Last year was one of my favorite years to date. I felt like I was just getting by. I had my nose to the grindstone, working 40 hours per week while my heart told me day after day that I owed it to myself to pursue my dream. In 2016, I listened to my heart, built a six figure business doing what I love and managed to drown out the white noise in my life to focus on what would truly make me happy.
My passion was to work with others to help them achieve a fit and healthy lifestyle – mentally and physically. I suffered from disordered eating after dieting restrictively for multiple years to compete in bodybuilding competitions. My weight yo-yo’d and I found my relationship with food deteriorating. Food became my coping mechanism, which led to weight gain, which led to feelings of distress and failure, which turned me back to food. I couldn’t understand moderation and the “all-or-nothing” mindset took over. If I ate anything off my strict program, I would spiral out of control.
After suffering – mostly in silence – I discovered a new way of eating that was flexible and cultivated a new way of thinking through meditation and hypnotherapy. Recovered, yet likely never cured, I had a passion in my heart to help others find self-love, self-acceptance, and a positive relationship with food.
Last year, I used these 10 tips to find balance, lose the extra weight I gained from working a desk job, and create an unshakable peace of mind that nourished not only my business but helped me achieve a healthy lifestyle and fit physique.
1. Focus on mastering the traits of successful entrepreneurs. There are seven qualities that successful entrepreneurs share, according to Joe Robinson in Entrepreneur magazine. They are tenacity, flexibility, vision, passion, tolerance of ambiguity, the ability to defy conventional wisdom, and self-belief. Take action, be okay with not knowing all the answers, do things your way, and believe that you have the power to create the life of your dreams.
2. Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. I changed every “no” I heard to “not right now.” This helped my easily shaken confidence become more stable. A closed door doesn’t have to remain shut forever.
3. Find mentors. Take their advice. Don’t just listen to it. Go do it as soon as you can. They are where they are for a reason.
4. Feed your body quality nutrition so you can perform at your highest caliber when you are training or working or parenting … (the list goes on and on). If you are not fueling your body properly and feel lethargic, sluggish, and lack mental clarity, all of the many “hats” we wear in the current day and age are bound to suffer.
5. Find a training program and job you enjoy. When you have passion and pleasure in your corner, it is difficult to veer off course. Stay true to yourself. Maybe the trendy workout isn’t fun for you, or maybe the occupation everyone wanted you to do makes you miserable 24/7. Remember, you are in charge of your happiness. If you haven’t found what makes your heart sing, keep looking!
6. Get sleep. I used to say, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” but prioritizing sleep has made all the difference in my productivity, creativity, and drive.
7. Have a morning ritual. Cultivating a routine instills comfort and self discipline. I wake up an hour before my son, practice gratitude, shower, enjoy a cup of coffee, and answer emails before the rest of the household wakes up and the day begins.
8. Practice meditation. I like to use the Headspace application to take me through guided meditations. Find ways to clear your mind to bring your best to each day.
9. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals. Having the support of others is paramount to success across all avenues.
10. Set boundaries. Unfortunately, there is not enough time in the day for you to give it to everyone and everything. Make wise decisions about where to invest your time. Prioritize your business by what is monetizing and prioritize your self care. Remember that when you say “no” to something, you are often saying “yes” to yourself.
The beauty of a new year is that it is a blank canvas for you to create anything you wish! Use these tips to design your masterpiece this year and in the years to come!
By Karey Northington