insight magazine

4 Healthy Habits for Winning in Business

Whether you’re an established business leader or an emerging entrepreneur, these four moves will keep you in the game longer. By Editorial Staff | Digital Exclusive - 2019

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It's easy to get caught up in our daily grinds and pursuits, causing us to lose focus of healthy habits as we press on for business, career, and entrepreneurial success. So, we asked a team of leading psychologists, wellbeing experts, and business professionals to share their tips on how we can kick off 2019 in a healthy way and keep a healthy mindset all year long.

Look After Your Health

“The greatest wealth is your health. Once it’s gone or been damaged, it can be almost impossible to get it back. At that point, you’ll wish you hadn’t made some of your previous lifestyle decisions. You’ve only got one body and one mind, and your goal should be to enhance and improve what you have,” stresses entrepreneur Royston Guest.

Guest, also the author of the best-seller “Built to Grow” and “RISE: Start Living the Life You Meant to Lead,” adds that well-being includes fitness, exercise, diet, relaxation (including healthy sleep), mindfulness, building your personal resilience, plus the general check-ups we often skip or continually reschedule when life gets busy.

“Life really has two meaningful dimensions: length and quality. How long you live may not be in your hands, but that doesn’t mean it’s out of your hands entirely. Your quality of life is something you can control in so many ways,” Guest says. “Don’t ever find yourself in the position of appreciating something only once it is gone.”

Build Creativity

“Science tells us that there are close links between the imagination and our higher thinking brain. We can use focused attention to power creativity and use moments of creative insight to develop reasoning and rational analysis. We also know that one of the best things we can do for good mental health is to build neural pathways between the higher thinking brain and the neocortex, the home of abstract thought. In other words, we need to build creativity into the heart of our personal lives and working practice,” says Beth Wood, director of Mind Fitness and co-author of “Unlock You.”

“Try to respond creatively to the world around you,” she says. “Find ways to build creativity into as many regular tasks as you can. Then think outside this. For example, I once sat on the board of a company that had a conflicted relationship with a major funder. We were asked to write a poem or play about the current situation. It gave us enormous freedom and threw up ideas that led to the problem being solved.

“Best of all, working in a creative environment is fun, and a workforce that is happy will be more cohesive, more motivated, and, of course, more productive.”

Be Grateful and Mindful

The entrepreneurial lifestyle is fast paced, but mindfulness and Neuro-Linguistic Programming coach Julie Provino emphasizes that we must take the time to be grateful for what we have, focus on doing good, and take the time to develop meaningful relationships through meaningful dialogue. “Be mindful of how precious your time is. Take time to breathe, disconnect, and enjoy life around you. You can easily get sucked up by your business venture — remember to recharge your batteries,” Provino says.

Provino, also the author of “How to Get What You Want in 7 Weeks,” suggests giving yourself the gift of a quiet mind on a regular basis will allow you to think more creatively, critically, and empathically. “Meditate for 20 minutes at the beginning of each workday, resetting your mind on your goals and setting up intent for the day,” she says.

Do a “Life-Audit”

“The healthy business leader is the holistic business leader. Too often those at the top of their game focus greatly on their professional ambitions. This makes sense as that is their main goal, but they often have families and other priorities which need as much attention. Without a mindful eye on personal success, they may not be able to experience fulfillment, and eventually dissatisfaction may spill into their working lives,” explains chartered psychologist Dr. Audrey Tang.

“I advise my clients to do a ‘life-audit’ (in bar chart style), looking at the elements in their lives which are important to them — work, family, travel, relationships, friendships, pets, etc. — no matter how unique. I then ask them to indicate how much time they currently devote to each, then to indicate how much they would actually like to devote to each. I then ask them to write down one action to do (that evening!) to enable their desire to succeed,” Tang explains.

Finally, “The Leader’s Guide to Mindfulness” author says she asks clients to rate, on a scale of 1-10, how likely they are to do that action. “Most people tell me seven — because they think it’s high. That is every coach’s warning light. The next question they have to answer is ‘what will make it an 8?’ Then I believe they may just be committed!”

So, how committed will you be to establishing some healthy habits this year?