Earn a Master’s Degree. Done.
Become a Certified Professional Coach. Done.
Become an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner. Done.
Become Certified in Conversational Intelligence. Done.
Build a coaching practice. Done.
Find a job that aligns with my passion. Done.
Done. Done. Done.
Now, I’m not listing my accomplishments to brag. The reason I’m listing them is that they were goals or aspirations I set out to accomplish over the last few years. It is pretty amazing that I was able to accomplish all of this while at the same time keeping my family front and center. I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish all of this without their support.
Again, pretty amazing in my book. Yet, there is something I forgot. Something a lot of individuals forget when setting their aspirations.
Taking care of our body and mind! We get so focused on what we want to accomplish that we forget about our very own well-being. We neglect our need to eat well, exercise, sleep and limit stress.
Everdad Hack #3 - Body & Mind
David Rock is right when he mentioned, “health is a resource that we often take for granted until we no longer have it” (Rock, p. 117).
If you want to surpass your aspirations, then I encourage you to be mindful of your health. This means taking care of your body and your mind.
What good are you to your kids and family if you’re unable to do things with them because your health is limiting you?
Through a HEALTHY DIET, you can protect yourself from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. This means eating something in the morning! One British study examined 44 healthy adults who fasted overnight. Those who also ate nothing in the morning scored the lowest on a memory test and had higher levels of fatigue hours after waking-up (O’Connor, 2006).
Also, get off the couch and EXERCISE! It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Go for a walk, do some push-ups in the morning, or get a personal trainer. By exercising it can help you live longer, increase your energy, help you sleep better, and help with depression. When we exercise, we release hormones called endorphins, which helps with our mood, helps us relax, and feel better about ourselves. I love what Columbia University neurologist Scott Small tells individuals when asked about improving their mental functioning, “put down that glass (of beer, wine, or whiskey) and go for a run.”
SLEEP! If there is one thing I’m sure to do, it is to get a good night sleep. Though Anna likes to poke fun at me because I want to go to bed every night at 9 PM. Getting a good night sleep directly impacts how well we function the next day. Just for clarification, I don’t always get to bed at 9 PM. With our busy schedules, our nights are for us. A moment during the day where we (Anna and I) can connect. As, Dr. James B. Maas mentions, “(sleep) restores, rejuvenates, and energizes the body and brain…(sleep) has profound effects in terms of alertness, energy, mood, body weight, perception, memory, thinking, reaction time, productivity, performance, communication skills, creativity, safety, and good health” (2001, p. 6-7).
Now, something that affects all of us from time-to-time is STRESS. Though we think of stress as being a negative (Distress), there is also a positive side to stress called “Eustress.” The positive stress allows us to get up and out of bed each morning, pay our bills, and complete projects. It is the positive stress that allows us to reach our aspirations and fulfill our potential. On the flip side, negative stress can lead to headaches, muscle tension or pain, chest pain, fatigue, change in sex drive, upset stomach, and insomnia (Mayo Clinic, 2016). We may not be able to get rid of all the stress in our lives, but we can take steps to decrease our stress and the effects it has on our body and mind. This can be accomplished by eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep, and learning to say “no” to activities that do not move us towards our aspirations.
Finally, if you think you’re too busy for any of this, you’re limiting yourself from unlocking your potential. Also, you’re hurting everyone else in your life from experiencing the true you. Give yourself permission to relax. Looking like you’re busy just to be busy or to please other people, is foolish and isn’t doing anyone any good. As Pedram Shojai, OMD the Urban Monk states, “You have permission to chill.”
By no means am I a health expert. I share you these insights because when I am at the top of my game, it is because I am hitting on all four of these things: healthy diet, exercising, getting enough sleep, and decreasing my stress. I feel the energy coursing through my body. The improved focus within my mind. The ability to connect with everyone in my life, especially Anna and the boys.
What would be different in your life by addressing one of these things in your life?
Actions you can take right now!
- Eat a healthy breakfast
- Start the day with ten pushups
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep
- Learn to say “no.”
Once mastered, challenge yourself to level-up and find other positive ways to impact your body and mind.
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Donnie Boroff, M.A., CPC, ELI-MP, C-IQ is a father of four boys and husband with a passion for dads. A Dad Coach and founder of Everdad. With a Master’s Degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology along with being a Certified Professional Coach, Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner, and Certified in Conversational Intelligence, he assists dads in exploring and discovering how they are showing up in their children’s lives.