friend first recommended Whole30 to me, it seemed impossible. I pretty much lived on quesadillas and ajvar, so how in the world would I be able to prepare three meals a day with no sugar, no grains, no dairy, and no legumes? But, she reminded me that the diet lasted for only 30 days. And, you can do anything for 30 days, right?
So, what impossible business practice have you written off? Is it keeping a balanced budget or a maintaining a regular social media campaign?
Whatever it is, do yourself a favor and choose to do the “impossible” for 30 days.
You’ll be so glad you did!