In December 2019 I committed to clean up my act. I had fallen into typical business owner habits that saw me working too long and letting my self-care go. I was incredibly motivated to make this positive change. I had put on a whopping 15kg over the previous three years, and I was miserable. My back hurt, my body felt weak, and I wasn’t sleeping well. The turning point came when my doctor told me that my blood pressure was so high I was at risk of having a stroke. I was 44 years old! My sorry state had become a crisis that needed urgent attention. And I was on it!
“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” – Samuel Johnson
Making The Change
With the help of Dr Linda Wilson, a dear friend of mine, I developed a new set of five tiny little tasks that would become my new routine.
- Drink 3 L of water every day by 12pm
- Do 10-15mins yoga every day
- Make the bed every workday
- Workout 4 times per week
- Alcohol-free 4 nights per week
I began this routine on December 15, 2019. Today is November 5, 2020. I do admit a few glitches here and there. But with Linda’s support, and my trusty HabitBull app, I have largely kept on the straight and narrow. And it’s working! I’ve lost 7kg and my blood pressure has returned to a healthy level. I ran 7km last week, and I’m planning to run 9km tomorrow.
This could easily be a story of incremental improvement or the power we have to change. But it isn’t.
Because of Lockdown.
The Power Of Habits
I had no idea what the world would become only a few months after I started working on building these healthy new habits. I couldn’t have guessed they would become the one pillar of certainty I could rely on when everything else started falling apart all around the world. I could never have known that these tiny little commitments would become the currency I used to secure my confidence, power, and sense of control when all of that felt like it was taken away.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle
I have never doubted the power of a positive routine. Helping business owners set them up for themselves and their teams is more than rewarding. It is transformational. Watching owners building tools to delegate work to team members who work with confidence and efficiency is truly a sight to behold. When people know what a good job looks like, and have the resources and support to achieve that every time, it establishes the formula for productivity, engagement and team spirit that growth is built on.
I knew these things in my work because I have seen them in my businesses and I have helped others achieve them in theirs.
Routines For Growth
But I have never known the benefits of dedicating myself to healthy routines the way I do now. I could never have had this realisation before. Even if I had made the change to living this way two years ago. Even two decades ago. I could never have come to understand the power of healthy habits the way I do now.
Because, just like you, I have never been in Lockdown before. I have never heard the eerie quiet of deserted city streets. I have never seen the desperation of supermarket shelves stripped bare. I have never felt the fear of an invisible disease threatening our health, our economy, our business survival.
Locking down routines for growth has been the one thing to balance my perspective amidst the uncertainty of this surreal season in global history. It has allowed me to hear the quiet voice inside that tells me I am resilient enough to make it through. It has opened my eyes to the real beauty that exists in human connection and affection. It has allowed me to feel the calm that comes from confidence in who I am and what I can become through this.